My original plan for the day was to do a little larch hunting at Lake Ingalls, but kayuh and I arrived to a completely packed parking lot. I didn't want to be surrounded by crowds, but after driving 2 hours to get there I wasn't ready to just turn around and go home. We ventured on further up the road and came to the Navaho Peak trailhead, another one that had been on my to do list for a while now.
The trail to Navaho Peak is 14 miles, but most of the elevation is at the end. Since it was getting late in the day, we decided to run it so we could be back to the car before dark.
The Teanaways have a beautifully unique landscape of desert and mountains combined. We jogged 5.5 miles up the gradually inclining trail through meadows, overlooks of Stafford Creek, and fields of wildflowers to Navaho Pass where I found my larches!
Navaho Pass is a destination in itself. Mount Stuart and the rest of the Stuart Mountain Range dominate the skyline, and Ingalls Creek can be seen far below flowing through the valley.
Although the view from the pass was far from disappointing, Kayuh and I wanted a little more. After reaching the pass we turned right up the climbers trail to the peak. From there a steep mile and half climb up rugged scree filled terrain takes you to the summit. As usual, it was worth every step.
Views of the Teanaway Mountains and Central Washington dotted with golden larches sprawled below us in every direction.
On the summit I became overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing fall day, admiring the views and letting the warm sun and mountain breeze wash over me.
We took it all in, or at least I did, while Kayuh took a quick summit nap.
Knowing we still had about 7 miles back to the car, we reluctantly peeled ourselves away from the view and headed back down the trail. That sunny day summit high lasted the entire run back. This is what life is about.
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Before attempting Navaho Peak, please visit WTA.com for hike difficulty, gear requirements, and recent trip reports.