Hike Wasa (Wolf Creek Rd) to Premier Ridge
0 km: Start hiking from the parking spot in the meadow by Wolf Creek Road, at 914 m (3,000 ft.), N22600-E96900. Follow the road for only a few hundred metres north into the forest. The route along Premier Ridge does not follow a trail. Hike generally north and follow the long, wide, sloping ridge. As you routefind north, take a variety of overgrown trails, old and new roads and animal paths. Walk on grassy slopes, rocky slopes, through ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forests and across sunny meadows. Gradually work your way north and uphill, spotting the ridgeline from the grassy meadows.
5 km: Approximate length will depend on your wanderings, but it’s about 7 km following the roads and trails. In the last 500 m or so before you climb to the summit of Premier Ridge, N27500-E96400, cross a sagging fence and find a well-defined trail heading north steeply up the forested rocky knoll. This part of the hike is ambiguous, but if you find the fence, you should be able to locate the trail to the summit. Otherwise it is a steep bushwhack, about 10 to 15 minutes of steep hiking.
5.5 km: The summit, N27745-E96338, at 1344 m (4,410 ft.). Hike back down to the fence and just south of the fence look for the remnant of defined road heading downhill east.
6.5 km: Follow the old road, descending about 200 m (650 ft.), and it will intersect with the Wasa/Premier vehicle road, N29489-E97143. For a view of the Quartz Lake overlook, turn right on the vehicle road and hike about 400–500 m to a scuffed and well-visited meadow with the Quartz Lake overlook on the left (east) side. From this flat meadow the cliffs drop almost 150 m (500 ft.) straight down into the jade-coloured deep water of Quartz Lake, and the Rocky Mountains rise just east, a rewarding sight. After the overlook the road continues south. Stay on this dry road for 5.6 km to complete the loop. It is downhill most of the way.
12 km: The road joins back to the meadow where you parked your vehicle.
Hike or Bike from Premier Lake
The hike to Premier Ridge from Premier Lake is shorter than from Wasa, but not nearly as scenic, plus the hike is in the forest the whole way and you miss the open, grassy, sunny slopes that make the hike to Premier Ridge a nice day outing.
0 km: Begin hiking or cycling from the day-use parking lot in Premier Lake Provincial Park by the overflow campground. Hike back up the main road for 220 m. Take the first small gravel road on the left (south). This gravel road immediately branches; take the right fork to the overlook and Premier Ridge (the left fork leads to the shore of Quartz Lake and boat access, 2.2 km).
Posted a short distance from this junction is a road map sign for “Premier Ridge Area Road Closure.” Read more about Ministry of the Environment/Wildlife Branch wildlife closures in the introduction. In summer you can drive these roads, but they are high-clearance and rough. Check the dates posted on the vehicle closure signs.
Hike, bike or drive the road. It is moderately steep and rocky and it climbs 195 m (640 ft.) in shady Douglas fir forest. The track finally levels off at a cattle guard at 1090 m (3,600 ft.) elevation.
4.4 km: Stash and lock your bike by the cattle guard, N29489-E97143, to continue the hike to Premier Ridge. Quartz Lake overlook is another 400–500 m south of the cattle guard. See the overlook description above. Hike or bike back to the cattle guard.
4.5 km: Just south of the cattle guard, look for a faint old road heading uphill (west). The summit of Premier Ridge is 1 km up this steep road that gains another 200 m (650 ft.). When the road fades out in a level spot in the forest, there is a sagging fence, N27500-E96400.
5.5 km: (Approximately.) The summit of Premier Ridge, N27500-E96400.