Home Lake - Constance Pass, Upper Dungeness Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Home Lake - Constance Pass - 19.6 miles
Upper Dungeness Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||19.6 miles (9.3 one-way to Home Lake - 9.8 one-way to Constance Pass)|
|Start-End Elevation:||2,540' - 5,800' (5,800' max elevation at Constance Pass)|
|Elevation Change:||+3,260 net elevation gain (+4,615' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Home Lake - Constance Pass - 19.6 Miles Round-Trip
Home Lake (5,308') is located 9.3 miles from the Upper Dungeness Trailhead in Olympic National Park. This small but scenic lake sits near treeline .5 miles and 492' below Constance Pass (5,800'), which spans a divisive ridge between Home Creek (Dungeness drainage) and Pass Creek (Dosewallips drainage).
The trail follows the Dungeness River to headwaters at the top of Home Creek, then pushes steeply above to the lake and pass. Visitors will enjoy diverse forests and alpine meadows with good fishing and many desirable places to camp along the way.
Note that while this route begins in the Buckhorn Wilderness, Home Lake falls within Olympic NP boundaries and specific camping regulations apply:
The trail heads southwest on a gentle grade through hemlock and fir to the Royal Basin Trail split (1.0 miles : 2,650'). Bear left and cross the bridge to remain on the Dungeness Trail. It closely follows the river for the next 1.4 miles to another major log bridge (2.4 miles : 2,965') en route to a spur trail for Camp Handy (3.0 miles : 3,090').
Veer left at the sign for Marmot Pass (3.3 miles : 3,275') and cross the campfire-cutoff sign (3.5 miles : 3,450') to Ghoul Creek. Travel steepens above Ghoul Creek up the east valley wall with breaks in the canopy revealing Mount Fricaba and Mount Valerianos (4.0 miles : 3,785').
Steady climbing leads to Boulder Camp and the Boulder Shelter (6.1 miles : 4,890'), aptly named for bus-sized chunks of granite strewn about the foot of a massive avalanche chute. Scores of snapped trees lay within the avalanche scar as streams trickle through into the Dungeness below.
The trail undulates past Boulder Camp on a direct line toward Constance Peak (6.5 miles : 4,926'). It enters Olympic National Park (7.1 miles : 4,830'), soon after which conditions become quite rough (7.5 miles : 4,870'). The trail emerges from trees (8.0 miles : 4,690') and crosses lingering snowfields in the open upper valley (8.5 miles : 4,685').
Steep grades lead across to and up the west valley wall to Home Lake (9.3 miles : 5,308'). The trail continues 492' above Home Lake to Constance Pass (9.8 miles : 5,800'). Panoramic views stretch across the Olympic Mountains and across the Cascades to Mount Rainier. The trail continues off the pass to meet the Dosewallips River Trail.
- N47 52.692 W123 08.201 — 0.0 miles: Upper Dungeness Trailhead
- N47 52.376 W123 08.630 — 0.5 miles: First access to Dungeness River
- N47 52.137 W123 09.050 — 1.0 miles: Split to Royal Basin - bear left over bridge
- N47 51.633 W123 09.105 — 1.5 miles: Following Dungeness River through forest
- N47 51.150 W123 09.126 — 2.0 miles: Ample river access - trail closely parallels river
- N47 50.880 W123 09.216 — 2.4 miles: Major river crossing over large log bridge
- N47 50.356 W123 09.285 — 3.0 miles: Camp Handy (3,090') spur trail
- N47 50.038 W123 09.289 — 3.3 miles: Bear left at trail split for Marmot Pass
- N47 49.912 W123 09.208 — 3.5 miles: Fires not allowed past this point
- N47 49.490 W123 09.189 — 4.0 miles: Steady ascent through forest - intermittent views
- N47 49.153 W123 09.141 — 4.5 miles: Continuing steady ascent through forest
- N47 48.807 W123 09.106 — 5.0 miles: Continuing steady ascent through forest
- N47 48.515 W123 08.989 — 5.5 miles: Continuing steady ascent through forest
- N47 48.331 W123 08.622 — 6.1 miles: Boulder Shelter Camp (4,890')
- N47 48.203 W123 09.015 — 6.5 miles: Trail undulates - losing altitude before regaining
- N47 47.745 W123 08.996 — 7.1 miles: NPS Boundary (4,830')
- N47 47.418 W123 08.816 — 7.5 miles: Navigating scree and loose rock over trail
- N47 46.986 W123 08.849 — 8.0 miles: Entering exposed glacial valley
- N47 46.690 W123 09.240 — 8.5 miles: Rising on the west side of valley
- N47 46.342 W123 09.535 — 9.0 miles: Final push to Home Lake
- N47 46.262 W123 09.819 — 9.3 miles: Home Lake (5,330')
- N47 46.030 W123 09.989 — 9.8 miles: Constance Pass (5,800')
- Home Lake is the last reliable water source before reaching Constance Pass. Fires are not permitted above 3500', including Home Lake.
