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Tunnel Creek Trail is a 14.7 mile out and back trail located near Quilcene, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until October.

Length 14.7 mi Elevation gain 7,365 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Hiking

Forest

River

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No dogs

Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

A federal Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here

Olympic National Forest Quilcene Ranger Sttion 295142 U.S. 101 South Quilcene, WA 98376 Tel: 360.765.2200

From Quilcene, 1 mile south on U.S. 101 to Penny Creek Road. Turn right and drive 1.5 miles to Big Quilcene Road. Stay left at the Y and drive 3 miles to Forest Service Road 2740. Stay to the left at this Y and drive 6.5 miles to the trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (57)
Photos (103)
Recordings (41)
Completed (96)
Matt Wurdeman
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HikingBlowdownBugsMuddy
View Matt's Recording
Grady Reynolds
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
HikingMuddy
View Grady's Recording
Matt Wurdeman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddy
View Matt's Recording
Mary Beth Petruska
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2020
Hiking

This is one of the most beautiful river trails in the Olympics. Gradual incline to the shelter and bridge, enough to get your heart rate up but never strenuous. Beyond the bridge the trail is steeper as it heads to the lake (more like a pond) and to the pass. I had to use my GPS to actually find the pass at 5050’ as there is no sign or anything and there are several crisscrossing paths when you get to that point. If you keep going on the path from the 5050’ spot, that will lead you up to the peak. It was a great hike although it was totally socked in and we had no views.

View Mary Beth's Recording
Jake H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

Went to 5050 Pass via north trailhead. There are a couple of trees that are pretty easy to get around/over. Overall the trail is in great shape.

View Jake's Recording
Alec Lynch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2020
HikingBugsSnow
View Alec 's Recording
Sara Welsh
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Hiking

Gorgeous trail. Went from the North trailhead. The first portion following Tunnel Creek in my opinion were the most difficult, a steady and sneaky incline, deceptively exhausting. Once you cross the river on the bridge it’s switchbacks, to the ridge. More snow the expected but was fine with only boots. The biggest issue was determining where the trail was especially just past Harrison Lake- continue you’re climb UP. I’m a little nervous about hikes but didn’t have an issue on this trail. We abandoned our dreams of lunch on the peak as it was completely socked in, but a gorgeous day nonetheless, will be going back to get some views. Instagram for more questions -@swelsh_

View Sara's Recording
Jason Greenspane
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HikingBlowdownSnow

Hiked on 05/20/20. Trail is in pretty good condition with a couple trees down along the way to the shelter and bridge. As others have said, the climb begins after the bridge and we encounter some snow fields we had to cross during this section. The snow increased with the elevation and was still pretty thick up at Harrison Lake with some wayfinding that was not too difficult given the footprints. It was pretty cloudy the day we went and we did not hike up to the ledge due to clouds and snow conditions.

Ivan Quintero
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HikingIcySnow

Easy to get to TH. Fairly pot hole free but a lot of blind corners. Trail is well kept with a fair amount of up and down for the first half. Once you pass bridge the fun uphill begins. Started at 8am hikes to pass ate lunch then got back to car before 2pm.

View Ivan's Recording
Oscar N Barbara Zamudio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2019
Hiking

Good quick afternoon hike

View Oscar N Barbara's Recording
Amber Burch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 4, 2019
HikingRocky

We did this trail from Big Quilcene Road to 5050 Pass (about 5 miles each way). Moderate uphill to the shelter, then steep and punishing switchbacks after you cross the creek. The view at the top of the pass is beautiful, and there are some big rocky areas great for lunch. We went on July 4 and saw only 4 other hiking parties - this is a great trail if you like solitude.

Willow Sells
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 28, 2019
Hiking

I took the tunnel creek trail from the north trailhead to the shelter, wanting to check on conditions while I had a small amount of time to spare. There is a very large blowdown just a short way down the trail, which has at least two ways around, but the trail does seem to disappear for a moment there. There's at least one other spot where one has to choose between an awkward game of limbo or a climb over a trunk. There is definitely still snow even this early on in the trail. It was a total non-issue to traverse but definitely made me wonder how it is further up the trail. It was really interesting to see how much a difference it made being on the north side of the creek (which I assume gets more sun); you can see good stretches of snow on the far side of the creek long before the trail starts showing snow. Since the trail passes over to that side a little further than I went, I imagine that also affects things. Hopefully only microspikes are needed to get to the pass, but I really don't know! I definitely felt like I was in the wilderness. Saw one young man with a dog (on a leash! kudos to him; I feel like everyone let's their dogs off leash, with no regard to any rules) when I was first heading out, and a pair of people looking like they were just going for a stroll when I was nearly back to my car. There wasn't much trash, either -- I grabbed what were probably the remnants of someone not packing out their TP, and a couple of odds and ends at the shelter, but that was all I saw in that regard. This stretch of the trail is definitely not big on vistas, but the forest is really quite nice and there are some spots on the creek that I found particularly enjoyable.

