Quartz Creek Trail No. 571

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Length: 7.1-miles (one-way)

Trailhead Facilities: None

Short Trail Summary: This hike description is to junction with the Little Blanco Trail No. 572.

This is a challenging hike with abundant uphill advancement. Begin in a flat drainage be speckled with aspen stands and small rivulets. Reach the wilderness boundary at 1.4-miles where the trail begins a more moderate grade in dying forest that temporarily meanders away from the creeks edge. Cross Quartz Creek at 3.1-miles and climb the rocky switchbacks to a small finger which continues to ascend to a wide basin with pockets of trees. No trail tread is easy to find in the basin and in the summer months tall cabbage and larkspur will block easy forward progression. Occasional cairns mark the path to a stand of spruce and just above tree line and a saddle at 12,240-feet. The junction of the Little Blanco Trail No. 572 is reached after winding around the southwest flank of Summit Peak.

Directions: From US 160/US 84 junction, continue east for 9.7-miles. Turn south onto East Fork Road (FS 667). Continue for 9.2-miles to Quartz Meadow Road (FS 684). Turn south onto FS 684, fording the East Fork San Juan River. Continue an additional 3-miles to the Trailhead. 4WD vehicle recommended (essential) to cross the East Fork San Juan River and continuing to the Trailhead proper.

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