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tigermn
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tigermn
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PostTue Sep 15, 2009 9:05 am 
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Another one to tick off the list. Marmot Pass. The hike the book says if you're gonna do one hike in the Olympics this should be it. Personally I might not go quite that far but it was a great hike.
Marmot Pass
Marmot Pass

I was at the trailhead just before 08:30 and hiking by 08:45.
Parking area at Big Quilcene Trailhead.
Parking area at Big Quilcene Trailhead.

You almost immediately enter the Buckhorn Wilderness and the trail for the first 1 1/3 miles or so is more on the gentle side as it contours along and up the Quilcene River.
Rapids below trail.
Rapids below trail.
Big tree across trail. Easily go under or around to left.
Big tree across trail. Easily go under or around to left.
Easy water access from trail.
Easy water access from trail.
Devils club near trail.
Devils club near trail.

A few very easy creek crossings and little waterfalls as you go up.
One of the small creek/water crossings on trail.
One of the small creek/water crossings on trail.
Little waterfall as you cross one of the creeks.
Little waterfall as you cross one of the creeks.
Most water yet across trail.
Most water yet across trail.

About 2 1/3 miles you reach the first camping area. There was one tent here as I went by.
No fires above here. Just before lower camping area.
No fires above here. Just before lower camping area.
Only tent I would see all day at lower camping area.
Only tent I would see all day at lower camping area.

Now the views start to open up a little more above the camp area.
Views trying to open up just above lower camping area.
Views trying to open up just above lower camping area.
Views trying to open up just above lower camping area.
Views trying to open up just above lower camping area.

You then reach some open areas. The bees were VERY annoying here but just buzzed/followed you and didn't seems to sting/bite or whatever. The way alternates between open areas and some trees. When open the views get better.
Views up towards Buckhorn ridge once it opens up more.
Views up towards Buckhorn ridge once it opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.

The fading flowers.
Flowers or what's left of them on trail to Marmot Pass.
Flowers or what's left of them on trail to Marmot Pass.

I think this might be a more direct way up to Buckhorn.
Possible boot path up towards Buckhorn on way to Marmot Pass.
Possible boot path up towards Buckhorn on way to Marmot Pass.
Views up towards Buckhorn from possible bootpath area.
Views up towards Buckhorn from possible bootpath area.

It just gets better and better. Also the bees seemed less (but not gone) as I went up.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.
Views as trail to Marmot Pass opens up more.

Back in the trees you reach the next camp area. Camp Mystery on the map. Various campsites and plenty of water.
Camp Mystery area.
Camp Mystery area.

Passing the camp it opens up again with more views before the final wrap around the cliffs to the basin area.
Views just past Camp Mystery as it opens up a bit.
Views just past Camp Mystery as it opens up a bit.
Views just past Camp Mystery as it opens up a bit.
Views just past Camp Mystery as it opens up a bit.
Views just past Camp Mystery as it opens up a bit with Moon in the shot.
Views just past Camp Mystery as it opens up a bit with Moon in the shot.
Moon above cliffs nearing Marmot Pass.
Moon above cliffs nearing Marmot Pass.
Views back down valley nearing Marmot Pass.
Views back down valley nearing Marmot Pass.

As you round the corner you enter a basin and can see the destination.
Views arriving at basin just below Marmot Pass.
Views arriving at basin just below Marmot Pass.
Zoom of sign up at Marmot Pass from basin below.
Zoom of sign up at Marmot Pass from basin below.

After a bit over 2 1/2 hours and about 5.5 miles Marmot Pass is reached. No one up there.
Sign at Marmot Pass.
Sign at Marmot Pass.
Views looking towards Buckhorn Mountain from Marmot Pass.
Views looking towards Buckhorn Mountain from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.

I walked to the left up the ridge a very short distance to find a place to sit and eat lunch and enjoy the weather/views. The bugs weren't a bother at the pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass towards Hood Canal bridge.
Views from Marmot Pass towards Hood Canal bridge.
Views from Marmot Pass towards Hood Canal bridge.
Views from Marmot Pass towards Hood Canal bridge.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.