View Willow's Recording
Ken K.
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Outstanding - one of the best views of Mt Constance. Don't stop at the 5050 pass. Continue all the way to the top for the best views.

Jeffrey Curnes
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I discovered this trail by stopping at the Quilcene ranger station. It looked like a good alternative to the busier Lena Lake and Mt Townsend trails. What a pleasant surprise! I was the first on the trail at 8am and only saw eight people the entire day. Harrison Lake is a bit of a disappointment, but push on to the ridge top - totally worth the climb for the view.

Mary Munn
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The trail was beautiful and the view of Mt. Constance was amazing. Also the area had a odor of roasted marshmallows. I'm not sure what plant it was giving off that scent but it was strong all the way from the trail head to the shelter.

jason stafford
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Hiking

**LOST PUPPY** we took our 6 month old puppy on his 2nd hike and he decided to run and not turn around to come back when called. yes, he was off leash, we were switching from his tactical vest and taking a break before hooking him up to his regular collar. another dog came around the corner, he ran to it and then decided to keep going. after 4 hours of up and down the trail, he never came back. His name is Gunner. tan, black face, chest, tail, and feet. hes pretty hesitant with new people , but if you see him or are able to hang on to him, please let the Quilcene Ranger Station know. they have my contact info. THANK YOU! Elizabeth

Deb Cox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 31, 2016
Hiking

This trail is currently washed out, I was there on Saturday the 29th and watched a mud slide happen right in front of me about 1/4 mile from the trail head registration. it is unsafe to cross it it is actively moving at this time and water flowing down it. sadly not safe, I was so excited to go hike this but made the best of my day and found another hike.

Jennifer Mabus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 20, 2016
Hiking

We found this hike on accident actually. We were searching for another trail, and due to poor directions we ended up at this trail head. We decided to just wing it and it turned out to be a great hike! We were hiking at a fairly quick pace and we were definitely sweating and out of breath. There was an area of hornets that wouldn't leave us alone which became really frustrating, but overall, it was a pretty good hike. Some beautiful views at the top of the peaks, but other than that, nothing too different that sets it apart from other PNW trails.

Adam Vega
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2016
Hiking

Great trail! Nice August hike along the river, and once you cross over, it gets moderately steep at times, nice switchbacks, quiet lake on the way up. took about 3 hours to get up to the ridge, and about 2 hours to get back down. got buzzed by some hornets a bit, but the trail is mostly shaded and is kept cool by the river.

Trevor Smith
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Gorgeous. Good progressive incline followed by some solid switchbacks for a quick ascent.

Nyla Helgason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2015
Hiking

Lovely hike on a well maintained trail that initially follows along the creek at a fairly easy level. As others have indicated, once you get past the shelter (approx. 2 mi) and then cross the little bridge, be prepared for some extra work and a little bit of a scramble on a lesser used trail to reach the top, but you will find the challenge well worth the effort once you catch your breath and soak in the view. Blueberries galore to feast on and a view of Harrison Lake along the way!

Gary Jackson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2013
Hiking

A very nice hike today, the weather was gorgeous and despite recent rains, the trail was in excellent shape. The trail guides list this hike as difficult but it really isn't to bad until you start the climb up once you cross the footbridge at the 2.6 mile point. The trail crews have done a good job of clearing out logs and providing drainage. I was hoping to find chanterelle mushrooms but I dint see any but there was a tremendous variety of opther beautiful mushrooms to photograph. The fall colors haven't started yet.There was snow on the ground at Harrison Lake The trail becomes steep and at times a little slippery after crossing the footbridge so a good pair of shoes and hiking poles are very useful. Since I was taking my time and enjoying the scenery, It took me 4 hours to get up to 50/50 pass (elevation 5050 feet). The hike back down to the trail head took 2 hours. Elevation gain 2400 feet, earlier in the season there were problems with hornets but there were none at this time, nor mosquitoes. A nice hike to take a dog. The road to the trailhead was in better shape than on my previous trips.

Jana P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2012
Hiking

I enjoyed this hike today, although it is not a "moderate" hike. I checked a hiking book I have and it is rated "strenuous". Went to the top and back in 4 hours. Gorgeous views!

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