Navaho Pass

Navaho Peak

Stafford Creek Trail No. 1359

JULY 4 - 5, 2008   The grand finale of my hiking weekend was a backpack to Navaho Pass with a hike up Navaho Peak.  I had spent the previous night in the 29 Pines Campground just a few miles from the trailhead, and weathered my first thunderstorm in a tent that night.  The sun was bright and the sky was a brilliant blue when I set out on the Stafford Creek Trail on Friday morning.  The varieties had changed since my last trip here just two weeks ago, but the meadows were still bursting with wildflowers.  Phlox lined the rock gardens and buckwheat was just on the verge of blooming.  The WTA work crew did a great job clearing away the few messy blow downs and creating new drain dips to route water off the trail. 

With the weather forecast predicting a chance of thunderstorms, I decided to camp below the pass.  I found a cozy nook above the upper meadows with good views near a stream and set up camp before heading up to the pass. The weather started out sunny with blue skies and a few fluffy white clouds, but it became increasingly moody as I began my hike up Navaho Peak.  The trail was primitive but easy to find and follow as it climbed steeply up.  The views grew bigger and better with each step, and soon Mount Stuart appeared and even Mount Daniel made a cameo appearance on the horizon.  When I reached the summit, I felt like I was on top of the world, and it was just me and the wind and mountains as far as I could see.  The clouds were thick and dark, so I didn't linger long at the summit.  I forgot to look for the summit register!  By the time I hiked back down to the pass, the weather had improved and the sun was shining again. 

The wind was brisk that night but my tent was snug and I slept well.  I woke early and headed out by 7:00 a.m.  I was only about 15 minutes away from the trailhead when I crossed paths with a CHS group of twelve people on a day hike to Navaho Peak.   I was back home in Seattle by noon. 

Add Navaho Pass to my list of favorite hikes.

14 miles roundtrip

4123' elevation gain