Some peak closeups.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.
Views from Marmot Pass area.

While eating I would see a guy heading up Buckhorn. It looked like basically a trail at least to the first ridge.
Person heading up towards Buckhorn.
Person heading up towards Buckhorn.
Person heading up towards Buckhorn.
Person heading up towards Buckhorn.

Pictures don't do justice.
Views from lunch spot near Marmot Pass.
Views from lunch spot near Marmot Pass.
Views from lunch spot near Marmot Pass.
Views from lunch spot near Marmot Pass.
View from lunch spot with tree in foreground.
View from lunch spot with tree in foreground.

After eating a few more pictures the I decided to head over to the north to check out that trail. You basically have options to go various directions. I wanted to get to the corner of the ridge to see if I could see anything around.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.
Views walking north from Marmot Pass.

I walked maybe 1/3 of a mile to the ridge corner then started to head back. I did notice what appeared to be the turnoff boot path to buckhorn.
Views back to Marmot Pass after walking north a bit.
Views back to Marmot Pass after walking north a bit.
Views heading back to Marmot Pass.
Views heading back to Marmot Pass.
Spur to Buckhorn just north of Marmot Pass.
Spur to Buckhorn just north of Marmot Pass.

Back at the pass it was time to head down.
Marmot Pass elevation 6000 feet.
Marmot Pass elevation 6000 feet.
Final views from Marmot Pass.
Final views from Marmot Pass.
Final views from Marmot Pass.
Final views from Marmot Pass.

I started seeing more people coming up as I descended. I counted 41 I believe. About 1/3 backpackers, 2/3 day hikers.

I lost a hat in the way up. Someone found it and kindly placed it on a rock where you couldn't miss it. Thanks to whomever did that.
My hat found in Camp Mystery area.
My hat found in Camp Mystery area.

A few shots on the way down including again what looks like an alternate route up Buckhorn.
Looking up slopes towards Buckhorn below Camp Mystery.
Looking up slopes towards Buckhorn below Camp Mystery.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Possible bootpath up towards Buckhorn from Marmot Pass trail.
Possible bootpath up towards Buckhorn from Marmot Pass trail.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.
Views on way down from Marmot Pass.

Some fall colors.
Some fall color on Marmot Pass trail near point of entering woods for good on way down.
Some fall color on Marmot Pass trail near point of entering woods for good on way down.
Final views before entering woods for good on Marmot Pass trail.
Final views before entering woods for good on Marmot Pass trail.

After about 2 hours and 10 minutes including a gatorade stop I was back at the car and heading out shortly after. A great trip, perfect weather but could have done without the bees in the more open sections that like to fly around your head and follow you around.

I did contemplate Buckhorn from the pass. The first part at least to the ridge I could see looked pretty easy based on watching that person walk up. Further on what you can't see from the pass/looking at the map it looked like it might get more interesting.
The fact was I just didn't feel up to it physically and decided the pass and minor explorations were enough satisfaction for the day.

--------------
My flickr photo site.
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Criminal
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Joined: 25 Mar 2004
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Criminal
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PostTue Sep 15, 2009 11:16 am 
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It's been years since I've been up there, a really terrific hike too.  Great pics, thanks for the memories!

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Because I am mad about women, I am mad about the hills
Said that wild old wicked man, who travels where God wills. - Yeats
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tigermn
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Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 9251 | TRs
Location: There...
tigermn
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PostTue Sep 15, 2009 5:17 pm 
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I only saw 3 people on the way up. One who was heading to Buckhorn via a direct route passed me.I caught up to him later as he was surveying where to go up at one point.

I passed two others.
When I got to the pass there was no one. When I was eating lunch two people came down the ridge from the south. I saw one guy going up Buckhorn and a couple of other isolated people came from the trail coming from the SW. Hardly a mob scene.

The crowds (41 people) were when I was heading down, they were coming up but at least that was spread over the 5 1/2 miles.
As with just about every hike, go early and beat the crowd to have solitude summit/destination time even on a nice Saturday, but you will meet them on the way down.

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My flickr photo site.
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