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.
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 River Trail and the combined trails of the Enchanted Valley and O'neil Pass. Follow U.S. Highway 101 to Hoodsport and turn left at the Lake Cushman Recreation/Staircase sign. To go in by way of the Duckabush River drive north on 101 past Eldon until the turn off to the Duckabush River campground is reached.
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
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.