Marmot Pass to Buckhorn Mountain Backpacking Trip


Date Hiked: 6/23-24

Total Distance: 13 miles

Total Ascent: 4,414 feet

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Required Permit: None

Dog Friendly: Yes

Location: Buckhorn Wilderness, Olympic Peninsula 

Recreation Pass: Northwest Forest Pass


Marmot pass had been on my list for quite some time. We decided to extend it to Buckhorn Mountain and camp at the base of the summit. We left very early on a Saturday to catch a 6:50 AM ferry to make our trek to the peninsula. I always love an adventure that starts with taking the ferry! A few hours later we arrived to a busy trailhead. The first few miles of hiking are all through woods with moderate elevation gain. 

Views were socked in at first when we came out of the forest. We eventually got to the first camping area and this is the last reliable water source. I ended up carrying up 6L of water up the rest of the way, which was pretty difficult. There ended up being a few snow patches nearby, but would be melting shortly. After hiking out of the valley you reach a meadow area with more camping options. A little more climbing and you are finally at Marmot Pass. There is a cut off for a few trails here, we went right and went on to Buckhorn Mountain. The nice trail we had the whole way turned into loose scree that was made extra difficult with the heavy packs. 

We finally crested the hill to a flat area that was a perfect campsite. It was socked in most of the day, so we relaxed, napped and waited for the clouds to clear.


Later on the views did clear and it was an amazing sunset! We also ran into my friend Lindsey and her group earlier in the day and ended up camping near each other. Love this Washington hiking community! 


We went to bed right after sunset awaiting an early sunrise the next morning. We woke by 5:15 to the most amazing colors. We got up right away, put on our hiking shoes and made our way up to the summit of Buckhorn. It was probably a 20-30 minute hike to the top of Buckhorn Mountain. It was mostly a straight forward hike/ using our hands once and awhile to help us up the rocky bits. From the top we could see all 5 Washington volcanoes, Canada, the ocean and more! Such a great view. 


Coming down from the summit I thought I saw a few goats in the far distance. With a cropped photo, it definitely is goats! We did not see any marmots at Marmots Pass. A deer did come through our camp right before we took off as well. 

After sunrise we were wide awake and went back to camp to make breakfast, pack up camp and hit the trail. 

This was such a great trip with amazing views. I love exploring the Olympics. Until next time! 

Sarina Clark1 Comment