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Quartz Creek Butte

South Cascades


South Cascades -- Dark Divide
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3.8 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1000 ft.
Highest Point: 2770 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2019

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

This trail runs east to west through the pristine old-growth forest in the protected area of the Dark Divide region of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  

The trail descends it's full length down to Quartz Creek, ultimately connecting to the Quartz Creek Trail on the west side. For dendrophiles, you'll want to be sure to note the granddaddies in the area: Douglas-fir, hemlock, and western redcedar scattered in sunlit areas. Some of the trees in this area are estimated to be 500 years old. 

The high canopy of this forest lining the trail makes it ideal for a shady walk on a hot summer day. Sparse understory means you can see quite a distance as you hike on this inviting trail. And the constant descent means you'll want hiking poles since the trail is steep in places. 

The creek is a feeder to the Lewis River and remains flowing throughout the year. You'll have your best experience here between May and October, but keep in mind the blueberries ripen in late summer; August is usually your best bet.   


Quartz Creek Butte

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.1938, -121.7692 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- Dark Divide

Quartz Creek Butte Trail (#5B)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Mount St. Helens & Mount Adams

National Geographic

Trails Illustrated (c 2013)

Mount Adams Ranger District: Washington Forest Service

Gifford Pinchot Forest

USDA (2003)

Lewis River Game Management Unit 560

Washington. Big Sky Maps

Inc. (2014).

Getting There

Drive Forest Service Road 23 to Forest Service Road 90 to the Lewis River Horse Campground.  This Forest Service Road is paved all the way with a few short gravel sections.  Access to road USFS 9075 is 1 mile east from the Lewis River Horse Campground on USFSR 90. This road is 5.4 miles to the unmarked trailhead.  While the road is mostly paved, it is gravel the last mile.  Parking is limited on this gravel road with 4 vehicle spaces about 0.1 mile below the trailhead.  This road also provides access to Summit Prairie Trail #2.  Because alders overarch the road much of the way and can topple, as well as hanging branches, a saw and lopper are recommended car tools.  

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Quartz Creek Butte

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