Buckhorn Wilderness

Buckhorn Wilderness

Infobox_protected_area | name = Buckhorn Wilderness
iucn_category = Ib

caption =
locator_x = 18
locator_y = 12
location = Washington, USA
nearest_city = Quilcene, WA
lat_degrees = 47
lat_minutes = 50
lat_seconds = 0
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 123
long_minutes = 8
long_seconds = 0
long_direction = W
area = 44,258 acres (179.1 km²)
established = 1984
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
governing_body = Olympic National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service

The Buckhorn Wilderness is a convert|44258|acre|km2|sing=oncite web | title=Wilderness Acreages: Buckhorn Wilderness | url=http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=NWPS&sec=acreage&WID=83| accessdate=2007-12-02] mountainous wilderness area on the northeastern Olympic Peninsula in Washington, USA. Named after Buckhorn Mountain (6,988 feet above sea level), the wilderness abuts the eastern boundary of Olympic National Park which includes nearby Mount Constance (7,756 ft), Inner Constance (7,667 ft), Warrior Peak (7,320 ft), and Mount Deception (7,788 ft).


The Buckhorn Wilderness, established in 1984, is the largest of the five wilderness areas surrounding the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park. The others are:
* The Brothers Wilderness
* Colonel Bob Wilderness
* Mt. Skokomish Wilderness
* Wonder Mountain Wilderness

The Buckhorn Wilderness is administered by the Hood Canal Ranger District of the Olympic National Forest.


The lowest elevations of the Buckhorn Wilderness are found in the lower parts of the three principal drainages: convert|2470|ft|m at the Big Quilcene River, convert|2700|ft|m at the Dungeness River, and convert|3300|ft|m at Townsend Creek. The highest point in the wilderness is convert|7139|ft|m at the summit of Mount Fricaba, which lies on the western boundary of the wilderness area, shared by Olympic National Park. The tallest peak entirely within the wilderness is Buckhorn Mountain at convert|6988|ft|m. A notable historical site in the Buckhorn Wilderness is the Tubal Cain mine.


The wilderness lies within the rain shadow of the Olympic Range, resulting in a relatively drier climate. Despite this, the lowland forests (below about 4,000 feet) are still dominated by western red cedar, western hemlock, and Douglas-fir, in addition to numerous understory organisms such as devil's club, salal, thimbleberry, fungi, and mosses. Above about convert|6000|ft|m, alpine vegetation prevails where conditions are not too dry. Some slopes, such as the south side of Buckhorn Mountain, are rather arid above tree line due to fast-draining soils, sunny exposure, and low precipitation in the summer months.


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