Hike description: This trail starts in the Olympic National Forest, moves through the Buckhorn Wilderness and in 3.6 miles crosses into the Olympic National Park. For the first mile the trail parallels the road before heading up Deer Ridge. It then skirts the ridge all the way to Deer Park. There are beautiful views to the south of the north Olympic peaks. Where the trail comes to the ridge top, one can climb to the ridge for views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island.
This is a strenuous hike but the views are worth the effort. Enjoy your lunch – and a nap – with spectacular views. When it is time to descend you will head back the way you came. No loop here.
Directions: Drive west from Sequim on U.S. 101 for 0.2 miles to Taylor Cutoff. Turn left and go 2.6 miles. Turn right onto Lost Mountain Road and go 2.5 miles. Turn left on Slab Creek Road/Forest Service Road 2870. In about one mile the road forks. Turn right on Forest Service Road 2875 and go about 3.5 miles. There is a large parking area on the right and Road 2878 goes to the left. This is Slab Camp. Park here and walk up Forest Service Road 2875 100 feet or so to the trailhead on the right.
Difficulty rating: 4 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)
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Miles round-trip: 10.4
Elevation: 2,800 feet
Best time of year: June to October
Map: Green Trails No. 136 Tyler Peak and No. 135 Mount Angeles
Pass: None needed at this time
Also: Pets are prohibited on trails in national parks; at 3.6 miles this trail enters the park so that would be where you would need to turn around with your four-legged friend.
Info: Quilcene Ranger Station, 360-765-2200, for current trail and road conditions and pass requirements. Olympic National Forest: www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic; “Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula” and “Olympic Mountains Trail Guide” by Robert Wood, both Mountaineers Books