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Quartz Creek Big Trees

South Cascades


South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
View map below


0.4 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 15 ft.
Highest Point: 2000 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

An almost-completely-forgotten nature loop near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. You won’t see the mountain here, but two trailside giants remain from time gone by, and are impressive enough to warrant a visit if you’re in the area.

From the small trailhead, dive straight into the woods and walk along a faint but still fairly easy-to-follow path. While you’ll be able to hear Quartz Creek, you won’t see it. Still, it makes for nice background soundtrack to your loop.

About a third of the way through, see if two enormous old-growth trees don’t stop you in your tracks. Ogle at these giants – easily more than five feet in diameter – before carrying on. A few hundred feet on, a short section of old boardwalk provides a change of pace before the trail turns sharply and heads back to the parking area. Tiptoe out via a separate exit (the loop doesn’t actually meet up with itself) and head back to your car and further adventures.


Quartz Creek Big Trees

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.3932, -122.0749 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Quartz Creek Big Trees (#219)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mount St. Helens (Romano and Theisen – Mountaineers Books)

National Geographic Mount St. Helens Mount Adams Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Buy the Green Trails Mount St. Helens NVM No. 332S map

Getting There

From Randle, turn off Highway 12 onto SR 131. Drive this road for 2 miles before it becomes FR 25, then proceed down FR 25 for 6.7 miles. Immediately after crossing the bridge over the Cispus River, the road forks. Take FR 26 – a rough and unpaved road – for 8 miles, turning right (downhill) onto FR 2608. The trailhead for Quartz Creek Big Trees is 1.3 miles away, at the end of this road, which has seen better days. Be on the lookout for potholes.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Quartz Creek Big Trees

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