Getting ThereTake highway 101 to Penny Creek Road (about 1.5 miles south of Quilcene). Head west on Penny Creek Road for 1.5 miles and bear left on Big Quilcene River Road (Forest Road 27). Follow this road for 3 miles and turn left on Forest Road 2740. Continue on FR 2740 for 7 miles to the trailhead. The road is very well marked. Just follow the signs that say Tunnel Creek Trailhead.
Tunnel Creek TrailThe Tunnel Creek Trail starts at 2402 elevation according to the MyTopo map (here) or 2600 feet according to the Forest Service trail info (here). The first 3 miles of the trail is a gradual ascent and parallels Tunnel Creek. The trail is largely under tree cover making it a nice choice for a hike during those hot summer days as the tree cover makes the trail cool. After 2.7 miles and just over 1000 feet elevation gain you will reach the Tunnel Creek Shelter at 3700 feet.
Continue on past the shelter about .25 miles and take the bridge across the creek and begin the ascent to Harrison Lake. This is the steepest part of the trail and gains about 1000 feet of elevation in one mile before reaching Harrison Lake at 4750 feet. From the east edge of Harrison lake, Valhalla peak can be seen in the distance.
From here, follow the trail south past the east edge of the lake towards 5050 pass. Take the hikers trail west along the ridge of 5050 pass, and avoid the trail that leads south down to the Dosewallips. The trail to the summit is short and to the point and reaches the summit after about 600 feet elevation gain and 1/2 mile.
Total Distance (one way): 4.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain (est.): 2800 feet
WeatherClick Here for NOAA weather information.
Forest Service Tunnel Creek Trail #841
Washington Trails Association Tunnel Creek Trail