Boulder Ridge and Buckhorn Mt.

Boulder Ridge and Buckhorn Mt.Upper Big Quilcene Trailhead: 2,570 ft

Boulder Ridge: 6,440 ft.Elevation gain: 3,940 ft. Distance: 12.6 mi. Time: 6 hrs. 75% alpine. Enjoyment rating 5.

Buckhorn Mountain, Southwest peak: 7,002 ft.Elevation gain: 4,432 ft. Distance: 13.6 mi. Time: 7 hrs. 75% alpine. Enjoyment rating: 5+

Buckhorn from Dirty Faced Ridge

Buckhorn from Dirty Faced Ridge

Overview:For me Buckhorn Mt. is the second best day hike in the Olympics. Only the 19 mile, High Divide, rates higher. From the Upper Big Quilcene River trailhead this is an incredible hike along the Quilcene river to Marmot Pass, where four major trails come together, then another 1.5 miles north, to the top of the southwest peak, the first and highest of the two Buckhorn Peaks. Views are incredible in every direction. Or, if you prefer less elevation gain, turn left, southeast, at Marmot Pass and explore the rocky peaks of Boulder Ridge. Views from here are also dramatic, including a close up of Mt. Constance.

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Mt. Jupitor

Mt. Jupitor: Elevation 5,701 ft.Elevation gain: 3,600 ft. Distance: 14.2 miles Time: 6 hrs. 20% alpine. Trailhead: 2,100 ft. Enjoyment rating: 3

Mt. Jupitor, farthest peak and ridge, from Silver Lake Saddle.

Mt. Jupitor, farthest peak and ridge, from Silver Lake Saddle.

Overview:This is a long 7.1 mile hike up a ridge, which separates the Duckabush and Dosewallips Rivers, to a mountain peak in the Brothers Wilderness which offers gorgeous views of the Brothers Peaks. All but the last mile is in heavy forest with only a few opportunities for viewpoints. But the last mile is very interesting and in good weather, provides stunningly beautiful panoramas. I tend to think of it as a good training hike with a grand reward at the end.

Getting to The Trailhead:From Hwy 101, one mile north of the Duckabush River Road and three miles south of the Dosewallips River Road, look for the Mount Jupitor road sign, turning west. The road number is (2610-010) but may not be on the sign. Stay on this road and follow the signs to the Mt. Jupitor trailhead on the right side of the road. Note that you have to cross private property on the first section of the Mt. Jupitor road and a gate, which is usually open, may be closed and locked.

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Gray Wolf Ridge Peak, Mt. Baldy & False Baldy

False Baldy 6,400 ft.Elevation gain: 3,200 ft. Distance: 6mi. Time: 6 hrs. 100% alpine. Enjoyment rating: 4.

Mt. Baldy 6,827 ft.Elevation gain: 4,000 ft. Distance: 7 mi. Time 7 hrs. Enjoyment rating: 5.

Gray Wolf 7,218 ft.Elevation gain: 5,000 ft. Distance: 10 mi. Time: 9-10 hrs. Enjoyment rating: 5+

Gray Wolf Ridge Peak from Mt. Baldy.

Gray Wolf Ridge Peak from Mt. Baldy.

Overview:This is a difficult but incredible hike up and down three peaks. They stand in a row like gigantic guardians above the Dungeness and Grey Wolf Rivers. The trail is steep but worth every step because of the expansive alpine ridges, great views and solitude. If you just do the first one, False Baldy, it is a worthy goal. Or do two and go onto Baldy, another great hike in itself. If you want the whole experience do all three and end up on Grey wolf Ridge Peak at 7,218, the highest walk up peak in the Olympics.

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Mt. Tyler

Mt. Tyler: 6,364 ft.Elevation gain: 3,264 ft. Distance: 6 mi. Time: 6 hrs. 50% alpine. Trailhead 3,100 ft. Enjoyment rating: 5.

