Forum Index > Trip Reports > Tubal Cain/Tull Canyon/Buckhorn Lake 07/20/2010
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tigermn
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tigermn
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PostWed Jul 21, 2010 7:51 pm 
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In summary:

- The 14 mile gravel road is in very good shape. I only saw like 2 potholes the entire way.
- Rhodies are waining but there were still some pretty ones to see. Not many new buds going on.
- Still a little snow in the upper part of the Tull Canyon trail but nothing difficult. No snow anywhere else on the trail except a small patch near Buckhorn Lake.
- I never did find the mine but then again I didn't look real hard. It is somewhere up the hill presumably one of the near trails will take you there.
-Tons of butterflies on the upper sections around the incredible flower show going on.
-Bugs were not an issue. I did put on repellent but not sure if I really needed it. A few files, didn't see mosquitoes. Wasn't bothered.

In any event I left out of the house about 6AM.

On the 14 miles of gravel road up had 3 separate deer sightings on or just off the road.

Deer on road on way to Tubal Cain trailhead.
Deer on road on way to Tubal Cain trailhead.
Deer on road on way to Tubal Cain trailhead.
Deer on road on way to Tubal Cain trailhead.

I arrived at the trailhead about 08:50. Saw a truck/trailer with a bunch of Llamas. They were preparing for a girl scout 3 nighter.

Tubal Cain north map.
Tubal Cain north map.
Tubal Cain middle map.
Tubal Cain middle map.
Tubal Cain south map.
Tubal Cain south map.
Tubal Cain trailhead parking. Llamas getting ready to take some girl scouts on a 3 day overnighter.
Tubal Cain trailhead parking. Llamas getting ready to take some girl scouts on a 3 day overnighter.

In any event I was on the trail about 09:10. I was 2 minutes out and realized I forgot my trekking poles. Oh well won't need them right?

The first 3 miles is a nice meander up through the Rhodies. The middle section still has some nice flowers but I didn't see a lot of new buds. The lower sections are more done.

Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Early views on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Early views on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on Tubal Cain trail.

After the 3 miles of easy walking reach a junction with the Tull Canyon trail. This would be my first side trip for the day.
Tull Canyon junction/sign.
Tull Canyon junction/sign.

This trail isn't as nice as the first 3 miles. Steeper and rockier in places but no issue. After about a half mile or so you see some artifacts from a  B-17 that crashed in 1952.

More about the incident..


Interesting artifact on Tull Canyon trail before plane wreckage.
Interesting artifact on Tull Canyon trail before plane wreckage.
Plane wreckage just off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage just off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.
Plane wreckage off of Tull Canyon trail.

I decided to continue up to the end of the trail. Views got better and the trail was pretty good.

Flowers on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Flowers on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Flowers on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Flowers on upper Tull Canyon trail.

On the last part I started to run into snow patches. The snow was pretty soft and not really an issue. Still I would have liked to have my trekking poles.

Snow patches in last part of upper Tull Canyon trail.
Snow patches in last part of upper Tull Canyon trail.
Upper Tull Canyon trail.
Upper Tull Canyon trail.
Easy snow on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Easy snow on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Easy snow on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Easy snow on upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views from upper Tull Canyon trail.
Views from upper Tull Canyon trail.

I stopped where the trail ended in a small meadow.

Upper Tull Canyon end of trail in small meadow.
Upper Tull Canyon end of trail in small meadow.

On the way down I passed the two older guys who I had passed on the way up. They were heading up to the ridge above Silver lake to make some sort of a loop. We chatted briefly then continued on our separate ways. In short order I was back on the main trail to continue.


As I neared the mine area the real trail heads off to the right to a  more open area where you have to cross the creek.

Mine artifacts off of Tubal Cain trail.
Mine artifacts off of Tubal Cain trail.
Area towards mine off of Tubal Cain trail.
Area towards mine off of Tubal Cain trail.
Creek to cross to get to other side of Tubal Cain trail.
Creek to cross to get to other side of Tubal Cain trail.

I wasn't crazy about the log crossing. I really needed to eat lunch and contemplate my options. I retreated to a nice little area just off the trail by a small waterfall and ate.

Views from my little lunch spot before crossing creek and continuing.
Views from my little lunch spot before crossing creek and continuing.
Views from my little lunch spot before crossing creek and continuing.
Views from my little lunch spot before crossing creek and continuing.

Back to the creek crossing after a nice relatively bug free lunch. I still didn't like the look of the logs but found an alternate crossing that didn't even involve wading.

Alternate creek crossing.
Alternate creek crossing.

Once across I was on my way up to the more open areas with great views and beautiful flowers. This trail goes up but pretty gently. You really can enjoy the walk.

Across the creek starting to see flowers and more open areas.
Across the creek starting to see flowers and more open areas.
Views going up Tubal Cain trail on other side of creek.
Views going up Tubal Cain trail on other side of creek.
Flowers on upper trail.
Flowers on upper trail.
Flowers on upper trail.
Flowers on upper trail.
Flowers on upper trail.
Flowers on upper trail.
Views from Tubal Cain trail on way towards Buckhorn Lake.
Views from Tubal Cain trail on way towards Buckhorn Lake.
Views towards Buckhorn/Iron mountain from Tubal Cain trail on way towards Buckhorn Lake.
Views towards Buckhorn/Iron mountain from Tubal Cain trail on way towards Buckhorn Lake.
Views towards Buckhorn from upper trail.
Views towards Buckhorn from upper trail.

It doesn't get any better. There were a million butterflies around too. The nasty bugs though seemed absent. I got no bug bites.
Continuing up towards the junction for Buckhorn lake more flowers and views.

