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Outdoor adventures, mostly gravel rides, but not always

Marmot Pass

A beautiful alpine meadow filled with wildflowers & views

By the Numbers

Distance
11 miles
Elevation
3500 feet
Moving Time
3h30m
Nutrition
Streams are plentiful until Camp Mystery after which it’s dry
External

The upper meadow at Marmot Pass is one of my favorite locations in the Olympics having hiked there a few times. The WTA reports suggested the wildflowers were in bloom – perfect!

A good sign for the day ahead, Seattle and the Cascades in beautiful morning light.

Sunrise on the drive to the mountains
Sunrise on the drive to the mountains
Seattle in the early morning
Seattle in the early morning

Trail

The trail is in great condition with only a few wet / muddy spots. The WTA had a crew on the trail as I hiked (thank you!). It’s a steep trail throughout most of the hike to the pass covering forest, exposed rocky areas, and a few beautiful meadows.

The trail starts steeply through the forest along the Big Quilcene River with many small waterfalls feeding the rushing waters. It was a hot day and the forest cover provided a lot of relief from the sun.

One of the many rushing creeks
One of the many rushing creeks
The trail leads up steeply from the trailhead
The trail leads up steeply from the trailhead
Peek-a-boo of the mountains
Peek-a-boo of the mountains
Trail through a scree field
Trail through a scree field

Once you hit the scree field the sun really starts to shine but so do the flowers! I spent a lot of time along the trail here and the meadow immediately after taking photos.

View to the ridge
View to the ridge
Lower meadow
Lower meadow
View to the Upper Dungeness Trail
View to the Upper Dungeness Trail
Looking into the range
Looking into the range
Upper meadow with tents
Upper meadow with tents
Flowers growing on the ridge
Flowers growing on the ridge

Last time I went to the summit of Buckhorn Mountain but the weather was much warmer and I had spent a lot more time shooting photos so I opted to leave the pass and head back.

Trail leading from Camp Mystery
Trail leading from Camp Mystery
Trail leading down to the meadow
Trail leading down to the meadow

Along the walk back to the trailhead I marvelled at the massive trees. One tree was almost entirely hollow but somehow managed to be alive with a full crown.

Wildflowers (and a bug)

The hike showcased the variety and quantity of flowers of the Olympics.

Route

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