Trip Report: Mt Townsend Loop via Dirtyface Ridge and Silver Creek

On Monday I headed out to Mount Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. Most folks take the Mount Townsend trail #839 to and from the summit, but I was looking for something new and a little less crowded. I decided to take the Little Quilcene trail up to Dirtyface Ridge, then traverse the ridge until I met up with the Mount Townsend trail. After enjoying the views from Townsend, I headed down the Silver Lake trail. Where Silver Creek crosses the Silver Lake trail, I left the established trail and followed the Silver Creek drainage back to the road. From there, it was approx 1 mile on gravel road back to my car.

I’d read a few trip reports that described the Silver Creek route as a bushwhack, but there was no shwacking required. Although the trail isn’t maintained,  there’s a clear bootpath that was relatively easy to follow (of course conditions may change). There were two questionable sections, but as long as you keep an eye out for the flagging you should be fine.

Mount Townsend route
Mount Townsend via Dirtyface Ridge and Silver Creek. Approx 9.5 miles and 3,000 ft of elevation gain.
First ferry of the day from Edmonds to the Olympic Peninsula.
Park at the Tubal Cain trailhead and then walk approx 1/4 mile up the road, keeping an eye out for the Little Quilcene trail heading uphill on the left (trail sign shown here).
Moss-lined trails.


Views from Mt Townsend
More views from Mt Townsend summit
Dropping down Silver Lake trail towards Silver Creek.

A great Monday in the mountains!

One Reply to “Trip Report: Mt Townsend Loop via Dirtyface Ridge and Silver Creek”

  1. That is the scenic route. I came in via the Silver Lake way trail this summer. Glad you were able to find the trail. It’s hard to notice from the main trail off Townsend.

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