Quartz Creek Trail #5 is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Skamania County, Washington. It is within Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It is 12.2 miles long and begins at 1,776 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 25.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 9,785 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.
"Hike the gentle trail along Quartz Creek through mostly second-growth forest and stop to check out the rusting mining equipment that was once part of someone’s dream. If you plan to hike past Straight Creek, it is best to go late in the season, when Straight Creek is low enough to be safely crossed. Leaving the trailhead the Quartz Creek Trail heads north and in about 100 yards reaches the junction with the spur trail to Lewis River Horse Camp. If you turn left and follow the spur trail for 0.2 (the sign at the junction says it is /3) mile, you will reach the horse camp. Continue straight ahead at the junction, following the main trail north through second-growth forest with a few larger Douglas firs mixed in. One hundred fifty yards farther along, the tread crosses a wooden bridge over a small unnamed stream. Soon the route crosses another bridge and gets close to Quartz Creek. A short distance after crossing the second bridge, the tread makes a couple of climbing switchbacks and then crosses a small talus slope." Read more
"The Quartz Creek route is a river trail, but not a river valley trail. Sure, it follows the creek upstream, but it doesn’t exactly parallel it. This path weaves in and out of side canyons and up and down small rises and ridges, always working upstream, but seldom coming very close to the waters of Quartz Creek. When it does dip down and access the creek, however, the views are stunning. The creek is a rugged, swift mountain river teeming with trout. Several good campsites are easily accessible, many of them near the shores of the creek, and the scenery near and away from the river is spectacular. The side canyons and ravines are often cut down the middle by rushing tributary creeks that thunder through narrow slots and bound over steep drops. The forest that shades the entire route is dominated by deep, old groves of Douglas-fir and western red cedar, and the high, shimmering cliff walls of Quartz Canyon are beautiful." Read more
"Quartz Creek Trail is one of the most spectacular oldgrowth valley treks in southwest Washington. And after years of neglect, it's getting some love, thanks to the Washington Trails Association. With the exception of a few big blowdowns at the end, the ﬁrst 4 miles to Snagtooth Creek are free and clear." Read more
"Quartz Creek is that most precious of rarities in our region, a significant lowerelevation watershed that has largely escaped the ravages of the chainsaw." Read more
"It’s always a good sign when your trail starts in a well-named place. We start this hike at Summit Prairie, a beautiful location with a well-earned name. The trail rides the crest of the stunning Quartz Creek Ridge, running through wonderful forest and broad wildflower meadows. You can meander at will for 1 mile, or 5, along the ridgetop meadows as you enjoy the views down into the deep valleys of Quartz and French Creeks." Read more