Quinn Pass Trail
Short but challenging, this trail takes a more direct path through the heart of the Plomosa Mountains than ‘Plomosa Mountains Trail’ to the west. You’ll be treated to nice views from Quinn Pass.
Where to go:
From the town of Quartzsite (exit #17 and exit #19 on I-10), follow main street and turn north onto Highway 95. Continue north on 95 for 5.7 miles. Turn right onto Plomosa Road and follow it for 9.5 miles. Turn left off the paved road onto a well-traveled dirt road. The turnoff isn’t well marked. Parking/staging is available immediately after turning off.
The trail heads west from Plomosa Road and almost immediately (300 feet) encounters its first obstacle. The trail drops into a wash and makes a hard right. Almost immediately, the trail then makes a sharp left and climbs out of the wash. You’ll come to a small clearing and then climb a steeper hill. A little before 0.2 miles you’ll reach the top of the large hill. Consider parking here for a minute and enjoying the commanding view of the Plomosa Mountains. There are small hiking trails that head in both directions and offer even better views.
When you’re done, continue west as the trail drops down a very steep and loose hill. Use caution when going down. We drove this trail in both directions and had trouble getting a vehicle (without 4WD) back up this hill. At the bottom of the hill, the trail meanders through a narrow section and a few washes. At about 0.4 miles the trail turns right to head north.
Shortly after 0.4 miles, you come to another challenging downhill section. This one is more eroded. Stay right as you descend for the easier line. The trail levels out again but crosses a few pretty good washed out sections. Stay straight at 0.6 miles where there is a nice campsite off to the left. At 0.7 miles, the trail makes a hard left into a wash, then an immediate right to climb out of the wash. The climb out has a decent ledge to get up. Several more washed out sections between 0.8 and 0.9 miles as the trail crosses small drainages. Stay right at the intersection at 0.9 miles. Two parallel roads continue straight and contain several more washouts and pass a few mining claims.
The trail gets significantly easier as you head east. The ground has a few interesting tan and white patches as you follow to the left of a wash. Continue along most traveled route ignoring all side roads. The trail forks at 1.7 miles. Stay right to continue to Plomosa Road. Continuing left will connect you to Plomosa Mountains Trail which is easier and loops around the range. As the trail heads east, it remains easy. Cross a wash and then turn left at 2.5 miles at a T-intersection. The trail continues through a unique area of red hills on both sides. Several small trails branch off, consider exploring. After crossing a wash one last time, the trail ends at a large clearing at Plomosa Road at 3.4 miles. Turn right to get back to Quartzsite, left for Bouse.
Notes & Trail Ratings:
Despite being only 3 miles, this trail will take around 45 minutes to an hour to complete at a leisurely pace. The trail is slow going due to the numerous washed out sections. Longer wheel-based vehicles might have clearance issues. This trail is much easier from south to north where most of the challenges are downhill. For more of a challenge travel north to south. We’ve rated this trail a ‘6’ out of ‘10’. High-clearance and 4-wheel drive are necessary. Aggressive stock SUV’s can make it but might scrape bumpers/undercarriage. Consider combining this trail with the easier ‘Plomosa Mountains Trail’ which can be used to make a large loop throughout the mountain range.