- Mountain Goats inhabit upper reaches of this trail. Keep a safe and respectful distance from wildlife.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Olympic National Forest - Buckhorn Wilderness
- No permit is required to camp in the Buckhorn Wilderness, however, a daily fee is assessed at the trailhead or a valid National Recreation Pass must be displayed on the windshield of each vehicle.
- There's a Backcountry Registration board at the Upper Dungeness Trailhead and all are required to register.
- Backcountry Campers will enjoy dispersed camping and are encouraged to use existing backcountry campsites. The three best areas to camp along the route to Constance Pass are:
- Camp Handy - 3 miles from the Upper Dungeness Trailhead
- Boulder Shelter - 6 miles from the Upper Dungeness Trailhead
- Home Lake - 9.3 miles from the Upper Dungeness Trailhead
Olympic National Park
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- There's a $5 per person - per night fee to backcountry camp in Olympic National Park (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange your permit ahead of time.
- Quotas and Reservations are in effect May 1 - September 30 for Royal Lake and the Royal Basin. All sites along Royal Creek, Royal Meadow, Royal Lake, and Royal Basin require reservations, which can be secured first come, first served from the WIC during business hours up to 24 hours in advance. Self registration is not permitted during this time.
- Camp only in established sites, which are located and numbered around the lake.
- Food Storage: Bear canisters are required at Home Lake and Constance Pass.
- Fires: Campfires are permitted up to 3,500'. Fires are not permitted at Home Lake.
- Fishing is permitted in the Dungeness River. The Forest Service abides by all Washington State Fishing Regulations. A fishing license is required within the Buckhorn Wilderness, however, within the National Park and at Home Lake, no license is required and all lake fish are catch and eat. River and stream fish are subject to NPS fishing regulations, which can change seasonally and on short notice.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $5 day use fee to park and recreate in the Olympic National Forest. Self registration and pay envelopes are available at the trailhead. There are several inter-agency passes (e.g. Northwest Forest Pass, National Park Pass) that are accepted and waive the fee.
- Dogs are permitted in the Olympic National Forest and Buckhorn Wilderness, but not within Olympic National Park. Dogs are not permitted at Home Lake.
The following is not permitted in the Olympic National Forest:
- Groups consisting of more than 12 persons and/or 8 head of livestock.
- Starting and/or maintaining open fires, such as camp, cooking and warming fires above 3,500'.
- Gathering wood for starting and/or maintaining open fires or stoves above 3,500'.
- Tethering of livestock to trees and/or other vegetation, except for incidental use not to exceed 30 minutes.
- Possessing and/or transporting unprocessed vegetative matter such as hay, straw, grass or grain. The use of pelletized or certified weed-free feed is required in all National Forests in the Pacific Northwest. This helps prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants.
- Caching or leaving equipment, personal property or supplies unattended for a period in excess of 24 hours.
- Possessing or using any form of wheeled vehicle for the purpose of transportation of such things as people, equipment, personal property, supplies and game.
- Possessing or using a motor vehicle, motorboat, motorized equipment, hang glider or bicycle.
Directions to Trailhead
From the Hood Canal and Quilcene Area:
Drive north on Highway 101 to Louella Road (near the Sequim Bay State Park). Turn left onto Louella and drive 1 mile to Palo Alto Road. Turn right onto Palo Alto Road and continue 5.5 miles to a marked road split. Bear right at the split onto Forest Service Road 2880, then a hard right after .25 miles to remain on FR 2880.
Take Forest Service Road 2880 for 1.8 miles and bear left onto Forest Service Road 2870.
Take Forest Service Road 2870 for 8.9 miles to the Upper Dungeness Trailhead.
A fee station and pit toilet are located at this large trailhead paring area.
Olympic National Forest
Hood Canal Ranger District - Quilcene
295142 Highway 101 S.
PO Box 280
Quilcene, WA 98376
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Staircase Ranger Station: 360.877.5569
Seasonal Hours: June 24 - September 2: Open 8:30 - 5, Friday - Sunday
Quinault Wilderness Information Office