|Jasper and Quartz|
The fin-like rocks form a scrub board surface littered with chunks of milky quartz and blood-red jasper. Some formations jut skyward in shark fin style while others lean in stony waves with tiny cacti sprouting from cracks where splits in the decomposing rock harbor just enough moisture to nurse plants to viability. At the 0.6-mile point, head north on the Quartz Trail for a walk past a gigantic mound of white stone that stands near a bend where a crack in the hilly terrain reveals views of mountains on the western horizon.
This 1.4-mile section follows the contours of several small peaks before it connects with Go John Trail for the return trip. Go John is the longest and most heavily-used trail in the system. Park trails are also used by a nearby horse outfitter that offers guided rides and the swooping, undulating nature of Go John makes it a popular choice for mountain bikers. So, keep an eye out for speeding bikes and plodding equine parades. Hikers should always yield to horse traffic by stepping off the trail and following the directions of the riders. From the Quartz-Go John junction, head left, continue 0.9-mile to the Jasper Trail, turn left and hike 0.4 mile back to the trailhead, enjoying the scattered gems and crunchy slate underfoot.
|Go John Trail|