This steep and high alpine trail takes you above Marmot Pass to a red-rock summit with 360 views on a clear day. An unforgettable day hike or an incredible overnight destination!

The climb to Buckhorn Mountain above Marmot Pass is a must see for every PNW adventurer with the endurance to tackle nearly 14 miles and 4,400 feet of gain.  Listen to the rushing waters of the Big Quilcene River as the trail gently traverses up 5.5 miles to Marmot Pass.  Be sure to filter water at Camp Mystery, just below the final climb to Marmot Pass.  This is the last water source until your return trip!  

When you reach the pass, follow the ridge to the right and take the switchbacks up to Buckhorn Mountain.  Take in the views of Mount Constance and the Olympics, Mount Rainier to the south, Glacier Peak to the east, and Mount Baker to the north. At the top, the trail gradually winds along the ridge to the true summit.  In the spring, bright colored wildflowers paint the green slopes.  The final steps are an easy scramble to the top of Buckhorn Mountain!  

*Side note:  If you decide to glissade down from any slopes on this hike, please take off your microspikes / crampons.  Glissading with traction devices can cause serious injury or puncture holes in your leg.

If you live in Seattle, try to catch the Kingston-Edmonds ferry at sunset on your way home!

Check out my video of the hike!

Pack List

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Water filter
  • Microspikes in early season (April-May)
  • Trekking poles
  • Hammock :) 
  • Extra snacks - this is a long day trip!
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RT Distance 14 Miles
Elevation Gain 4400 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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