Mt. Tyler right center

Mt. Tyler right center

Overview:This is a steep hike to a gorgeous alpine ridge and peak, where you will see very few people. It is remote, wild and the views are great. Tyler stands on a ridge with four other peaks: False Baldy, Baldy, Graywolf, & Walkinshaw. The Gray wolf and Dungeness valleys fall away on either side. And the trail is southfacing so is free of snow 4-6 weeks earlier than other peaks.

Getting to The Trailhead:It is 16.6 miles from Hwy 101 to the trailhead. Take Palo Alto road off of Hwy 101, 2.8 miles east of Sequim, or 1.5 miles west of Sequim Bay State Park. Drive to the end of the paved road, 8 miles, then turn down and right on forest service gravel road 2880. The sign here says Dungeness Forks Campground and Trails. Drive past Dungeness Forks Campground and hit the junction with road #2870, coming in from your right at 9.6 mi. Continue straight (the road now is #2870) and hit junction with road #2860 at 12 miles, coming in from your left. Stay right and continue up. At 16.6 miles come to a sign with says “Upper Dungeness Trail 2 miles”. At this sign there is an ummarked road (#120 on the topo) going right. Turn right and drive 1.7 miles to the end of the old fire road and the trailhead.

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Gary Huff’s Peak Experiences Cover Photos

Why peaks? Peaks and ridges are wilder than lower elevations. They give me a special feeling of freedom and adventure. Some of my greatest adventures have been just hours from my home, going up peaks or ridges and finding different routes. I’m particularly fond of alpine environments. They’re fun and interesting to explore. I find less people up there and the views are more dramatic. Some of the peaks required three or four hikes in order for me to find the right route. So the route descriptions found in this guide should save you a lot of time and frustration. I have also included a picture of each peak which should help with route finding.

CLICK HERE for PDF – Gary Huff’s Peak Experiences Cover Photos

43 Day Hikes to Peaks in the Olympics Ranked from Easiest to Most Difficult

Author Gary Huff

Author Gary Huff

By Gary Huff

The “Day Hiker’s Guide to the Olympic Peaks” lists 222 peaks in the Olympics. Of those, 74 are hike- able (walk-ups or scrambles) and do not require climbing skills. Approximately 43 of the 74 can be hiked in a day, using the criteria of under 20 miles roundtrip and under 5,000 ft elevation gain. 23 of the peaks require some off trail hiking; the rest are on or near the trail. All the off trail peaks are within sight of the trail and the off trail hiking and scrambling is through rocky areas that minimize damage to plants. 20 of the peaks are walk–ups. The others require some light to moderate rock scrambling. Since I’m a hiker and not a climber, I enjoy the exhilaration of moderate rock scrambling, but avoid steep, difficult rock which requires hand-over-hand climbing and is life threatening if you slip. However, some of the peak scrambles listed here will force you to slow down and focus to avoid injury, so they are not to be taken lightly.

Click on Peak name for link to full article


Length and time are listed as round trip. Elev. gain is listed after distance.

    Key:

  • (w) walk up peak
  • (es) easy scramble
  • (hs) hard scramble
  • (ot) off trail
  • Enjoyment 1 low – 5 high

Blue Mt. – 6,007 ft. 1/2 mi. 100 ft. gain 1 hr. (w) 4
Obstruction Peak – 6,450 ft. 1/2 mi. 300 ft. 1 hr. (w) 2
Eagle Peak – 6,247 ft. 2 mi. 250 ft. 1 hr. (w,ot) 3

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Hawk Ridge

By Gary Huff

Hawk Ridge: 6,350 ft.Elevation gain: 2,550 ft. Distance: 7 mi. Time 6 hrs. Silver Creek trailhead: 3,850 ft. 60 % alpine. Enjoyment rating: 5.

