Little Quilcene

A less steep approach to Mount Townsend through a conifer forest that opens up to an exposed ridgeline in the last mile. It's 6.8 miles round trip and 2,200 feet of elevation gain. Look for mountain goats.

Getting there

From US 101 turn onto Penny Creek Road (west) and then in 1.5 miles left on Forest Road 27 (Big Quilcene River Road). Reach the road to the Sink Lake trailhead (2,800 ft) in 12.5 miles and the Mount Townsend trailhead (3,300 ft) in another 1.5 miles. Continue on 5.8 mils to Bon Jon Pass and take the right fork to continue on onto Forest Road 27. In 1.3 miles take the left fork onto Forest Road 2820 and drive 3.5 miles to the road's end and the trailhead  (4,100 ft).

on the trail

Follow the Little Quilcene Trail (No. 835) about 2 miles through "Sleepy Hollow" to the Mount Townsend Trail. Turn left (south) and continue 1.6 miles to the south summit of Mount Townsend (6,280).


  • The area from "Sleepy Hollow" to the summit is exposed and can be subject to inclement weather including thick fog, winds, and thunderstorms.  
  • Mount Townsend is a popular destination.  Other routes to it include Dirty Face Ridge, and Mount Townsend & Welch Peaks.
  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 6.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,200 ft
  • 6,280 ft
  • Land Manager: Olympic National Forest
    Buckhorn Wilderness, Hood Canal Ranger District (ONF)
  • Parking Permit Required: Northwest Forest Pass
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Custom Correct Buckhorn Wilderness
  • Green Trails Tyler Peak No. 136
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Dirty Face Ridge
  • Mount Townsend
  • Mount Townsend & Welch Peaks

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