inside chalet
Bottom story - Emergency shelter area

Enchanted Valley Chalet - AWS

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Most hikers in Washington are familiar with an iconic structure deep in the wilderness of Olympic National Park, the Enchanted Valley Chalet. When World War II started for the United States, the Army started looking for places to place observers in posts so we didn't have another Pearl Harbor. With concerns aircrafts could fly up the Quinault River Valley in route to Puget Sound, the already existing Chalet made perfect sense for an observation team living quarters. It was closed to the public and established as an Aircraft Warning Service outpost. The chalet was constructed in 1930 and 1931 by a private investment company (Olympic Recreation Co.) for recreation possibilities. Bricks and mortar was hauled by horse up the 13 miles of trail. For over a decade the Enchanted Valley Chalet was a much-advertised and favored destination. Eventually, in 1951 the National Park Service purchased the holdings of the Olympic Recreation Company. The chalet has been owned by the park since, the upper floor was closed but thousands of hikers have slept inside or just outside. Various times the chalet has been fixed up. Recently in 2014, the chalet was moved because the river course moved and nearly took out the ground beneath it. In 2016, a court decided the National Park can continue maintenance of historic, primitive structures within wilderness boundaries. Extreme environmental groups have tried to remove such structures. The chalet is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Location: Center of Section 12, Township 25 North, Range 6 West
Ownership at time: Land was National Park Service
Elevation: 2,000 feet
Date AWS was established: Oct. 20, 1942
Aircraft Warning Service - Washington State
AWS In Washington
enchanted valley map enchanted valley map enchanted valley topo map
str enchanted enchanted valley location history park service chalet enchanted valley enchanted valley enchanted valley Enchanted Valley Chalet
Superintendent Fred J. Overly's family cooking on the kitchen porch of the Enchanted Valley Chalet
Builder during construction of the Enchanted Valley Chalet
Enchanted Valley Chalet during construction, with tents 1930
Enchanted Valley Chalet construction construction construction construction
Map showing how nice a route it would be to sneek into Puget Sound by flying low up the Quinault River Valley, over Anderson Pass and down the Dosewallips.
Charlie 1-5 Enchanted Valley in Olympic National Park on Park Service Land. Structure is Private Property. Retain after War. lease for duration - or sooner.
Enchanted Valley (Olympia 32) Established 10-20-42. Radio was to Port Angeles but switched to Quinault. Located at the center of section 12, Township 25 North, Range 6 West
inside chalet inside chalet
During construction
During construction
During construction
Inside the attic
inside chalet
Ground floor ranger room
Asahel Curtis photo, July 1934
That is my tent and wet gear on the porch - March 1993
First visit to Enchanted Valley in March 1993
AWS map showing Enchanted Valley station
AWS map showing Enchanted Valley station as a year-long station
July 28, 1942 this was in a large list of possible AWS sites. Enchanted Valley did not appear in the first AWS lists in early 1942
More of the chalet in 1993
Topo map showing the Enchanted Valley area
Original name for AWS site was just Enchanted