Don't leave Marmot Pass – Upper Big Quilcene off your list of must do hikes on the Olympic Peninsula, and don't be scared off by the nearly 3500 feet of elevation gain in a little over 6.25 miles. The trail is in great condition and the longest section of steeper trail is only three-quarters of a mile.
The trail starts out rolling through forest for the first mile and a half. The small, steep sections are balanced out by level parts perfect for built-in water or snack breaks. After about 3.5 miles, the trail's grade increases, and you will hike steeply for about three-quarters of a mile and then the rest is gentle to the pass.
You start in mysterious forest and hike for 2.5 miles through enormous cedars and hemlocks, old-growth standing silently while the Big Quilcene River babbles along beside you. At Shelter Rock Camp at 3600 feet of elevation, you'll leave the river and begin climbing to Camp Mystery, found at about 5300 feet, 4.5 miles in. Past Camp Mystery you'll hike through a meadow and then up another rise to a second meadow that gives you the view of your goal–the pass.
The pass is home to the junction with the Tubal Cain Trail. A right on Tubal Cain takes you to Buckhorn Lake Camp and the other direction heads to Boulder Camp and a junction to the Dungeness Trail. If you are feeling like bagging a quick summit, the summit of Buckhorn Mountain is attainable in just one mile, but with 900 feet of elevation gain.
The Tubal Cain trail past Buckhorn Lake leads to the old Tubal Cain Mine site as well as the B-17 plane ruins, a popular destination for hikers who access it using the Tubal Cain Mine Trail. From Marmot Pass, the views as well as the backpacking possibilities are endless.
- 11.5 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 3,489 feet
- Highest Point
- 6,000 feet
Hiking Marmot Pass
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.8278, -123.0408 Open in Google Maps