Quartz Lake Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pagosa Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length9.0 miElevation gain2,837 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsBird watchingDog friendlyForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlife
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (81)
Photos (89)
Recordings (55)
Completed (122)
View user's profile page
Tim Swickard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking
View Tim's Recording
View user's profile page
Ashley Lord-Carnley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
FishingGreat!

The trail was pretty clear of logs. The first 3 miles is a climb up. The last 2 is flat or descending down to the lake. And it’s not 4.5 miles there it is 5. So make sure you plan on 10 mile round trip. My husband and I did this with our 9 and 5 year old daughters, it took us just over 3 hours to reach the lake and about 2 1/2 to get back. The views are spectacular! Plan a day for it, the hike is amazing!

View user's profile page
Bozena Mrozek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
Hiking

We went 4 miles out and back but clouds and drops of sleet made us turn around. Very steep up to pass at 12000 ft and than you cross into high meadows descending to lake. Drive to TH last 3 miles slow and crawling without high clearance but drivable. Spectacular views even if you don’t make to lake.

View Bozena's Recording
View user's profile page
Rick Farbro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Pretty hard. I don’t recommend the hike in sandals. Super easy to stay on trail. Steep sections winded this flatland Okie. Worth it for sure!

View Rick's Recording
View user's profile page
Eva Magaña
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingGreat!No shade

This was one of my favorite hikes! The trail was well marked and they did a good job of using switch backs to make the elevation gain manageable. The trail offers great views and once you pass the key hole the scenery becomes very different. Quartz Lake is beautiful! Definitely push for it and don't stop at the key hole. Also the majority of the dirt road is perfectly fine. In the last 2-3 miles it gets quite bumpy and has some challenging areas but we were able to drive my Toyota Camry to the trail head.

View user's profile page
Chris T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

I have a love hate relationship with this trail. As a flat lander thought we had acclimated after being here for a week. Ha. I puffed the entire way and did I mention I hate heights? The saddlebacks were freaky. We got up to the keyhole and couldn’t fathom going down again to see the lake.... there were also showers around the area. However, the views were simply stellar and probably some of the best hiking ever. Totally worth it! Bring poles. We did it in a slow time of 4:28. That included chill out time at top and picnic lunch on tree in meadow before last ascent. Also... if anyone could be an eco hero... please please bring up an empty garbage bag and stop by the meadow before ascent ... and look in the bush. Some rude moron left a bunch of water bottles and plastic cereal cup. My small daypack was stuffed and I felt awful for seeing that non biodegradable plastic at the top of such a pristine place. also not sure who to even call about it. Ugh.

View user's profile page
Mackenzie Belz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking

This was an AWESOME hike. I recorded 10 miles total, 5 to the lake, 5 back. Elevation gain of 2500ft. Took about 5.5 hours. This trail is TOUGH but if you can get past the keyhole it’s smooth sailing. Awesome views.

View user's profile page
dmjackson22 .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 25, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was not an easy hike for me at all. I am more of a beginner hiker but so glad I had my poles and we stopped a lot so I could catch my breath. The highlight of the day was getting caught in a rain and hail storm around 1PM on the way back and right after “the window”. Walking on the side of that mountain and getting hit with hail is something that I will never forget. Amazing scenic views. I yelled out a lot of F-bombs but once back in my car, I was so happy that I did not turn around before we got to Quartz lake. I have a lot of FOMO! Enjoy!

View dmjackson22's Recording
View user's profile page
Kirsten Skeehan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
Hiking
View Kirsten's Recording
View user's profile page
Lainey Severson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020
Hiking

Hiked 8-23-2020 My new favorite trail. Somehow, every turn brought you into a unique landscape, ranging from craggy mountain ridge to lush green wooded areas. It took us about 5 hours to complete, with plenty of photo breaks and about a half hour at the lake. Distance was 9-10 miles, depending on which tracking device we looked at. Definitely DO NOT stop at the keyhole or you will be missing out on a lot of other beautiful views. The trail is well defined to the keyhole, then can get a bit lost down to the lake. I promise you’ll find it, though. It’s not too steep, but there are spots you may find you need to take a breather. I live locally, hike almost every weekend, and am in decent shape and there were definitely a few spots I was having to catch my breath. The road in was easy. I took my Subaru WRX up it without any issue. Make sure you follow the signs that point you to “Little Blanco Trail” to find the parking area and trailhead. Make sure you are prepared for all sorts of weather. It stared chilly, got warm and sunny, then rained/hailed/snowed on us on the way down. That was from 8:20am-2pm.

View user's profile page
Lynn Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking
View Lynn's Recording
View user's profile page
Jillian Wilhelm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

One way

View Jillian's Recording
View user's profile page
Jan Fedak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
HikingGreat!

We did not quite finish the hike (I hiked to the beginning of the descent to the lake but then had to turn around and return to pick up struggling family members ) but I really liked what I saw. The beginning of the trail is a climb through a series of switchbacks - yes, you are climbing but the grade is gentle enough that it is not a big deal. When you reach the "keyhole", you are rewarded with great views. As others have reported, the road to the trailhead is really beat up. We chickened out, parked about 1.5 miles before the trailhead, and just walked the rest. I saw other SUVs with similar clearance make it, and having walked the road, I am now sure we could have driven it, but parts of it really don't look good.

View user's profile page
Russell Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2020
HikingGreat!

This hike is not for the feint of heart, but the views are spectacular once you get in past 2.5 miles. The first half is hard and rather non-descript (lots of shrubbery) but once you get to the three-mile point it gets easy. The next two miles are easy, all the way to the lake! There are scenic cliffs on the trail from 2.4 miles to 3 miles in. The lake is gorgeous and chilly! Try to swim in it but bring a towel! Definitely a great hike.

View user's profile page
Ursala Hudson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Amazing scenery, rewarding hike. At least 10 miles. After the keyhole, Colorado turns into rocky, green Ireland. This was our first big hike of the year, thinking it might only take us 5 hours, as both my husband and I are in our 30s/40s and moderately fit and have lived at Pagosa’s elevation for 30 years. I hiked this trail when I was 11 with my outdoor club, but not since. It ended up taking us 7.5 hours and my feet were super over this hike by the last mile. I think poles would have been wise. We only passed 3 other groups the whole day. We hiked this trail 8/5 and there weren’t any snow patches left. I believe that the reviewer below that said the hike was shorter and that the roads weren’t bad accidentally reviewed another hike here. I felt fortunate we were in our lifted truck, as the ruts were significant.

View user's profile page
Sammi Alfonso
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

This is an awesome hike. The road really wasn't too bad if you've got 4WD, just go slow. Only the last mile or so of the road is super rough. The hike itself is awesome. Steady incline the first 3 miles or so, nothing too strenuous until right before the keyhole. After that it's pretty easy going. Really beautiful views and a totally different kind of scenery after the keyhole, had more of that 'backcountry' feel to it. Can't wait to do this one again.

View user's profile page
RV & Jeep Life
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

CRITICAL NOTES: 1. There is no trailhead signage for Quartz Lake Trail. All signage is for Little Blanco Trail. But it's the same trail. 2. The road in may have been graded since the prior reviews, as we had no problem. We have a Jeep, but any standard sedan could make it. The last two miles would be slow, but safe. As mentioned, the first 3 miles of this hike will tear your calves out. After that, nothing is too intense. You may be tempted to stop at the keyhole or the group of small tarns afterward, but continuing the final 1.5 miles to Quartz Lake is worth the effort. Be extra mindful of building thunderheads once you're past the keyhole, as your view to the west is blocked by the cliffs. Big storms can sneak up on you. This is a wonderful dog hike, with plenty of tiny water crossings for refreshment, and a variety of sights and smells for puppies and humans alike.

View RV & Jeep's Recording
View user's profile page
Pete Crawford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 16, 2020
HikingSnow

definitely challenged me in a good way. crossing snow fields were a challenge. the elevation gain was incredible. don't be in a hurry on this one. views are fabulous. took us 7 hours to do the hike.

View user's profile page
Conley Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2020
Hiking

I remember as a child watching shows about hikers stuck in the mountains with no hope at all. This hike made me understand the physical and mental torment the great outdoors provide. There is a ton of snow! so gear will be needed, but if you love slip and slides of snow into a pool of jagged rocks then go with no gear(you a beast). Overall I would say this hiking experience was like slamming your big toe into the side of a wall for 6 hours straight. This place will forever be known as “Hoe Mountain” because it absolutely was a major hoe. Follow @harris_hikers on IG

View user's profile page
Ryan Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2020
HikingBugsOff trailRocky

One of the first things I will say is the road is okay up until the last 2 miles. I underestimated the reviews and highly recommend a truck or 4 wheel drive vehicle. It gets extremely rocky and deep dips in the road almost impossible with a 4 door sedan. The hike was beautiful but during this time of the year (May-June) there becomes a point where the trail is covered with nothing but snow and makes it impossible to make it to the lake unless proper equipment is used. We still hiked about 2 hours up to that point. It is a still a beautiful hike and has amazing views. I will be doing it again when the snow melts. AGAIN if you don’t have a high suspension vehicle I do not recommend driving up there. I can’t stress enough it is very rocky and tough to maneuver arriving to the trail head.

View user's profile page
John Ewald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

Attempted this hike May 25, 2020 but, after about an hour, had to turn around due to snow obscuring the trail. Otherwise, it was looking to be a great hike. I'll try again some other time.

View user's profile page
Brenda Turner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 27, 2019
Hiking

The hike itself is absolutely gorgeous. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The views don’t disappoint, and the altitude makes for a strenuous and interesting challenge. The drive to the trailhead is pretty treacherous. Half of it is filled with loose rock, and medium boulders embedded in an unfinished, bumpy, narrow, dirt road that winds up the mountains. Make sure you have 4 wheel drive (I do, and still hated this drive), and make sure you leave early enough to be in daylight. I’d probably hike this trail more if it weren’t for the drive. Maybe it’s just not being from CO, and maybe more experienced mountain folk would find the road easy to drive

View user's profile page
Ashley Grant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 27, 2019
HikingRockySnowWashed out

Very difficult with the elevation, but absolutely gorgeous from start to finish!

View Ashley's Recording
View user's profile page
Jeremy Bundgaard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking
View user's profile page
Jessie Marks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2019
HikingSnow

Absolutely gorgeous trail. I went with my younger sisters (17 & 19) and my dad (48) and we managed it pretty well, although the last mile or so before the lake was pretty difficult. We did the whole loop in 4.5 hours. There’s still snow towards the top that covers the trail in some places making it a bit difficult to cross, but overall an absolutely gorgeous hike with amazing views. We’re from NY so had to get used to the elevation but loved the views of the Rockies

Showing results 1 - 25 of 81