8/25/2011-8/26/2011 Hike: Tubal Cain Trail #840 to Tubal Cain Mine, Buckhorn Lake, Buckhorn Pass, and B-17 crash site in Tull Canyon.

My son Danny and I started off with blue cloudless skies on Thursday Morning.  After driving south from Sequim for what seemed like an eternity we finally reached the trail head and headed off for his first overnight backpacking trip, and my first trip in 6 years.  We easily hiked the gently sloped trail through wild rhododendrons out of bloom, and hemlock forests until we hit the Tull Canyon trail at 3.2 miles.  We dropped our packs, took a quick break, and headed up to the crashed B-17.  The trail is quite steep in places, and was just under 3/4 miles to the plane.  We were glad that we ditched the packs at the trail head, but wished we had brought some water.  After spending some time taking pictures and exploring we headed back down to the Tubal Cain trail, grabbed our packs, and continued to the Tubal Cain camping area. We stopped for lunch and water refill at copper creek, and continued over the copper creek crossing (two rickety logs), and up towards Buckhorn lake.  The long switchbacks across the slopes were covered in green grass and lots of flowers and were breathtaking.  We hiked down to Buckhorn Lake, which was turquoise green, and so clear you could see to the bottom.  I saw several trout swimming around and wished I had brought a pole.  We then hiked up a few hundred feet and found a nice large camp site sitting on the creek and made camp.  I fixed a meal fit for a king which consisted of Easy Mac and hamburger that we had fried up and frozen the night before.  It tasted like filet mignon!.  As I cleaned up the dishes I looked over and found Danny sitting against a log sound asleep!

We hit the tent at 7:00.  I couldn’t get Danny to take off his hearing aid because he wanted to listen to the creek while he slept.  I got a good 5 hours of good sleep before sleeping on the ground got to me, and ended up tossing and turning until daybreak.  The next day we packed up, and headed back to the main trail.  We dropped our packs and took a day pack up to Buckhorn Pass.

The view was incredible!  We continued another 1/3 mile up towards Marmot Pass, but at 6000′ elevation we hit snow on the trail and didn’t feel like negotiating the slope, or hiking over the ridge.

Looking back down Copper creek valley we could see Mt. Baker and the straights in the distance.  We then re-traced our steps back down to the Buckhorn Lake trail, picked up our packs and continued down.  We had planned on making camp at the Tubal Cain camp area, but my brand new bottle of DEET had gone dry (the bugs were horrible), and my hose came off my Camel Back and soaked my gear.  Once we started thinking about Fat Smitty burgers there was no stopping us.  We took a quick break at Tubal Cain camp, re-filled our bottles, and then hiked out non-stop.


8/25/2011: 7.5 miles, 2560′ Elevation Gain, 650′ Elevation Loss.

8/26/2011: 9.5 miles, 1000′ Elevation Gain, 2900′ Elevation Loss.


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