Did this trail as part of a HAZ group hike on 5-4-02
I found the trail to be somewhat difficult. The first section to the saddle is switchbacks, nothing exciting there. The elevation loss from the saddle is sudden and all at once. In some places, its nearly verticle.
The cables were a great help. Then back up the backside of the mountian. If you go early, you have a good amount of shade on the back side.
Im Glad this trail finally made the list. This is one of my favorites. I prefer starting at the south side at the end of the San Juan road. During wildflower season, it can be spectacular as the trail cuts thru a wide open field of yellow and red. You may want to shuttle as its nearly 5 miles from one end to the other. This really isnt a difficult trail, but the views of the city and the estrella mountians to the south are amazing.
This is not a beginner trail. After about 1/4 mile from the trailhead it takes off in a big way. And it never lets up! If you dig solitude, this is your hike. The trail is in pretty poor shape, there are long stretches of loose gravel and larger rocks on the trail, A real ankle biter if your not careful especially coming down. For the last 1/2 mile, you are on your own. Look for the cairns and stay on the ridge line. The massive quartz boulders are very impressive once you reach the summit. This is a great hike to add to your collection.
This remote hike is one for the resume. I found the trail to be in poor condition. The final 1/2 mile is a scramble on the ridgeline to the top. Keep focused on the house sized boulders of white quartz, and you wont get lost.
You should not attempt this trial alone due to its remote location. You will need a high clearance vehicle to make it to the trailhead.
So anyways, I set out to hike the Quartz Peak trail. I printed out the directions from this website. Unfortunately I mis-read the directions and about 4 miles from the trial-head I turned left instead of right. I'm driving a low clearance Tiburon. When The mileage exceeded the directions, I attempted to turn around and got stuck in the sand. I was unable to get the car free. By now its like 9:30 am and after 2 hours of trying to dig out the car. I set out on foot to find help. I remembered seeing the ranch with the cannon in the front yard, So headed for it. My cell Phone was out of range. OK so I walked for 2 hours in the 95 degree heat. By the time I reached the ranch I was out of water and over heated and of course there was noone home. I did refill my water from the garden hose and rested a minute in the shade of the carport. I set out again and ended up walking a total of 10.7 miles before I was able to get a cell call out. I saw no other human being the whole time. Finally a friend came to get me. It was a horrible experience that could have ended in disaster. Morale of the story: If the directions warn of deep sandy areas, keep your sports car out of it! I still have yet to reach the trail-head of Quartz peak!
We shuttled this one.. One car at south end while we started at the north side. Summit quickly and follow the contours of the mountian for a few miles, then head down. A very nice, peacful trail away from the crowds. One of my favorites
We hit this trail in the middle of wildflower season... The first 3/4 mile or so was ablaze in a carpet of yellow. The mountian was still a bit damp from melting snow from a few weeks ago. Excellent hike, spectacular vistas from the top.
< Insert Witty Remark here >
average hiking speed 1.59 mph
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.