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Brothers Wilderness Area

Year Established: 1984

Size: 16,682 acres


Between moss- and fern-laden banks the Dosewallips River and the Hamma Hamma River run cold and clear north and south, respectively, of the borders of The Brothers Wilderness. Only the Dosewallips separates The Brothers from the Buckhorn Wilderness (see below) and only an imaginary line separates The Brothers from Olympic National Park to the west. Distinctively double-summited, The Brothers itself ranks among the most popular climbs in Washington, a Class 4 scramble that stands at 6,866 feet, the highest peak in the area. Through the center of the Wilderness the Duckabush River splashes down a wide and lovely glacier-carved valley shadowed by tall hemlock, fir and cedar. From the Duckabush the terrain rises steeply into a maze-like network of forested ridges that peak on The Brothers to the south and Mount Jupiter (5,701 feet) on the north. In the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, the area collects about 80 inches of precipitation each year, and temperatures stay temperate, seldom rising above 80 degrees F and seldom freezing along the river. The higher elevations get a fair share of snow.

I have hiked the pleasant Duckabush Trail that follows the Duckabush River for 6.2 miles into the park several times, always seeing black-tailed deer and occasionally spotting a black bear or a mountain goat. The Brothers Trail (4.5 miles long) entering from the south provides access to the foot of The Brothers, and the steep Jupiter Ridge Trail (7.1 miles long) entering from the north gives access to the non-technical summit of Mount Jupiter.

Location: Northwestern Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.

Easiest Access: From US 101 about five miles south of Brinnon, WA, turn west on Forest Service Road 2510 approximately six miles to the Duckabush Trailhead.

Season: Early spring through late fall.

Wilderness Fees/Permits: None.

Maps: USGS topographic maps are Brothers (The), Mount Jupiter and Mount Washington.

Olympic National Forest
1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW
Olympia, WA 98512
Phone Number: (360) 956-2402

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