Views towards Buckhorn from upper trail.
Views towards Buckhorn from upper trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Views towards Buckhorn from upper trail.
Views towards Buckhorn from upper trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on upper Tubal Cain trail.
Tubal Cain trail nearing junction to Buckhorn Lake.
Tubal Cain trail nearing junction to Buckhorn Lake.

I reached the junction to Buckhorn lake which was about .1 miles sooner than NW trails would indicate. I wandered ahead to see if there was an alternate junction but found none and retreated to head down.

Fork to Buckhorn Lake off of Tubal Cain trail.
Fork to Buckhorn Lake off of Tubal Cain trail.

The trail is pretty straightforward as you mostly descend and climb once a little. There were one or two snow patches but trivial. I missed the lake the first time and ended up higher than the lake at a camp type of area.

Camp area above Buckhorn Lake.
Camp area above Buckhorn Lake.

The trick is you have to turn left before this then the lake is suddenly there.

Buckhorn Lake. Missed it first time. Have to take a sharp left then it's just around the corner.
Buckhorn Lake. Missed it first time. Have to take a sharp left then it's just around the corner.
Buckhorn Lake.
Buckhorn Lake.
Buckhorn Lake.
Buckhorn Lake.
Buckhorn Lake.
Buckhorn Lake.
Buckhorn Lake.
Buckhorn Lake.
Reflection in Buckhorn Lake.
Reflection in Buckhorn Lake.

After a few pictures I decided to head back. I contemplated Buckhorn Pass but had already walked a lot and was somewhat concerned about running out of water.

Views on the way back did not disappoint nor did the flowers.

Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Views heading back down Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on Tubal Cain trail.
Flowers on Tubal Cain trail.

In the meantime I had picked up a decent walking stick. When I got back to the creek crossing I decided to use the logs. I guess the stick gave me enough security. I didn't use the alternate crossing on the way back.

This is the alternate (to the two log) creek crossing. One small section then a land bridge over the deeper part.
This is the alternate (to the two log) creek crossing. One small section then a land bridge over the deeper part.
Creek to cross to get to other side of Tubal Cain trail.
Creek to cross to get to other side of Tubal Cain trail.

I was soon back at the Tull junction. The two guys I had run into on the Tull Canyon trail were sitting there. Turns out they didn't like the steep snow on the other side of the ridge so they didn't go down towards Silver Lake.

I made good time and the Rhodies looked even better in the sun.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.

I would run into the girl scout caravan. They stood aside to let me by. What a cool idea using Llamas to haul your stuff.

Girl Scouts and Llamas heading up Tubal Cain trail.
Girl Scouts and Llamas heading up Tubal Cain trail.

A few more Rhodie shots on the way back.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Rhodies on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Clouds/trees on lower Tubal Cain trail.
Clouds/trees on lower Tubal Cain trail.

I was back at the parking lot about 04:50PM. A long but very satisfying day. About 15 miles and 7 hours 44 minutes car to car with just under 4000 feet of elevation gain but it didn't seem like that much.

This is definitely one I will do again, probably walking straight through maybe all the way to Marmot Pass. The trail is so good/graded that it is really pretty easy/enjoyable walking. Nothing like going up the steep trail through the Rhodies on the Dirtyface Ridge approach to Townsend. This trail has that one beat by a mile for Rhodies and enjoyability.

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half fast
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Joined: 21 Mar 2010
Posts: 1319 | TRs
Location: Living the dream in my motor home
half fast
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PostWed Jul 21, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Great TR and wonderul photos  up.gif  up.gif

Another awesome day for you... how fun !!

I can't wait to see this view with my own eyes...

Views towards Buckhorn/Iron mountain from Tubal Cain trail on way towards Buckhorn Lake.
Views towards Buckhorn/Iron mountain from Tubal Cain trail on way towards Buckhorn Lake.

Thanks for sharing another great day in the Olys !!

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It's all about the fun, oh and maybe the chocolate - half fast
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reststep
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reststep
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PostThu Jul 22, 2010 10:16 am 
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Nice report and pictures.  Thank you for sharing.

I crossed Copper Creek on the larger log downstream a little ways from the logs you show in your picture and that worked well.

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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Shoko
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Location: Graham, WA
Shoko
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PostThu Jul 22, 2010 5:45 pm 
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up.gif Awesome up.gif
This trail was my very first hiking with my dog Max. We couldn't make it to the lake cuz we lost the trail due to snow in early June. Plus we close encountered a huge black bear and found out my dog doesn't care about my life but his own  embarassedlaugh.gif
Your TR brought me a great memory. Thank you for sharing!

I also didn't get to see the plane wreckage site. I'd better go back and check it out before Hulksmash cleans up!  biggrin.gif
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tigermn
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Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 9251 | TRs
Location: There...
tigermn
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PostThu Jul 22, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Shoko wrote:
up.gif Awesome up.gif
This trail was my very first hiking with my dog Max. We couldn't make it to the lake cuz we lost the trail due to snow in early June. Plus we close encountered a huge black bear and found out my dog doesn't care about my life but his own  embarassedlaugh.gif
Your TR brought me a great memory. Thank you for sharing!

I also didn't get to see the plane wreckage site. I'd better go back and check it out before Hulksmash cleans up!  biggrin.gif

Kind of strange to me that any of it is still there considering it happened in 1952, but I guess who would want to try and get all that stuff out of there.. It says they went in and got the stuff they may have been worried about someone else getting ahold of. (The spy plane rumors I guess)....

Various parts and pieces have been moved around in the camping areas and such.

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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Tubal Cain/Tull Canyon/Buckhorn Lake 07/20/2010
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