Navaho Pass — Saturday, Jun. 28, 2014
If you're looking for an awesome early-season backpack, Navaho Pass is a great choice. I headed out there with friends this past weekend. In total, we had three couples and one dog. Even though this is a popular spot, we didn't run across a ton of other people on the trail or at camp. The hike up to the meadow (where most people set up their tents) was moderate, with a good mixture of flat and moderately steep sections. It was a beautiful trail—we saw more wildflowers than on any other hike we've done this spring/early summer. From tiger lilies to skyrockets to yarrow, it seemed like there was always something to look at. And the birds were out! We hiked to the tune of their little songs and calls and spotted several we could identify, including western tanagers and a white breasted nuthatch. After setting up our tents in the meadow beneath Navaho Pass we explored the pass and headed out towards Navaho Peak. There was only a little bit of snow left, and none on trail. It was great to watch the snow melting into little creeks and see all of the pretty glacier lilies that blanketed the ground. The meadow was a great spot to camp. There were probably 10 tents set up around us, but everyone was really quiet. We even saw some families with small kids. The hike out on Sunday was nice—I'd recommend a post-hike meal at Homestead Restaurant in Cle Elum. The food was awesome, especially after a day spent exploring and hiking. The portion sizes were large ... be prepared to share! My vote: You'll love this trail! Considerations: - Don't worry about water but do bring a water filter—there are many places to resupply your Camelback. - This is a dog-friendly hike. - Watch out for toilet paper near the trail and pack some out if at all possible. It seems like a few people who hiked the trail recently weren't familiar with (or didn't abide by) Leave No Trace. Be a good example. - There weren't a ton of bugs out, but watch out for biting black flies near the junction with the Standup Creek Trail.