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  1. #1
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    Lewis River / Quartz Creek conditions?

    I'm mainly looking for info on the Quartz Creek trail(s). Has anyone been up there lately?

  2. #2
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    It has been a couple years for me, but I do know that the WTA has been sending crews in to clear the trail of blow down this summer and last. I'm not sure if the work has been completed. Try contacting them.

    As for the trail...It is very steep with very buff tread. The first 5 miles varies from steep with a few nice cruzer sections mixed in, but beyond the 5 mile mark, it becomes a grunt. The trail beyond the 5 mile mark is probably one of the steepest trails I've ever been on. Itís one of the only trails above Lewis River not open to motos, so the tread stays pretty nice.

    Not trying to scare you away, it does go through some beautiful forest though.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  3. #3
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    I should also add...When I was on the trail a couple years ago, the trail beyond the 5 mile mark was littered like pick-up sticks with 3-5 foot diameter trees. Hence the WTA working up there. The trail up to this point was in pretty good condition.

    There is a stream crossing of Quartz Creek that can be tough. The creek bed is down to bedrock and is very, very slick. If the water is deep, I'd probably not attempt to cross it.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  4. #4
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    I actually just rode it Saturday. The first 4-4.5 miles were clear except 2-3 logs. After that it was as OHM said, pick-up sticks with old growth. I got within earshot of Snaggletooth creek, and could see quite a few logs down after crossing a half dozen. So I turned back. That being said, those 4.5 miles are a blast. Definitely some steep stuff but it is narrow and raw, feels more wilderness like and there are some amazingly big trees out there. The creek crossing wasn't too bad, but you'll get your feet wet. If you ride it, I'd suggest turning around when you get to a down log that has been partially cut twice and has some blue pin flags outlining a minor re-route. After that it isn't worth it IMO.

  5. #5
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    Quartz Creek is basically unridable after the 4-5 mile mark at this stage, more of an adventure hike and bike. I lost count of how many trees are down, a fair number in large diameters. Many hill side sections of the trail are washed out completely. I disagree with the last post, it's mostly clear the first couple of miles. there are a far number of trees down between said mark and The Quartz Creek Butte trail which while ridable isn't exactly a blast due to having to the downed trees. OldHouseMan stated, it gets REALLY steep at a number of points with loose soil with no grab. Also, not worth doing the Boundary Trail/Summit Prairie porton of the loop. The Moto ruts are so bad on climbs you end up hiking again. Once Summit Prairie descends, the fun begins, but beware the ruts and quite frankly, not worth the effort to get to.

    So if one is into adventure, climbing over trees, and spending about 50% of the time hiking, then Quartz Creek is for you. Other wise, just do the Lewis River trail and tie in the first 2.2 miles of Quartz (turn around at the first big creek crossing). Too many other other good long rides on maintained trails to have at (e.g. 3 Corner Rock).

  6. #6
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    JMW503, Have you ridden Wright Meadow and Craggy Peak? Just curious how the ruts on Summit Prairie compare? Summit Prairie is one of the last trails in the area that I haven't ridden.

    And just for reference, The Wright Meadow and Craggy Peak Trails are two of my all time favorites.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  7. #7
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    Not yet; on the list. Summit Prairie E-to-W ascending ruts aren't bad, just a lot of work after the Quartz Creek madness. That said, you'll still have to hike a few of them. Descending ruts to FR9075 are fine and can be handled at speed, just keep focus 'cuz there are lot's of little surprises, moto rock and branch debris, and sandy loose soil. The problem is getting to it. An out and back from FR 9075 would just plain suck, W-to-E climb is steep initially with a crap load of unridable ruts. At the '4500 mark you'd have a nice ride to Summit Prairie, with a few hikes due more to the sand in the ruts and no traction. Could be worth it if you want to mark it off of your MTB bucket list. Also, the actual Summit Prairie is pretty. Another option would be a more epic oriented Wright to Craggy to Boundary Trail to Summit Prairie. Let's 'o' ruts if Wright and Craggy are rutty as you state, but a ton of epic views (e.g. Adams from SP trail)

    Lewis River / Quartz Creek conditions?-image.jpg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMW503 View Post
    Quartz Creek is basically unridable after the 4-5 mile mark at this stage, more of an adventure hike and bike. I lost count of how many trees are down, a fair number in large diameters. Many hill side sections of the trail are washed out completely. I disagree with the last post, it's mostly clear the first couple of miles. there are a far number of trees down between said mark and The Quartz Creek Butte trail which while ridable isn't exactly a blast due to having to the downed trees. OldHouseMan stated, it gets REALLY steep at a number of points with loose soil with no grab. Also, not worth doing the Boundary Trail/Summit Prairie porton of the loop. The Moto ruts are so bad on climbs you end up hiking again. Once Summit Prairie descends, the fun begins, but beware the ruts and quite frankly, not worth the effort to get to.

    So if one is into adventure, climbing over trees, and spending about 50% of the time hiking, then Quartz Creek is for you. Other wise, just do the Lewis River trail and tie in the first 2.2 miles of Quartz (turn around at the first big creek crossing). Too many other other good long rides on maintained trails to have at (e.g. 3 Corner Rock).
    Sorry to hear about the rough status of trail. This was exactly the same state when I attempted to ride several years back as well. I probably recommend just riding to Summit Praire from Council Lake and back (Boundary trail east to west). I did this several years ago as well and had no down trees, just some sand and moto ruts here and there. When coming back east from top of Summit Praire I took the Round Mt. trail (trail #18?) that is a fun descent with no moto damage that drops you down to upper Rd. 90 a mile or two above Twin Falls CG. Good descent, but had to climb back up to Council Lake via roads and remember bonking hard on this. So bad, I hitched a ride on my way back. Pretty country up there, but definitely rough, loose and mostly non-maintained trails.
    Ride On!

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