Distance: 2.2 miles (North Ridge Route)
Summit Elevation: 6,628 feet
Elevation Gain: 4,200 feet
Access: Good Gravel
The Castle (Peak 6,628)
The Castle is located between the Dungeness River and Copper Creek drainages, about 2 miles north of popular Marmot Pass. Trails surround the peak but few venture up, if they do, its in summer from the Tubal Cain Mine area. With 728 feet of prominence, The Castle has excellent views of the Buckhorn grouping of peaks and over to the Gray Wolf Peaks. The views of the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island area is excellent as well.
Olympic Mountains Hiking & Climbing
On Highway 101 east of Sequim across from Sequim Bay State Park, turn south on Louella Road. Drive one mile to a T intersection. Turn left onto Palo Alto Road. Follow Palo Alto for six miles until you come to a gravel road signed "Dungeness Forks Campground" and turn right (onto FR 2880). The road drops one mile to the campground and a bit further is a junction with FR 2870, stay left at this junction. Only one more major junction in 2.6 miles, turn right on FR 2870 (formerly called FR 2860), and drive it 6.5 miles to the Dungeness Trailhead.
From the back of the large parking area, head south into the woods climbing south up the hillside. Going south will cause you to be slightly traversing the hillside. After a few hundred feet, the rhododendrons get thick in places. You can avoid these by traversing a bit more to the right. At around 3,200 feet, start heading directly upslope in a SE direction. A minor rib should form and you can take this rib all the way to treeline, and it becomes the north ridge to the summit. The north ridge above treeline never gets too steep and would be safe under most snow conditions.
Looking down the ridge as we get above tree line
First major false summit
Summit on the left with 4 climbers on or near the point on the right
Looking east to Mt. Townsend
Point 6257 and San Juan Islands
Final few feet to the summit
On the summit with a team of 7
4 climbers and a false summit
On the north ridge
The Castle from the East
The north ridge worked great for a March ascent when the road happened to be clear of snow to the Dungeness Trailhead. In summer, a easy route would be hiking up the Tubal Cain Mine Trail to the pass, then ascend the south ridge, over a few bumps, to the top.
Route as viewed from the road to the trailhead