CHS 1 Hike - Marmot Pass & Buckhorn Mountain

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 1 Hike - Marmot Pass & Buckhorn Mountain

We will be hiking to Marmot pass and not continuing up Buckhorn Mountain. One of the great Olympic hikes in the Buckhorn Wilderness! This trail will take us through old growth forest along the pristine Big Quilcene River, then up out of the trees to alpine meadows and views of snow-capped peaks. CHS hike led at a CHS 1 pace (1.5-2.0 mph).

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  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 11.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,600 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 6,000 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0 mph

Marmot Pass is a popular summer hike so we will plan to leave the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center at I-5 exit 178, leaving at 5:45 am to catch the 6:10 am Edmonds to Kinston ferry and arrive at the trailhead shortly after 8 am.  There is a privy at the trailhead. We expect to stop in Quilcene or Kingston for the after hike social and, due to distance and altitude gain of the hike, will be taking an evening ferry back from Kingston.

I hiked the trial in early June and even at that time the trail was almost snow free with only small amounts of mud and water on the trail. Most of the trail was in very good condition with just a couple of small blow downs.  The exception is at a couple of talus rock crossings that start at about 4 miles up the trail. While the crossings are relatively short in distance and with minimal grade, there have been some small rock (baseball to softball size) sliding onto the trail over the winter so these areas need to be crossed with some caution  and I found hiking poles helpful there.  The crossings will be perhaps be cleaned up by the time of our hike.

The last 5 miles of road to the trailhead has quite a few shallow potholes so will need to be driven at 15 to 25 mph.  We did navigate through it in a Civic without issues.

The ferry cost is about $16 per person  and the distance is about 110 miles round trip.


Marmot Pass & Buckhorn Mountain

  • 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

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
Trip Reports