Tubal Cain Mine and B-17 Crash Site

When we started out at 7am our destination was Mt Townsend. But we never made it. And as Yvon Chouinard would say, ” When everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.”

We had a printout from Google Maps which took us to a dead end. So what did we do? Hiked another trail close by that we knew absolutely nothing about. Yay!

The trail turned out to be the Tubal Cain Trail and it turned out to be epic. As you’ll see in the photos we found an old abandoned mine and the crash site of B-17 that had crashed in 1952.

Starting off from the parking lot the trail gradually climbs up through dense forests with moss and a ton of stream crossings. I kept thinking to myself how nice this hike would be for a beginner backpacking trip. Couple reasons why.

  1. Tons of water
  2. Relatively low elevation gain
  3. Many established campsites along the way
  4. A cave and an airplane crash site to explore!

If you’re looking for a good place to start your backpacking career or just looking for a fairly easy day hike I’d definitely consider this hike. That being said it is on the Olympic Peninsula and is a 3+ hour drive from Seattle. A bit far for some but in my opinion it’s worth it.

Anyways enough chat. On to the photos!

Tubal Cain Trail - 03

A really well maintained trail is always nice

Interesting moss that was hanging on the trees everywhere

Interesting moss that was hanging on the trees everywhere

Tubal Cain Trail - 11

This stuff was all over the trees

Tubal Cain Trail - 06

Tubal Cain Trail - 10

Tubal Cain Trail - 13

Tubal Cain Trail - 14

Tubal Cain Trail - 16

The Tubal Cain Mine is an abandoned copper mine that penetrates 450 meters straight into Buckhorn Mountain.

The Tubal Cain Mine is an abandoned copper mine that penetrates 450 meters straight into Buckhorn Mountain.

Water was running on the floor from somewhere deep in the mountain. On the right side of the path a trench had been dug which was overflowing. Prior hikers had laid sticks, logs and stones to aid stepping through the water.

Water was running on the floor from somewhere deep in the mountain. On the right side of the path a trench had been dug which was overflowing. Prior hikers had laid sticks, logs and stones to aid stepping through the water.

Part of the wreckage from a B-17 flying fortress that crashed in 1952. Of the 8 brave souls who were aboard, 3 lost their lives in the crash

Part of the wreckage from a B-17 flying fortress that crashed in 1952. Of the 8 brave souls who were aboard, 3 lost their lives in the crash

Tubal Cain Trail - 25

Tubal Cain Trail - 28

Tubal Cain Trail - 32

Tubal Cain Trail - 36

Tubal Cain Trail - 33

If you are interested in checking this hike out for yourself here’s the driving directions I used to get to Mt. Townsend, I mean the Tubal Cain Trail :)

  • Peter Johnson

    Looks like some interesting stuff. Were there any good views on this hike?

    • http://www.tothewilds.com/ Luke Montgomery

      Not where we were hiking at. If you keep going on the trail it leads up to Marmot Pass, which as you know is awesome.