Quartz Mountain located in Mount Spokane State Park is a classic eastern Washington summit destination. The summit areas views includes a shot to Mount Spokane, Mount Kit Carson to the north, The foothills and the Spokane metro area to the southwest, and the lakes and mountains of northern Idaho. In great weather conditions this mountain and lookout tower has a lot of bang for the buck.
In winter this peak is very popular with cross country due to the fact many groomed cross country ski trails from Selkirk Lodge. Though the lookout tower road on the end isn't maintain in winter the route to the summit lookout tower is very wide and reletively moderate graded.
Quartz Mountain is though more famous for being a summer destination. The direct route to the summit is the lookout tower road from the Selkirk Lodge. It is a very easy hike to summit spanning 4.5 mile and 700 feet in elevation. There are scrambles on this route and the road is very easy to follow. Depending on the conditions of the road (It can have snow as late as June, as it did 2008) a fit person can knock off this summit in about an hour roundtrip.
Quartz Mountain also makes for a very unique overnight destination. You can actually rent the fire tower overnight during the summer months. The lookout tower has great views and if you are visiting Eastern Washington than this would be the ultimate destination for overnight accomadation. It would be great to see the Spokane Valley all lit up at night.
Getting ThereVIA THE SELKIRK LODGE PARKING AREA: From I-90 turn of on Exit 287 and head north on Argonne Road. Head up about 10 miles (the road will change to Bruce St. and the area will turn from suburban to very rural). At the traffic circle about 12 miles north head east (right) onto Mount Spokane Road. Stay on Mount Spokane Road roughly 12 more miles. You wil past Bear Creek Lodge and the ranger station on your left. At the height land you will encounter a four way intersection. Make a right (left is Mount Spokane summit road) at the intersection and a large parking are will be on the right hand side 200 feet from the four way intersection.
Red TapeIn summer there were no fees on the trailhead. However in winter, sno park fees will apply.
CampingThere two options for camping at this park. The is to at one of the State Parks campgrounds (ie. Bald Knob on Mount Spokane). As of 2008 this camping was $17 for a standard side and $24 for a full utility campsite. Here is the link for more camping information .
Your other option is to try to set up reservation at the Quartz Mountain Lookout Tower . Remember this lookout tower does require reservation, but is quiet a unique way to enjoy the mountain.
External LinksQuartz Mountain Lookout Tower
Link for more camping information
Mount Spokane official webpage
Friends of Mt. Spokane. THis page has far better information that the official page
Weather ConditionsIn winter This is your best bet for weather conditions
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