By Gary Huff
Maynard Mountain Three O’clock Ridge: 4,100 ft.Elevation Gain: 1,060 ft. Distance: 1.5 miles Time: 2 hrs. Trailhead: 3,040 ft. % alpine: 40%. Enjoyment rating: 3+
Overview:Maynard Mt. is a fascinating off trail hike, up rocky, tundra like Three O’clock Ridge. It’s challenging and interesting. It’s a series of small peaks ascending ever higher, each with increasing difficulty. One of the lower peaks, at 4,100 ft. is an excellent destination in its own right. (If you want more difficulty and a longer hike you can continue up to the top peak at 5,065 ft. It is .7 mile further but adds 1,000 more feet of elevation gain and more bushwhacking. (Plan on 5-6 hours round trip for the top peak.) This is a good early season hike, because the ridge is at lower elevation, south facing and loses it’s snow a month before the higher surroundings. The ridge and peaks provide good views of the higher mountains and valleys
Getting to the trailhead:It is 14 miles from Hwy 101 to the Three O’clock Ridge trail. 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 till you see a sign for Three O’clock Ridge Trail on your left at about 15 miles. There is room for two cars to park here on the left. This trail sign is for the trail going down the ridge to the Dungeness River. You want to go up the ridge to Maynard Mountain.
The Off Trail:Go back up the road about 100 ft. Cross the road and make your way up through the trees and steep terrain for about 400 feet, until you reach the rocky spine of the ridge. Here the way becomes more open, the grass short and almost tundra like. Walk up the rocky ridge as far as you are comfortable. At about one mile and one hour of hiking, at 4,100 ft. reach the second small peak, at the end of a second large meadow. This is a great short hike in its own right and offers expansive views. Here you can see Mt. Townsend to the south. Southeast is Hawk Mountain,Tull Canyon and Copper Mountain. West, looming above you is Mt. Tyler. Northwest is Grand Ridge and north is Blue Mountain. East is the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
To get to the top peak ( 5,065 ft.) from your 4,100 foot elevation, head for the notch between the two large rock outcroppings straight ahead, about a quarter mile . This is the key to getting to the top. To get to the notch, drop down into the trees about 50-100 feet and make your way, through trees, around a very large rock outcropping just to your right. After you reach the notch, make your way up through rock, trees and brush, generally staying on the left side of the ridge. Just before the peak you will hit a flatter area, then a final, gradual ascent to the peak
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