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OUTING | Quartz Mountain Fire Lookout 

Breathtaking views and wildflowers

click to enlarge JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones

Setting out from the trailhead at the Selkirk Lodge just south of the Mt. Spokane summit, the 2.25-mile path to the top of Quartz Mountain winds easily through thick alpine forest. Most of the trail follows a closed service road. Halfway up a deer wanders across the trail, stopping to stare before disappearing again. Near the end, the trail curves to the left and rises steeply. Suddenly, the trees slip away as you arrive upon a jagged peak of actual quartz, pale and shimmering. A breathtaking view rolls down over the adjacent foothills, across Spokane and over to the mountains of Idaho. Wildflowers line the nearby ridges as the descending valley offers an unobstructed panorama of the summer sunset. Nearby stands an elevated 14-by-14-foot fire lookout tower, which is often booked for private overnight stays. Visitors should make reservations early, or respect the privacy of those who did. Enjoy the view, grab some photos and head back down the mountain. ♦

Day: Friday, July 11

Time: 6 pm-overnight

Location: Mt. Spokane State Park

Temperature: 93 degrees

Elevation: 5,129 feet

Hiking distance: 4.5 miles round trip

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