Quartz Lake Loop Trail is a 13.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Polebridge, MT that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, birding, and backpacking.
Bowman lake was beautiful. Mercantile at pole bridge - turnover pastry was top shelf! Long dusty drive to trail head. We went only to lower Quartz. The trail was overgrown with plants scraping our legs. No views. Felt stuffy and depressing. Lower Quartz lake and bridge and campground were beautiful. Will not do this one again.
This is a very strenuous hike. We took the counter-clockwise route so we reached Lower Quartz first, then Middle, and Upper last. We were told this would be the less strenuous option however it felt like we were going uphill 2/3 of the time. Starts down, then back up to Lower; even ground between Lower and Middle and then up up up all the way past Upper where you get to a ridge line that affords you views of all three lakes. Didn't see many other people which was nice. Windy day and trees were exceedingly squeaky. Countless bear, mountain lion, elk and deer tracks but none spotted. Warning: the road to Bowman Lake is not paved and a slow and bumpy ride, but worth it for the solitude!
Wonderful woodland hike. You start out at Bowman Lake, it was sleepy in the morning with a kayaker just departing on the glassy waters. The first stage of the day is a long, gentle climb up on the north side of the lower Cerulean Ridge. Birds, mountain lion tracks!, and towering trees are the highlights here. When you crest the ridge, the view you are rewarded with is special. Through the recovering post-fire forest, you see the three Quartz Lakes, blue jewels in a brown and green setting. The easy descent to the space between Upper and Middle Quartz lake is peaceful. The lakeshore is a perfect spot for lunch. The walk back to the foot of Lower Quartz lake, maybe 3 miles is rather mucky and a bit drab but the views of the lake from the foot are lovely. Lastly, the climb over the ridge is short but is a steep SOB at the end of a longish day and the final descent back to Bowman is very short but will be wearing on tired knees. We saw 2 people and heard 2 others all day.