JJ Quarry Information Page

Welcome to Field Trip #5!

Date:  Saturday, September 29th, 7:00 AM.  Meet at SE corner of the Alderwood Target Parking lot.

Leader:  Herter

Material:  Jasper, Jasper-agate, Holly Jasper, Epidote, petrified wood

Location:  Cedar Ponds area

Difficulty Class:  4


     The Cedar Ponds area has dozens of great collecting sites with diverse material, but the regional jasper is what most collectors want.  Colors can be vibrant, often with dramatic patterns and textures.  The JJ quarry is a former gravel pit within an area now closed to all motorized vehicles.  Though no longer used for cars or trucks, the dirt roads that wind around local hills and valleys in this area are in remarkably good condition.   The high difficulty classification of this trip stems from the approach to these roads. 

    The state decided to limit access to the Cedar Ponds back country more than a decade ago.  All the roads into the area have been bermed.  Large (house sized) barricades of logs have been placed at various points along the roads to make sure they can never be used by cars, trucks, motorcycles, Sherman tanks, etc.  The most direct route to JJ quarry requires negotiating one quarter mile of one such road with 20 berms and one large pile of logs.  On the other side of that mess, however, is a great road that leads directly to the collecting site, about 2 ½ miles.  There are two ways we can make the trip. 

    It can be hiked on foot, which will take about 2 hours one way.  The advantage is that the roadbed was built using jasper-rich gravel from JJ quarry, so there are many small pieces floating on the surface that can easily be picked up along the way.

   My recommended approach, however, is by mountain bike.  Carrying the bikes over those berms is miserable, but the time savings is dramatic.  By bike, the 2 hour hike becomes a 15 minute ride.  Though we would miss smaller pieces of jasper on the roadway, the quarry is full of better material.  I would rather spend the extra 3 hours saved collecting in the quarry.

   On bikes, if we have our fill of JJ quarry, we can ride to Holly Meadow, another mile down the road, and hunt for more jasper, petrified wood, and agates.  Between the two is a location with several seams of bright red jasper that requires a strenuous bike ride/hike up a ¼ mile spur (plus crack hammer and medium sized chisels). 

   Walking in would not give us enough time to visit the other areas, so my plan is to do this by bike, unless there is an overwhelming interest in walking.


1.       Mountain Bike (or commuter bike with larger tires) and helmet---for liability reasons, I cannot permit persons to ride on this trip without a helmet.  This is critically important equipment.  Individuals without helmets will have to walk in to the quarry, so DO NOT FORGET YOUR HELMET.

2.      Leather Gloves

3.      Crack Hammer and selection of chisels

4.      Safety glasses or goggles.

5.      Geopaleo pick, or equivalent.

6.      At least 2 liters of water for drinking (3 is better; there is no water along the way)

7.      Wide brimmed hat.

8.      GMRS radio (this is required gear)

9.      First aid kit

10.   Sturdy hiking boots

11.   Long pants, fleece jacket, water resistant shell (or other rain gear)

12.   Sturdy back pack

13.   Lunch and snacks.



6:45am                Meet at Alderwood Target

7:00am                Depart for Sultan

7:40am                Arrive at parking area

8:00am                Begin walking through bermed road.

8:45am                Reach good roadway

9:15am                Arrive JJ Quarry

12:00pm              Lunch and decide about other destinations

If we depart after lunch:

1:00pm                Arrive at bermed road.

1:45pm                Back at parking area

2:00pm                Depart for Lynnwood

2:40pm                Arrive Alderwood Target



For Holly Meadow excursion:

12:30pm              Pack up and depart for Holly Meadows.

1:00pm                Arrived at second bermed section (only 4 berms)

1:15pm                Arrive at Holly Meadows Road.

3:15pm                Pack up and depart, cross short bermed section

3:45pm                Arrive at first bermed road.

4:00pm                Arrive parking area

5:00pm                Arrive Alderwood Target



For Jasper seams:

12:30pm              Pack up and depart for jasper seams

12:35pm              Arrive at gate to Cougar Lake Road.

12:45pm              ride/hike the steep road to jasper seams

1:45pm                Arrive Jasper seams

3:00pm                Pack up and depart for gate

3:15pm                Arrive at gate.

3:20 pm               Arrive at bermed road.

4:00pm                Arrive parking area

5:00pm                Arrive Alderwood Target


Because there are several possible destinations after the quarry, please make sure you have plenty of food and water.  I strongly discourage breaking up the group for any reason, especially in this area with a large population of black bear and cougar, but could consider splitting into two equal sized parties to visit Holly Meadow and Jasper seams, but we need to discuss at the meeting location.

REMEMBER:   You must sign up to attend this trip!  Use the Field Trip Sign up form.   Thanks for your interest, and hope to see you on the 29th!