Tunnel Creek


Day Hike - Tunnel Creek

Tunnel Creek Trail #841

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 8.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,450 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2 mph

Tunnel Creek TH @ 0830. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/olympic/recarea/?recid=47953 There's no toilet or other facilities at the trailhead. The trailhead is quite a long way from the highway, and it takes around 40 minutes to get there after you turn onto Penny Creek Rd.

I visited the trailhead last weekend. The road is completely free of snow and ice and generally in pretty good shape, however, there are rocks on the road. The large rocks are easy to drive around, but low-clearance vehicles might have trouble getting over some of the small rubble in the road. If we need to work out a carpool arrangement we can meet at the Quilcene Ranger Station.

I recently visited the TH when I was in the area. There's no snow visible from the parking area. I saw several cars in at the TH and there are obviously plenty of people using the trail. Reports put the snow level at around 4000', give or take. We'll go as far as we can go. We're sure to reach the shelter, and probably even the "lake" (it's little more than a large puddle, actually). How much further we can go without snowshoes will depend on what we find when we get there. It seems unlikely that we'll reach Vahalla, but who knows?

At some point, we'll reach snow and then we'll be hiking on (probably) a mix of consolidated snow and frozen footprints. Hiking on snow that's been frozen and thawed several times tends to be more strenuous than hiking  a bare trail, so make sure you allow for that effect when you're considering if you're up for this hike. It's best if you have previous experience in similar conditions, and experience dealing with changing weather.

Light rain and/or moderate inclement weather is not a reason to cancel the hike. Don't register if you're not willing to hike in intermittent light rain, sleet, or flurries.  If the weather turns really sour, I'll probably cancel the hike. TBD.


Tunnel Creek

  • Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S

    Custom Correct Buckhorn Wilderness

    Green Trails The Brothers No. 168

    Green Trails Tyler Peak No. 136

    USGS Mt Jupiter

    USGS Mt Townsend
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports