Upper Big Quilcene to Marmot Pass
Today was a workout…
We started at the Upper Big Quilcene trailhead and hiked just a bit shy of 6 miles up to Marmot Pass, gaining a little over 500 feet of elevation every mile. It’s not the steepest trek I’ve done, but maybe the longest/most consistent climb I’ve done. It just never stopped going up… well, until we turned around and headed back.
And while we were vexed here and there by the cloud cover, the views we did get once we reached the pass (just shy of 6000 ft elevation) were worth it. The worst part about it, is I think I need to try it again on a day that we know will be clear. I can only imagine the views of the Olympics we’d be greeted with if we did so.
This was a busy trail, if you don’t get to the trailhead well before 9am, you will have trouble finding parking. It was a very popular backpacking destination, with a couple of designated camp sites along the way, and more further up from where we turned around. I do not think it would be much of an understatement to say we came across close to 100 backpackers on their way in. But even with running into so many people along the way, the only time it felt at all crowded was when we stopped for lunch at the campground, and a little bit at the pass itself where it’s a sort of intersection of a number of other trails. Overall it was just a matter of passing people along the way here and there.
After the hike, we rewarded ourselves with a great meal at the Twana Road House/101 Brewery in Quilcene, I’d definitely recommend it and I’m sure we’ll stop again after our next hike in the area.