Starting at the Forest Road 90, the 9-mile Summit Prairie Trail begins with a steep climb for 2 miles before crossing Road 9075 near the west end of Quartz Creek Butte Trail 5B. From this point, the trail continues north in a series of switchbacks to the crest of Quartz Creek Ridge. As you traverse the ridge top, meadows reward you with views into the expansive tree-lined valleys of Quartz and French Creeks. The horizon holds snowcapped volcanoes and high open ridges of the Dark Divide.
Before reaching the junction with the Boundary Trail #1, you will pass by remains of the Summit Prairie fire lookout built-in 1929-1930. The lookout was abandoned in the 1960s, but if you use your imagination you can visualize what it must have been like to be a fireguard at this remote location. As you near the junction with the Boundary Trail, a small prairie opens where domestic sheep herds and Forest Service pack stock once grazed in the summer months.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.