Quartz Lake Loop – 13.1mi / 21.1km
In the drainage just south of Bowman Lake lies a chain of three lakes that can be visited via one big looping trail. The trail up from Bowman Lake is a treed walk with very limited views of the lake or up to the surrounding peaks. Once at the ridge, you find a definite line that divides where a former fire consumed everything in its path and where it stopped. From that vantage on Cerulean Ridge, you can make out the Quartz Lake chain.
As you descend back into trees, you’ll come to Quartz Lake. This big lake has the massive, rocky, Vulture Peak at it’s head and is the bigger of the three. There is a campground at this lake for those that wish to break the trip up into multiple days. Back into the woods, you’ll cross Quartz Creek via a bridge and catch glimpses of Middle Quartz Lake. This is the smallest and always seems to have a ton of birds including Common Loons.
Continue through the trees until you catch glimpses of Lower Quartz Lake. You’ll have sparse views of the lake until you hit the campground at its foot. Crossing the bridge, it doesn’t take long to start climbing up the very steep ridge. Once on the other side, you’ll descend back to Bowman Lake through the trees.
Trailhead: Park in the picnic area at Bowman Lake and walk to the boat launch. From there, follow the south shore right, to the southeast, over Bowman Creek and up the ridge.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,400ft / 420m