Tubal Cain Mine


Backpack - Tubal Cain Mine

Spend two nights in the rain shadow of the Buckhorn Wilderness. Climb some summits, take in some great views, then visit the old mine site, Buckhorn Lake, and B-17 wreck. THIS IS A MENTORED TRIP--LEADER PERMISSION REQUIRED

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 18.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,037 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 6,988 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2 mph, 700 ft/hour

We'll meet at the Tubal Cain trailhead at noon. Depending on where you are coming from, the drive to the trailhead could take 4 hours or longer and could involve a ferry trip.  Please take this into consideration when signing up, and when planning to leave. We’ll be ready to hike from Tubal Cain trailhead by 12:30 p.m. Carpooling is strongly encouraged to avoid crowding the trailhead (and to save on ferry tolls). US FOREST PASS/FEDERAL LANDS PASS REQUIRED.


  • Long stretches on steep, rocky, (possibly snowy) unmaintained trails
  • Two nights in a dry camp
  • Wombats (just kidding)

Please note: THIS IS A MENTORED TRIP with Rob Erickson

We'll hike up from the Tubal Cain trailhead and set up camp for a two-night stay at Buckhorn Pass, in the beautiful rain-shadowed Buckhorn Wilderness. Buckhorn Pass is a dry camp (no water at the camp) so on the first day everyone will need to take 3-4 liters of water from a creek we'll pass 1.5 miles before camp, and at the end of the second day we’ll bring water from near Marmot Pass. The second day we will shoulder our daypacks and head towards Marmot Pass.  Along the way we will do some side hikes, including one on an unmaintained trail to the top of Buckhorn Mountain (6988') with terrific views, and a ridge walk to a high point south of Marmot Pass--also on unmaintained trail. These trails may be rough, rocky and steep. And all trails—maintained and unmaintained—may still have snow cover in places.

On the way out on Day 3 we’ll explore the site of the old Cain Mine, visit Buckhorn Lake, and see the scene of a crash of a B-17 bomber. Then we’ll head back to the trailhead and home.

Leader's Permission Required:  When requesting permission please tell leader about your experience with rough, snowy, unmaintained trails that show you can navigate those well.


Tubal Cain Mine

  • Custom Correct Buckhorn Wilderness

    Green Trails Tyler Peak No. 136

    Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S

    Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Extra water storage--4 liters total (e.g., a 2 liter Platy bag and two 1 liter bottles)
  • Microspikes
  • Trekking poles
  • Food protection: Bear canister or Ursack strongly recommended. (Please note: We're not in the National Park, so there are no bear wires. You can hang your own food using a stuff sack and cord designed for hanging food if you want, but only if you are skilled at doing so quickly.)
  • Sun protection: We will be above treeline for most of the trip, including time in camp.
  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel (we might share)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports