Quartz Lake Trail

HARD 21 reviews
#27 of 90 trails in

Quartz Lake Trail is a 9.8 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 birding and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.8 miles
2,834 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips




wild flowers


2 days ago

Similar to comments below, the mileage is wrong on All Trails ... It’s nearly 2 miles longer round trip. But wow - what a breathtaking hike!!! There are panoramas and landscapes in clear view throughout 95 percent of the hike, along with unforgettable rock formations and a “key hole” formation than indicates you’re more than halfway to the lake. We hike regularly, and it took about 2:30 to the lake and 1:45 back with some light jogging on the return. Be sure to get out early if you’re doing a day hike (ideally by 7 a.m). Storms routinely roll in by 1 p.m. This is a stunning and underutilized hike you will never forget. We’ll be back!

12 days ago

My recorder shows 5.2 miles so unless the All Trails took short cuts, their distance is short(4.4 miles). Beautiful lake, worth the difficult hike. We backpacked in with enough gear for 2 nights. Had a trout dinner both nights. She said she would do it again even though it was “brutal”. She carried about 35 lbs on her back so I’m proud of her. Heard some coyotes yelping, saw a lot of deer, a marmot, and some beautiful birds. So far, my favorite hike in the Pagosa Springs area.

23 days ago

The climb at the beginning of the trail until about 3 miles in is significant - about 2500ft of vertical. I completed this trail with my wife and dogs on 7/19/18 and the trail was easy to follow and had been cleared. The scenery is amazing once over 11,250ft - this has to be one of my favorite hikes in Southern Colorado. Highly recommended.

1 month ago

7/2 seems to be lightly trafficked and not particularly beautiful/noteworthy until you start to approach tree line which I'd say is about halfway. From there you've big views with lots of flowers all the way down to the lake. Overall great hike disappointed I only just found it. Took 4.5 hours there and back. Road in is rough but 4x4 not required.

trail running
1 month ago

Drove up in my wife’s minivan. No problem. Consistent climb from start. Trail clear. Once on ridge views are simply unbeatable. Made it to lake in 1:20. Back to car in 2:20 total. Wasn’t hammering, but worked hard. Great views, easy access. Highly recommend.

1 month ago

Amazing wildflowers.

1 month ago

June 27- I only hiked 5.6 miles, but it was beautiful! Downed trees have been cleared from the trail. The first 2.8 miles is almost all uphill, but it was not terribly steep. I saw a great variety of wildflowers. Parts of the trail are in the open and parts go through pine and aspen forest. Also some interesting rock formations. The last 2 miles of the drive up to the trailhead was quite rough. I made it okay in my SUV, but 4 wheel drive would have been better.

3 months ago

The trail looked as if no one had been on it yet this year. It’s a more difficult hike with lots of snow, fallen trees on the path, and streams to cross. I would recommend waiting until late summer to do this hike. We barely made it 2 miles when the trail was completely lost. Lots of fresh bear tracks as well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trailhead is Little Blanco Trail 572. Gorgeous views! Lots of uphill. Once through the notch, the scenery changes and it is a 500ft descent to the lake. We went during monsoon season, nasty weather rolled in quick on our way out. Virtually no trees for the 2 miles from the lake to the notch and down the other side of the slope, watch out for those storms.
I'd do this hike again as an out and back, but only go as far as the moonscape and pond that is just on the other side of the notch. The views are worth going that far. I'd do the lake as an overnighter. Lake has beautiful fish too!! Bring a fly rod, they seem to like the topwater stuff (they turned down worms).
We clocked 12.5 miles there and back, Trailhead at 9,960ft, notch at 12,080ft, lake at 11,540ft.
Favorite hike so far.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

So beautiful! Keep in mind weather can come in from any direction and once you're down at the lake there's some exposed uphill hiking to get back. Go early it's worth it and it's nice and cool, too. My favorite hike for sure!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Go early before the monsoons if you go in July. Wild flowers are incredible this time of year! And be prepared for adverse weather- it can roll in quick!

Monday, September 05, 2016

A very good hike with a diverse scenery. Lots of cool wild life too. I would not say that this is a hard hike. My girlfriend, our 2 dogs, the Pomeranian and I did it in 4 1/2 hours an even had a nice lunch up at the lake. The trail head is marked as Little Blanco.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

This was my first backpacking trip. I went with my ex who is an experienced backpacker/survival guide. It was extremely challenging. I did injure myself on this trip (my own fault). When we were in sight of the lake, I got off the trail, slipped on some loose gravel, and went down deeply cutting my knee (so be careful!). Good thing we had a good first-aid kit. We ended up staying and camping out that night since we had worked so hard to get there. Beautiful lake. Not a lot of loose firewood. Definitely not for beginners. We had a herd of elk come through our campsite that night.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Saturday, August 01, 2015