A Sacred Mountain
According to this link
, it is mentioned that the Navajo Nation does not permit ascents of Navajo Mountain. Be aware of this and realize that to attempt to climb this mountain is in their view, trespassing. Due to this information, I have deleted a lot of information from this page that described my route to the top and have no answer as to how to "legally" access this mountain. I will quote SP member westanimas below:
"Take seriously the need to inquire about access and obtain the necessary permits.
"Trespassing, or crossing tribal lands without the correct permit, is a BIG NO NO. A technical argument can be made that if the road to the towers is managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, then it is a public road, and therefore it is public access (on the road and in your vehicle only.) However even if this is true, leaving the pavement on any reservation is not a good faith approach to crossing tribal lands. And the tribal police do patrol.
Tribal lands are not public lands."
"Please respect the policies of the Navajo tribal government and the Navajo tribal membership and inquire about the appropriate method to access or travel beyond any unpaved roads. There are areas where tribes explicitly invite public access, and there are places where they explicitly do not. This comes from my experience being employed in a tribal government myself. If you are willing to test the gray area of unpaved roads and leave your vehicle on foot, you must have the correct permit or be accompanied by a tribal member."
For the entire text of SP member westanimas's comments, see the addition correction section at the bottom of the page. I think what he is saying is worthy of including here and that all of us need to take heed.
Walking back into winter
Navajo Mountain is one of the most dominant features seen in this part of Utah and Arizona. A very visible mountain, it stands alone with nothing even near it. It has the shape of a beached whale (to me anyway). Located just across the Arizona-Utah border, it is totally on the Navajo Indian Reservation and is considered to be a sacred mountain to the Navajo people. Navajo Mountain, a large laccolithic dome and is called Naatsis'áán by the Navajo people, its meaning is Head of the Earth. The top of the mountain is marred by a radio facilty/towers/structures and other stuff that definitely do not belong on a sacred mountain but in this day of needing communications placed in high places, even that aspect seems to be compromised on this mountain.
Navajo Mountain is a prominence peak
having 4226 feet of clean prominence which makes it number 13 on the Utah list
. Prior to it being sought after as one of Utah's higher prominence peaks, it was often the last one done by those who were chasing the Sierra Club's Desert Peaks.
(scroll down to section 7) A very very long way from California, folks in Los Angeles would make the 600 mile drive to claim this one. Consider this 1969 trip
report by John Vitz.
The famous Rainbow Bridge is nearby and a rough cross country route to the bridge exists that some folks use. Information wise, I have nothing to share on that as I have not done it. I'll see about providing a link to it later on after the majority of this page is finished.
Totally non technical, this mountain can be walked up via a very rough 4WD road that runs to the top to service the towers. A Utah history site said that " Official documentation of the occupation of Navajo Mountain began with Spanish explorers and Catholic fathers Anastasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante, who "met only Paiutes" when they forded the Colorado River near Navajo Mountain in 1776. The San Juan Paiutes and Navajos occupied the surrounding mesas and rugged canyons in the early 1800s." More history can be found HERE
BE RESPECTFUL OF THE NAVAJO RESERVATIONS LAND AND SPEED LIMITS
Please do not leave any kind of litter or trash, try and be a good guest
so that others will be able to visit and hike this mountain.
If you come from Flagstaff, you will take the turnoff for highway 160 to Tuba City and continue easterly until reaching the junction for highway 98 which heads for Page. About 12 miles up this highway watch for the turnoff to Indian road #16, which is now paved all the way to the turnoff for the power line road that leads up the mountain. I'm not positive on the distance from the turnoff from highway 98 to the turnoff for the dirt power line road but it is in the range of 40 miles. You can drive your vehicle up the power line road as far as your clearance and driving ability will allow but you should do this only if you have permission. The road becomes very rough after a couple miles and only high clearance 4WD vehicles should think about going further. It was reported recently to me that the road has been "improved" for tower vehicles so the condition may be within reason.
It is a long way from a tow truck or help. Overall, it is roughly about 165 miles from Flagstaff but I'd suggest you study your maps rather than rely on
From Page, take highway 98 55 miles to the turnoff for #16.
To find the power line road
Zero your speedometer when you pass the posted Utah-Arizona border. You will pass a small airport on your left at 0.7 miles and just beyond you will find a powerline crossing the road. The powerline road is here, turn left (west)onto it. Proceed west 2.4 miles on the powerline road to a small repeater station beside the road in the flatlands. Here the road bends to the north and heads up the mountain to the towers on the summit. You might wonder why you shouldn't just drive up this road since there are towers on the top? It seems that the ones who service the towers have permission to do so from the Navajo Nation and as far as I know are the only ones who have permission.
A permit is required to be on Navajo lands and Cameron is the place to get one. Cameron is 46 miles from Flagstaff and the Navajo issuing station is on the west side of the highway where highway 64 comes in from the Grand Canyon. Regarding getting a permit for Navajo mountain is now clear, you won't get one. SP member westanimas has put some input regarding the need for a permit. He was denied a permit and others will most likely suffer the same fate. Please visit the Navajo Tribal page,
it does indicate that climbing Navajo Mountain is off limits. I'm not clear if that means you can't drive up the road to the summit but that question is best answered by the person you talk to in Cameron. It seems to be doubtful if you read their comments on their web page.
From their web page:
Navajos consider Navajo Mountain as a sacred area, and ascending it is forbidden.
Black Mesa in the distance
HIKING & CAMPING (From this link
The Navajo Nation is comprised of more than 25,000 square miles and offers hikers numerous isolated trails and routes. For the safety of hikers who enter the reservation and for the protection of natural and cultural resources, the Parks and Recreation Department has implemented guidelines for backcountry use.
The trails are not improved or maintained, and are usually marked with rock claims. To reach the trailheads, topographic maps and drives over rough dirt roads are required. Roads can become impassable in wet weather, and conditions can change quickly. Travelers are cautioned to be prepared. To ensure having an enjoyable experience, plan your trip carefully. Most trails are rated strenuous to moderately strenuous, and good physical conditioning is important. The terrain is rough, water is scarce and the weather is often extreme in most areas.
In summer, the trails are hot and dry; in winter, elevations make them subject to severe cold and high winds. Due to the quick changes in the weather, be aware of the dangers of flash floods. While this danger is greatest during the summer monsoon season (July through September), flash floods can occur at any time of the year.
Camping fees: $5.00 per person, per night for anyone over the age of 6. Fees subject to change.
You willl need to obtain a camping permit from one of the following locations listed below.
Backcountry permit fees: $5.00 per person, per day.
Cameron Visitor Center
P.O. Box 459
Cameron, AZ 86020
tel : 928.679.2303
This visitor center is located at the junction of Highway 89 and Highway 64 in Cameron, Arizona. Information and permits can be obtained for trails along the Colorado River, Marble Canyon, Jackass Canyon, Salt Trail Canyon, Totahatso Point, Rainbow Bridge trails, Cove Mesa, Coal Mine Canyon and areas in the western portion of the Navajo Nation.
CampingNavaho National Monument
has camping for no fee. Located to the east of the highway 98 junction, it is about a ten mile or so drive to road 564, that leads up to the Monument, a 9 mile effort to reach the campgrounds. Nice facilities and based on first come, first served. We spent one night there after doing Black Mesa and went on from there to do Navajo Mountain. It worked out well. We then left early to get to the trailhead (which is whereever you end up parking)
Navajo National Monument
Good link with map & more info.
A camping permit to camp on Navajo lands is $5.00 and more specifics can be found on the Navajo Nation website. (HERE
Weather for Page AZ, closest town