Upper Big Quilcene Trail via Marmot Pass

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Buckhorn Wilderness

Upper Big Quilcene Trail via Marmot Pass is a 11.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Brinnon, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.3 miles Elevation Gain: 3,520 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

snow

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 this Y and drive 3 miles to the Forest Service boundary and Forest Service load 27. Drive 6 miles to Forest Service Road 2750. Stay to the left and drive 4.5 miles to the trailhead.

Overall the trail is in great shape, no obstacles. Some muddy spots and low water crossings. Despite the clouds, fog, and rain the mountains played peekaboo a few times. There is snow the last mile before Marmot Pass.

Gorgeous area that is nice and isolated. Started hike around 8am made it to the opening right before the last 1000 ft gain push to the pass. Due to snow melt last mile is slick with slushy snow, would not recommend if you don’t have appropriate gear or death wish. I had appropriate gear and experience with spring time traverse of snow/snow melt. The last mile is an avalanche, slip and fall to your death or both. Bring an ice axe and know hot to arrest if attempting the last push right now. If you have a vehicle with 8 inches of ground clearance you should be able to make it to TH. Good luck and stay safe bc no one is out there right now. I made it back to my car around 11:45am.

hiking
2 months ago

March 21st, 2020. Got to trailhead at 7:30AM bu was unable to get to the Upper Big Quilcene trailhead due to snow. You really need a big 4X4 to handle it. Turned around and parked at Notch Pass trailhead instead and hiked down 1.5 miles where Notch meets Lower Big Quilcene trail. Hiked a total of 8 miles up towards Marmot Pass but had to turn around due to snow about 1 mile shy of the pass. Hiked back down. Ended the hike around 2PM

hiking
fee
icy
snow
3 months ago

have a capable auto to get there awd might not be enough. snow is packed so bring crampons.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

tried to go on a 3 day backpacking trip and couldn’t even make it up the road. they should have closed the road when i was driving up we had to help some people that were stuck in a ditch and ended up having to reverse down the mountain. very sketchy, would not recommend lots of snow

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

I would recommend this trail to anyone who has experience in hiking. It starts out easy but then it gets harder the more you go up. I also have to say All trails is wrong on their numbers it’s not 5.3 to the summit it’s 6 miles so the total is 12 miles. I recorded with All trails app and another one and both came out to be between 5.7 and 5.9. This was a great hike I would do it again.

Perfect day, sunny, beautiful, trails in good shape. Great scenic lookouts on the way to the top, and nice perch with views at the end. I’m new at longer/hard hikes. The last mile in was hard for me, only because it was the 5th of a continuous uphill climb. Took it slow, got there with plenty of time.

Hike w Kim and Jasper last minute change from lower to upper beautiful day some snow.

hiking
7 months ago

Sweet hike.

hiking
muddy
snow
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Gorgeous, and a steady, gradual climb that doesn't feel like a chore. Meander along the river for the first half before hiking up to the pass; I got to watch the afternoon clouds roll in from above. Potholes on the final leg of the drive out, so take it slow and steer around them!

hiking
bugs
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

recorded Recording - Aug 09, 04:04 PM

hiking
9 months ago

absolutely gorgeous and a solid workout!

Beautiful trail with a lot of shade much of the way up. The Quilcene river still has a good water flow. Views at the pass are great.

camping
blowdown
bugs
muddy
rocky
9 months ago

Went August 3-4 for an overnight camping trip. Started at 1100 made camp at 1430 at Marmot pass. 4.5 miles of gravel road before the trailhead had potholes but saw lots of sedans and suvs at the trailhead. RAV4 was perfectly fine getting to the trailhead. About 80% of the trail is shaded. Somewhat tough time hanging food bag at marmot pass, but doable. Would be no problem at Mystery camp. No water at Marmot pass but a nice stream closer to Mystery camp.

One of my new favorites. So many different terrains with scenery ever changing (eg old growth forest, rocky scrambles, wild flower rolling hills). View at the top is amazing. We even hiked up a nearby connecting trail for 0.8 miles to get even higher. No bugs. We did see 1 black bear approx 200m from trail - way up on a mountain. Plenty of camping spots along the way and even some campers at the top. Plenty of access to drinking water from the river, but note there is no access to water for approximately last mile before the top. No snow on the trail, but nearby mountains are snow capped adding to the serene beauty of it all. We will be back.

hiking
9 months ago

A surprising amount of the road to the trailhead is paved (but not all of it)

Read in a guidebook that if you can only do one hike in the Olympics, do this one. It was awesome! A little cloudy but still great views.

hiking
10 months ago

challenging, but insanely gorgeous trail. definitely reccomend wearing something more than regular shoes and to bring trekking poles to make the walk down less excruciating. Will definitely be coming back!

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