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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Buckhorn Mountain - Big Quilcene Trail, July 2016

6988-foot Buckhorn Mountain is the highest in the Buckhorn Wilderness and ranks as the 23rd highest peak in the Olympic Range. It is named after the appearance of its twin summits, almost equal in height and which were apparently thought to look like deer horns. The route to Buckhorn's West Summit starting from Big Quilcene Trailhead isn't much more than 12 miles round trip and is under 4500 feet vertical. A good choice for those exploring the effectiveness of a third cortisone shot within the same calendar year, let alone having just recovered from surgery in the lower extremity.

Essentially a hiking peak, Buckhorn is a casual outing that culminates in a great view across the Dungeness River Valley towards peaks of the Deception Group just beyond. Other Olympic giants such as Mount Constance are also close by for your viewing pleasure. The high tundra-like summit ridge that extends from Marmot Pass over Iron Mountain towards Buckhorn is unique among the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and to me has a distinct aesthetic appeal.

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