Tubal Cain Mine, Buckhorn Lake & Marmot Pass


Backpack - Tubal Cain Mine, Buckhorn Lake & Marmot Pass

Preference to 2024 B3 Students until April 6. Leader permission required. This is a two day, one night, 17.5 mile round backpack trip with 2,700 feet of elevation gain. We will ascend flower-strewn meadows to ridges with expansive views across the Dungeness River gorge to the Olympic mountains range. Hike the Tubal Cain Mine Trail to Buckhorn Pass with optional hiking up to Marmot Pass.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 17.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft

We'll meet at 9:45AM at the Tubal Cain trailhead on Friday June 21. Have your pack ready to go including water for the first 2 miles.  We'll be back to the trailhead by early afternoon on Saturday June 22.


Hike Tubal Cain Mine trailhead, the first mile of the trail passing under some 10-foot-tall rhododendrons, which present a lovely display in the early spring.  At 3.5 mi and 4,350 ft the trail passes the site of the old Tubal Cain mine, now just some wooden pipes, rusty wire and equipment.  Soon after crossing Cooper Creek, the canopy opens and the trail begins to switchback steeply through flower fields with expanding views ahead to Buckhorn Peak. 

At 5.5 miles, at a junction continues on the trail, the meadows and views expand until the trail reaches the broad ridgetop of Buckhorn Pass at 7 mi and 5,700 ft. Enjoy dramatic views across the gorge of the Dungeness River to the peaks of the main Olympics range.  Unless snowmelt ponds remain, you'll need to carry water from Copper Creek to camp here, but the rewards are great!  After lunch, continue rambling along the ridge tops, finding your way up the boulder fields to the top of 6,950 ft Buckhorn Pass, and beyond to the saddle of 6,100 ft Marmot Pass at 8.75 miles.

This is the leader's favorite late-June backpack, with expansive flower fields, panoramic views and the chance to see mountain goats!  It's a dry camp so everyone will have a chance to practice carrying water for the overnight up to the camp.  Many beginner backpackers have really enjoyed this trail in past years!

Gear and food planning details and trail and weather information will be provided by the leader in advance of the trip.


Tubal Cain Mine, Buckhorn Lake & Marmot Pass

  • Green Trails Tyler Peak No. 136

    Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S

    Custom Correct Buckhorn Wilderness

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

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports