Upper Big Quilcene Trail via Marmot Pass is a 10 mile moderately 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
10.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,520 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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.

hiking
19 days ago

It's a continuous climb the whole way. Never too intense, though. And the views across the valley at the top are incredible. Late October it was cloudy, and a couple inches of snow at the top.

trail running
23 days ago

Great views today all mountains are out and looking beautiful!

1 month ago

Very nice trail to do, specially with the nice weather of today. Sure something to do.

1 month ago

Great starting point for multiple other hikes. No snow at all.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail in good condition, no snow yet.

2 months ago

This is a good hike. An ass kicker on the way up but it’s broken up with several great views on the river and waterfalls. Opens up into a valley and campground near the top. We didn’t summit because it was really foggy but I would recommend it on a clear day! Follow all our adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists!

2 months ago

Best of the best. Spectacular hike. At this time of year it seems to be better to summit in the am, in order to catch the views.

3 months ago

Amazing hike.

3 months ago

Absolutely stunning hike. Did the extra 3 miles round trip to the summit of Mt. Buckhorn; worth the extra elevation gain! At the top of marmot pass, the trail intersects with Tubal Cain. Take a right and scramble up the steep trail to reach the summit. Perfect warm day and amazing views of the Olympics.
And the signs to the upper big quilcene trailhead are very visible, including the 2750 forest road.

hiking
3 months ago

Last week, 7-14-18,and 7-15-18, we did an overnighter to Camp Mystery with a day hike above Marmot Pass and back for a RT mileage of 13.4.

Arrived at trailhead, #833 and on the trail by 9:20am. There were about 35 cars in the parking lot and many campers walked by us as we were getting ready. Its fairly steep in the beginning but steeper after Shelter Rock about mid-way in. That said, a good pace can be made upto Shelter Rock, which is big enough to allow camping. After Shelter Rock it's much steeper with hardly any switch backs. It opens up to good viewpoint a couple times.


Not knowing the camping options on the pass, we stopped at Camp Mystery because there was a good site available. It's 5.8 mles in and a very popular place to camp. After setting up camp we hiked to Marmot Pass. Beautiful! A must see. Then hiked left and up to a platue-like peak were it's even more beautiful...with spectacular view of mountain ranges near and far. Beautiful! Camping is also available here. We saw at over 10 tents on top, 4 along the ridge to the top and 3-4 in the meadow below the Pass, with room to spare but you'll have company. Alot of people camped at Camp Mystery stayed at the top to watch the sunset. We opted not to. This was an Awesome hike and one I WILL do again...but camp at the pass.

4 months ago

This trail is amazing. Not for the faint of heart. We went to Marmot Pass and continued up the Buckhorn Mt.

4 months ago

Done as a day hike, but their are plenty of campsites at the top. Absolutely beautiful scenery the whole way up. Discover pass isn't accepted here, so make sure you get a day or national pass at the ranger station.

hiking
7 months ago

Went for our first time today and it was a very beautiful hike. Only made it about 3 miles up and the whole trail is snow and ice. Had our dog and he had a blast. Did not see one person there. Very peaceful and the river and waterfalls are amazing. Will definitely go back during the summer to make it to the top. Hardest uphill hike I've ever done though.

11 months ago

Beautiful! Explore as much as possible. We saw goats on the top of buckhorn and they ran by our campsite during the night

backpacking
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

best mountain views i've ever seen in my life. hikes early july

backpacking
Friday, August 11, 2017

A very strenous but rewarding hike. We camped at Shelter Rock the first night, left our gear at camp the next morning, hiked up Camp Mystery for lunch, and then on up to Marmot Pass. Spectacular wildflowers! There were tons of dogs on this trail, but the trail was too rough for our dog, so we left her with a pet sitter. Be cautious of your dogs' well being if you take them on this challenging hike with rough rock footing and open valley full sun conditions.

hiking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Did this hike this week. Wildflowers are beautiful.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

hiked up to marmot pass and camped. then in the morning hit boulder camp. trail is in great condition. and the views are amazing on clear days

hiking
Friday, June 23, 2017

I did this hike on June 17 with a group and most of us made it to the top of Buckhorn Mountain. One person commented that they were reminded of Hawaii once up on the ridge line. The hike to the pass was a nice gradual up and no spikes were needed but they gave some confidence on the way down. It took a tad under four hours to summit and this was waiting for people as well.

There are no surprises other then the views from the pass and the summit. Well worth the journey to travel there. The road was just graded and despite a crowded lot it was paved most of the way and any vehicle could make it. Add this one to your bucket list of NW hikes, but dont travel all that way just to stop at the pass.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Great day hike, allot of elevation gain but really good trail and gradual grade make it easy. View from Marmot Pass is amazing.

Snow on the top mile of the trail is well packed and easy to traverse.

hiking
Saturday, May 06, 2017

This is one of my favorite trails to hike. The view at the top is amazing. Be prepared to be in the snow for the last mile until around June. Light snow shoes are good to have.

hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

we love this trail. it is always so beautiful and peaceful when we hike. we went in Oct and April this year and was amazed at all the snow. we went about 2.5 miles in because the snow was pretty deep. the dogs love playing in the river, but know in April it is moving pretty quick, so it might not be a good idea for them to get in too far. the kids (13 and 10) really enjoy this hike too.

backpacking
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Loved this hike, it was absolutely beautiful with only a few clouds, which is not typical for the Olympic Peninsula. My father and I hiked in, but we took a different route than normal from our camp spot along the river, about halfway up the trail rather than the typical camping ground just below Marmot Pass on the east side. We decided to check out some rock climbing areas and some of the ridge to the south, so we bush-wacked our way up along one of the streams that joins the Big Quilcene River, found a goat trail, and continued heading along the ridge westward, passing Charlia Lake far below us to the south, and coming all the way around to Marmot Pass. From there we headed back east down the normal trail as marked to our camp ground and headed out that same day. It was beautiful, late June and picture perfect.

backpacking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

We hiked to Marmot Pass and camped just south of Buckhorn. The trail was well-kept and beautiful, but gets steeper the further you go, so be prepared to sweat! We recommend camping around Marmot Pass (instead of Camp Mystery) because the views are incredible! Camp Mystery is the last place to fill up on water before the pass, so plan accordingly. If you camp near Buckhorn, you might even get to eat breakfast with the resident mountain goats! We definitely recommend this hike!

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Amazing trail! Very difficult, went up and back in about 9 hours. Be sure and be prepared for all weather, went up on a beautiful sunny day with not a cloud in the sky and got chased down by a lightening/thunder/rain storm. The views are worth the climb!

hiking
Monday, August 01, 2016

My favorite so far. Nice steady climb and spectacular views. Loved it!!

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Started early at 830. The lot was 70% full already, although I think mostly from people who had gone out the day prior. This is a moderate hike. For me, it doesn't come close to matching the intensity of Mt. Ellinor. Although that hike is shorter. Turning left at the pass is the hardest section but well worth it.

camping
Monday, June 06, 2016

This hike is worth it. It is a moderate hike. If you go up. Be sure to at least go up the ridge to the left when you reach the pass. Even more beautiful up there. If you camp, don't camp at the sites. Camp up on the ridge for sunset and sunrise.

hiking
Thursday, May 26, 2016

I would say this trail may be closer to hard than moderate, but worth it. The unpaved portion of the road on the way in has many potholes. Even driving slowly, we struggled trying not to hit them. The first few miles follow the river and the views are beautiful. I would recommend waterproof shoes if hiking in the spring as you are crossing a few creeks. The first two miles have a slight steady incline, which only increases as you go. We crossed snow a few times starting around 4 miles in. We became a little lost about 5.2 miles in because there was a lot of snow and footprints in multiple directions. It was very windy and snowing at the top.
We saw a black bear on the way back down, about 100 yards away, and were not prepared for anything like that, which was silly on our part.

hiking
Friday, January 08, 2016

Absolutely gorgeous. The connecting trail up Buckhorn mountain is steep, but well worth the effort.

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