Trip Report    

Day Hike - Quartz Creek & Blethen Lake

Nice and secluded fall hike

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Note the Taylor River Road access beyond Garfield Ledges TH is closing starting 10/18/21 for construction.

    Trail easy to follow, with flagging where it becomes fainter approaching Blethen Lake.  Lots of water and creek crossings after recent fall rains.  Waterproof boots advised.

This was a very nice hike with good scenery and no bugs.   Although the first half or more is a road walk, it has a forest feel.  Watch for the Blethen Lake trail slightly down and to the left after the first set of switchbacks.  If you come to the second set of switchbacks turning right up towards the Ark, you have just missed it.  The route was brushed out on a 2020 S&R mission.  With recent rain there were frequent waterfalls.  We brought water shoes but didn't need them with current water levels. 

quartz creek.jpeg

Some creek crossings were tricky.  The one with the broken bridge can be downclimbed under the bridge, or on the upstream side using a handline that is in place.

There are some views back to Garfield and up to Quartz Mountain, then up to North Bessemer from the Lake.  As you approach Blethen Lake there are many huge old growth cedars.

In search of a boot path to Upper Blethen Lake, we crossed the outlet stream and walked through a boggy area to the SE side of Blethen Lake where a brushed out path leads to the upper end of the lake, but it disappeared into wet blueberry thickets, so we deferred any further exploration to a drier day.  A large spontaneous rockfall occurred on the other side of the lake, shattering the calm.


Mushrooms were prolific.

mushrooms! .jpeg

We took 3 hours up and a bit over 2 on the return, for about 11 miles and 2000' gain.  There were no other parties on the Quartz Creek trail today.