Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

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mandrake
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by mandrake » January 29th, 2014, 11:01 pm

K. Wagner: wow, great story. I'd heard it's a high-frequency bear area -- was keeping an eye out, but none to be seen this time of year.
Are you supposed to use canisters there?
Not sure about back then, but today there are 2-3 bear wires around the chalet; good pulley systems for hanging food, so canisters are not required currently. I saw two more bear-wires at campsites near Pyrites Creek, and there's at least one at the O'Neil Creek campsite about halfway in.

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drm
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by drm » January 30th, 2014, 7:47 am

Although there are bear wires, there are not enough for all on busy weekends. If you're going at a high use time, you should take canisters, especially if you might want to camp a bit away from the crowds. I'm pretty sure you're required to use some technology to protect your food - either a wire or a canister.

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retired jerry
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by retired jerry » January 30th, 2014, 8:47 am

Looking st website, http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/w ... torage.htm

"All food, garbage, and scented items such as toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, toiletries, and chapstick, must be stored in bear canisters, hung from park bear wires, or hung at least 12 feet high and 10 feet out from the nearest tree trunk."

So, you can just hang food from tree

But, there are so many bears in Encanted Valley, probably best to use canister or wire

Minahikes
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by Minahikes » January 30th, 2014, 1:49 pm

With all those bears, do you guys take bear spray? I have a can, and I'm hoping I never have to use it.

Since the winter has been so mild, I'm wondering if the bears have actually been hibernating or if they're up and about.

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Grannyhiker
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by Grannyhiker » January 30th, 2014, 3:24 pm

I'm told there are bear wires in EV. I do know that Olympic NP would like to require canisters everywhere. They are required now where no tall trees or bear wires are available (i.e., near or above timberline) and on the coast (the coast has aggressive raccoon problems).

There are always a bunch of spring trip reports on NWHikers.net which state that bears are everywhere in EV in spring, grazing on spring grasses, but they haven't caused any problems. The NP folks would like to keep it that way. The bears move up to the high country once the snow melts.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

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retired jerry
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by retired jerry » January 30th, 2014, 3:46 pm

I don't think you need bear spray. Extremely rare to have Pacific Northwest Black Bears hurt people.

If you're going to the Rockies or Alaska where there are Grizzly Bears, then bear spray is probably warranted, although human injuries are rare there too, but more frequent than Black Bears here.

I asked Olympic National Park ranger and he said only bear injuries were to hunters after they shot the bear.

mandrake
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by mandrake » January 30th, 2014, 4:34 pm

I generally do not carry bear spray in the southern Cascades & Olympics. The black bears in the Pacific NW are generally not that aggressive and incidents are extremely rare. Usually the bears will run away before you can even react (or get out your camera). Often you're lucky to see them. That said, it's always good to take precautions, keep your distance, and keep a clean camp. I am generally more concerned about humans encountered in the backcountry (ex: grow operation).

In grizzly country it could well be prudent to carry bear spray. They're more unpredictable.

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Excursionista
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Re: Enchanted Valley (Olympic NP) - Jan 25-26

Post by Excursionista » February 1st, 2014, 11:32 pm

I backpacked through Enchanted Valley in 2006, and at the time, my understanding was that canisters were required mainly because of raccoons habituated to steal human food, and hanging food from wires was recommended to protect against bears raiding your camp.

After hauling that canister around, I went and bought an Ursack (although the NP doesn't consider it a viable alternative).

Great TR, makes me sad that on my visit we completely missed the chalet and I never saw it. We accidentally went off-trail and arced around it, which led to an encounter with a herd of about 40 elk, but also required a chilly ford to get back on trail. Good times, I'll have to go back.

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