Hawk ridge rises south of Silver Lake

Hawk ridge rises south of Silver Lake

Overview:This is a wonderful hike to a ridge peak just beyond and above beautiful Silver Lake. Silver Lake is one of the finest places in the Olympics. It’s a good fishing lake with easy casting access and is surrounded by peaks on three sides. The best part is that most all of the peaks are accessable by hikers. From the lake 6 peaks can be accessed. The highest is Hawk Peak. Hawk Ridge is second. The others are also fun.

Getting to the Trailhead:It is 24 miles from Hwy 101 to the Silver Creek, Silver Lake trailhead. Take Palo Alto road off of Hwy 101, 2.8 miles east of Sequim. Drive to the end of the paved road, 8 miles, then turn down and right on forest service gravel road 2880. The sign here says Dungeness Forks Campground and Trails. Drive past Dungeness Forks Campground and hit the junction with road #2870, coming in from your right at 9.6 mi. Continue straight (the road now is #2870) and hit junction with road #2860 at 12 miles, coming in from your left. Stay right and continue up. At 16.6 miles come to a sign that says “Upper Dungeness Trail 2 miles”. (An old fire road turns right here and leads to the Mt. Baldy, Greywolf, Mt. Tyler trailheads.) At 18.6 miles come to the Upper Dungeness trailhead. Continue on for 4 miles and at 22.6 miles pass the Tubal Caine trailhead on the right. At 24 miles, on your left, just at a big bend in the road to the right, is the unsigned trailhead. There is parking for a few cars on the right.

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Mt. Townsend North Trail

Mount Townsend JD

Mount Townsend JD

By Ed W
Photos by Gunda, John, Karen, and Ed

July 19, 2010

Hi Monday Hikers and friends,

We had a good turnout for the Mt. Townsend hike via the Little Quilcene trail. At the lower elevations, we had mist and fog driving to the trailhead, but we broke through to brilliant sunshine at about 3500 feet, and were above the clouds the entire hike. Blooming Rhododendrons greeted us at the trailhead, and many other flowers were in their glory along the way, and on top of Mt. Townsend.

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Storm King Mt.

By Gary Huff

Storm King Mt. 2,800 ft.

Elevation gain: 2,200 ft. Length: 4.5 mi. Time: 4hrs. 25% alpine like. Trailhead 620 ft. Enjoyment rating: 4

Storm King Mt. rises above Lake Crescent

Storm King Mt. rises above Lake Crescent

Overview:Storm King is a series of rocky peaks towering above Lake Crescent’s southeast corner. This is a steep but interesting hike to one of those rocky peaks, the highest visible peak from the Storm King Ranger station parking lot. Higher Storm King peaks sit behind this one but this is the one which is hikeable and accessible. And, it is clear of snow much of the year because of the low elevation level. There is some rock scrambling and use of fixed ropes involved but it is not difficult or life threatening. The views of Lake Crescent and the surrounding country are outstanding.

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Moose Mountain

By Gary Huff

Moose Mountain 6,753 ft.

Elevation gain: 1,400 ft. Distance: 7 mi. Time: 4 hrs. 100% alpine. Trailhead 6,150 ft. Enjoyment rating: 4. (Loop through Grand valley is 3,200 ft of elevation gain, 12 miles and 7 hrs.)

Moose Mountain, right center, from Lillian Ridge trail

Moose Mountain, right center, from Lillian Ridge trail

Overview:If you like alpine environments this is quickest way to get there: the trail begins high, at Obstruction point, 6,100 ft. It includes a pleasant 1.5 mile alpine meadow hike along Lillian ridge to a walkup peak 6,536 ft. Then a right turn off the main trail onto a “way” trail which involves some rock scrambling but is easily followed along ridges to the top of Moose mountain. From the top the views of Grand Valley, Grand Lake, Moose Lake, and Gladys Lake are grand! If you feel adventurous you can make it a loop hike by dropping down to the grand valley trail and back up to the Lillian ridge trail by way of the lakes.

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