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Mount Duckabush

Mount Duckabush

Mount Duckabush

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.63190°N / 123.3544°W

Object Title: Mount Duckabush

Elevation: 6250 ft / 1905 m


Page By: OlympicMtnBoy

Created/Edited: Aug 20, 2004 / Oct 8, 2014

Object ID: 152975

Hits: 9430 

Page Score: 83.69%  - 17 Votes 

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Lake Lacrosse and Mt Duckabush

Mount Duckabush is a beautiful peak in the southeast area of Olympic National Park. Along with Mount Steel it guards the head of the Skokomish and Duckabush River valley's. The main fork of Upper O'neil Creek drains from its western flanks into the Enchanted Valley below to the west. It is located about 18 miles into the heart of the Olympic Mountains between the Duckabush, North Fork of the Skokomish and Quinault River systems. It's gently sloping western ridge gives way to a jagged ridge of steep summits, of which "west peak" is the highest. Becuase of it's rural location it is rarely climbed. The easiest route is a short drop and ascent from Marmot Lake 21.3 miles from the Duckabush River trailhead. The rock is frail, and caution should be taken, as always, when climbing in the Olympics.

It has dominating views of O'neil Peak to the southwest, Bumbershoot Peak to the south and east, and Mt Steel to the east, as well as the lovely LaCrosse Basin to the north. Mt Anderson's noble head, along with West Peak, stand out above the basin to the north.

Getting There and Route info

This shows some of the jagged outcroppings to be traversed along the way to the West and highest summit of Duckabush
Mount Duckabush is located at the head of Nine Stream on the North Fork of the Skokomish river, above O'neil Creek and at the head of the Duckabush River. It is a mile to the south and west of Mount Steel. The trails in to the base of Duckabush include the North Fork of the Skokomish trail, The Duckabush, and the O'neil Pass trails. One could also access it from the Dosewallips or Quinault systems, but these are longer approaches, and more for longer stays in the Olympics.

From near O'neil Pass, head south/southeest toward a ridge overlooking the Lake Ben Basin (east of O'neil Peak). This ridge accesses the peaks of Mount Duckabush and is easier and safer to ascend than the glacier on the north face. Ascend the fairly easy ridge to the east untii you reach the tree line around 5,9000 feet or so. There will be a series of jagged false summit rock outcroppings to the east from this point on. Some can be traversed over, but some need to be traversed around on the south side,when possible. The rock in this section is particularly loose and rotten, so be careful when traversing. Avoid traversing on the north side of some of these pinnacles. The snow/glacier on the north face can be quite fragile in later summer and should be avoided in warmer weather.

Once this series of pinnacles have been traversed then the airy and exposed final section heads directly across and up to the true summit. This turns into a high class 3/4 climb straight up to the West Peak, or true summit of Mount Duckabush. There are some sound rock holds, but be wary of some looser rock at all times.

Once the true summit is reached there are still two lesser summits to the east/northeast if wanted. The Middle Peak and East Peak are slightly less elevation. Amazingly the closest neighbor of Duckabush, Mount Steel, cannot be seen from the true summit, but rather from East Peak. It is not recommended to traverse directly to the east for these summits, as the descent to Middle Peak is quite exposed and steep. But I'm sure it is possible if wanted.

Red Tape

Upon climbing onto the first...
Mt Duckabush from Lacrosse Basin

Olympic National Park has a 10 dollar entrance fee as well as 5 dollars per night. Follow the rules of the park for minimal impact on the environment. Parking is free at trailheads.

When To Climb

Mount Duckabush in the early...
Mount Duckabush in the early morning light from the western flanks of White Mountain~August 14, 2004~
Early July through early October is the best time to climb. The mountain is harder to reach in winter since it recieves heavy snow in the area, but river trails are usually open and free from snow in winter time.


Mtn Goat Kingdom
Mtn Goats and the east face of Mt Duckabush

The nearest camping areas are at the Home Sweet Home Campground, Marmot Lake, Hart Lake or Nine Stream. Olympic National Park charges 2 dollars a night for overnight camping. However, other off-trail areas exist in the small tarns around the Hart Lake and LaCrosse Basin areas, giving exceptional views of Mt Duckabush from their calm waters.

Mountain Conditions

Mt Duckabush
Mt Duckabush from Lacrosse Pass

The Olympic National Park website and Ranger Stations provide up to date info on trail and mountain conditions.