Outdoors

Hike of the Week: Tull Canyon Trail No. 847

Hike description: Tull Canyon is the site of an old mining camp and the location of the remains of a crashed B-17 plane. To get to the Tull Canyon Trail you will hike in 3.2 miles on the Tubal Cain Mine Trail. You will climb just under 1,000 feet through second growth forest.

At 3.2 miles you will come to the signed junction for the Tull Canyon Trail. The Tull Canyon Trail itself is short, just 0.7 of a mile, but it is steep. Take a break at the junction to catch your breath and have a snack. In addition to being steep, there are sections of the trail that are narrow, with some exposure and with a slightly unstable tread. This is not a trail to try to hurry up or down.

Take notice of the abandoned mine shaft above you on the trail. As you pass it on your way up, resist the temptation to explore inside it. Abandoned mine shafts are just that, abandoned; they are not maintained to any safety standards.

The first section of the Tull Canyon Trail is the toughest, quickly gaining about 500 feet to take you to the B-17 crash site. From there it climbs gradually until the trail peters out. There is a lot to explore when you get to the top. Imagine what it must have been like to live in the mining community that once was.

A copy of the newspaper story about the crash and rescue are posted on a tree by the remains of an old log building. Before heading back down the trail, snug up the laces of your boots, adjust your hiking poles for the descent and be thankful that you aren’t having to haul 50-pound sacks of anything.

Directions: Drive U.S. 101 to 11/2 miles west of Sequim Bay State Park and turn west on Palo Alto Road. Or, turn west on Louella Road about 1/4 mile before Sequim Bay State Park. The trailhead is 19.6 miles from the junction of Palo Alto and Louella Road. The unpaved Tubal Cain parking lot is slightly downhill on the right. Be aware that the current route to the trailhead involves a reroute around a washout on road 2860. It will not be reflected in older guidebooks.

Difficulty rating: 4 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult) Miles round-trip: 7.8 Elevation: 2,000 feet Best time of year: June to October Map: Green Trails Tyler Peak No. 136 or Custom Correct Buckhorn Wilderness Pass: None

Also: When cougar sightings are reported on the trailhead notice board, you should take heed and keep everyone together at all times.

Info: Quilcene Ranger District, 360-765-2200; Olympic National Forest, www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic; “Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula,” “Olympic Mountains Trail Guide,” both Mountaineers Books.

Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee. For other hikes, visit www.thenewstribune.com/hiking.

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