White Mountains National Recreation Area

Quartz Creek Trail

  All-terrain vehicle rider on the Quartz Creek Trail in the fall.
 Fall colors can be brilliant along the Quartz Creek Trail.
Constructed by early 20th-century gold miners to access their claims, the challenging but spectacular Quartz Creek Trail winds through forested valleys and over windswept, tundra-covered ridges dotted with unearthly rock formations called tors.

The Quartz Creek Trail is a multi-use trail. Please be prepared to encounter other trail users who may be hiking, biking, riding horses, or driving all-terrain vehicles. With a little common courtesy, the trail can be enjoyed by everyone.

Length: 16.5 miles (26.6 kilometers)

Difficulty: Moderate. This trail includes steep grades, rough terrain (including rocks), sheer dropoffs, and several stream crossings.

Camping: You can camp for up to 14 days anywhere along the trail. A campsite at the end of the trail (by Quartz Creek) is not maintained by the BLM.

Water: The trail crosses several streams. On ridges you may also be able to find water in small springs and seeps, though these sometimes dry up later in the summer. All water should be treated before drinking. 

 Thumbnail image of Quartz Creek Trail map
 Click on the map for a larger image.
Vehicle restrictions:
The Quartz Creek Trail is closed to 4x4 trucks and SUVs, 'side by sides,' and most tracked vehicles (including Argos) that exceed the trail's 1,500-pound GVWR* restriction. Such vehicles are too wide to allow other trail users to pass on narrow sections of the trail.

The area to the east of the Quartz Creek Trail is closed to motorized vehicles. Several trails branch off the trail to the west. This area is open to motorized vehicles, although we ask you to stay on the existing trails whenever possible.

Wildlife: The Quartz Creek Trail offers great opportunities for observing Dall sheep and other wildlife that frequent the flanks of 5,286-foot Mount Prindle, one of the few glaciated peaks in Alaska's Interior during the last ice age. Please watch wildlife from a distance, as sheep in particular are easily spooked.

Maps: Circle B-6 and Circle C-6 1:63360 U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps.

*Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is defined by the BLM as the total weight of the vehicle plus its maximum load/carrying capacity as specified by the manufacturer.