The flagship area for snowmobiling in Golden is Quartz Creek, easy access right off the TransCanada highway, large cabin, and groomed trail right into the alpine make it the perfect area for a family ride but also offers technical riding for the experienced riders. Quartz creek borders Glacier National Park and on clear days provides riders with breathtaking views of glaciers, the Beaver Valley, Rogers Pass, Mt. Sir Donald and a myriad of other peaks. Head west on the TransCanada highway out of Golden for 20 minutes until you see the blue sign on the right that says Quartz Creek with a picture of a snowmobile, and turn left into the parking lot.
The Quartz creek parking lot has a new upper section for trucks with trailers and the old lower parking lot is reserved for everyone else; both areas are signed. This is a great place access to the Westbench trail, a 40km groomed trail ride connecting the Gorman lake trail to the Quartz creek . Trail fees are $25.00 payable at the booth near the trailhead. This trail fee mostly goes towards the cost of grooming the trails but a portion goes towards current cabin maintenance and future cabin construction, as well as trail brushing, and administrative fees. The Golden Snowmobile Club spent almost $60,000 last summer renovating the cabin in Quartz creek and has applied for permission to build one in Gorman.
Heading down the groomed trail from the Quartz parking lot takes you up a picturesque valley for about 20 minutes and the trail ends at the cabin just below the alpine. The cabin has a large wood stove with plenty of firewood so feel free to stoke the fire and have your lunch there. Behind the cabin you can find plenty of tree riding in an area called ‘Lost Boys’ to hone your tunnel dance as you negotiate through the tight old growth forest. Or skip the trees and follow the trail up to the left of the cabin into ‘Old Cabin Valley’ where you can find powder filled valley bottom creek beds to play in and work your way up to the alpine. Climbing up the rolling alpine meadows to ‘Top of the World’ reveals an easily accessible ridge that allows amazing views of Glacier National Park; be sure to inform yourself of the boundary as it is illegal to ride in a park. Heading straight from the cabin takes you to the Quartz creek head wall and access a number of gullies to the right of the main alpine meadow. The gullies are full of natural jumps, hips and perfect spots for re-entries. Doing the climb up to the ridge from the gullies takes you to another ridge that borders the park and offers more amazing views of the Columbia Valley as well as Rogers Pass.
Heading down the trail at the end of the day to the parking lot can be a bit of a traffic jam at times; if you must pass slower riders do so with courtesy and caution. If you are heading out early and meet someone coming up the trail, let the oncoming riders know how many are behind you by holding up fingers to represent how many are in your group. If someone is holding up the middle finger for you it might be a sign to slow down. Wrap up your day in the parking lot sharing a laugh with new and old friends and make plans for your next trip to sled in Golden.