Quartz Creek, Blethen Lake & Rooster Mountain

Hike mainly on decommissioned logging road, with creek crossings at former culvert sites that may be challenging with recent heavy rain or snowmelt along Quartz Creek from the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. The hike to Blethen Lake is 10-11 miles with 2,000-2,550 feet of elevation gain, and the scramble to Rooster Mountain (aka The Ark) is, at 11 miles round trip, about the same length but with 4,200 feet of elevation gain. Enjoy views of Quartz Mountain, Garfield Peak, and other peaks in the Middle Fork moderate scramble with outstanding views of Garfield Mountain and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley.

getting there

Take Exit 34 off of I-90 and turn left onto 468 Ave SE. In a half mile, turn right onto SE Middle Fork Road (Forest Road 56). Drive 12 miles to the Middle Fork Trailhead and then another mile to the Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead (1,100 ft). Road conditions may dictate parking at the Middle Fork Trailhead or along the road to the Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead.

on the trail

Quartz Creek & Blethen Lake

10-11 miles round trip, 2,000-2,500 feet of elevation gain

Hike mainly on decommissioned logging road, with creek crossings at former culvert sites that may be challenging with recent heavy rain or snowmelt. Thsi hikes is described on wta.org as 11 miles round trip with 2,550 feet of elevation gain gain, and in Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region. 1st ed. by Dan Nelson as 10 miles round trip with 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

scramble route

Rooster Mountain/The Ark (5,339 ft)

11.0 miles round trip, 4,200 feet of elevation gain, difficulty: Strenuous 4, Technical 3 or winter scramble

Follow the Snoqualmie Lake Trail to the intersection of the Quartz Creek Trail.  Follow the Quartz Creek Trail as it parallels the creek.  At ~2,400 ft, it switchbacks up the hillside.  Leave trail at any time and head either directly to the west ridge (which requires crossing the creek), or southeast to the south ridge. Scramble either ridge to the summit.

Historically this peak has been called Rooster Mountain and is labelled "(Rooster Mountain)" on the Green Trails Middle Fork Snoquamie map, but peakbagger.com and other recent references refer to it as "The Ark."

notes

  • Guidebook: Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region, 1st ed. by Dan Nelson (Mountaineers Books, 2007).
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 4, Technical 3
  • Length: 11.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,200 ft
  • 5,339 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Middle Fork Snoqualmie No. 174S
  • USGS Lake Phillipa
Activities

Upcoming Activities

CHS Tacoma August Hikes - Quartz Creek & Blethen Lake

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students. Trip will open for registration
Difficulty: Moderate
Sun, Aug 21, 2022
No Prerequisites
7 participants
Registration opens Jul 15
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Quartz Creek
  • Quartz Creek & Blethen Lake
  • Rooster Mountain
  • The Ark
Resources

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