Naches Pass/Manastash/Cle Elum
Our little wheeling group had been talking about a camping and wheeling trip for quite a while. Of course we end up getting a weekend with crappy weather, oh well.
The group consisted of Myself, wife Brooke, and Irie our Chocolate Lab in the red TJ, Eric(Estoddart) and our friend Carolyn in Ericís black TJ, and Meagann and friend Crystal and Rowdy the Schipperke in Megannís Toyota. This was a bit of a shake down run for the Yota since she just finished the solid axle conversion and lift recently.
We met up in Seattle around 0930, finished packing up the rigs and made our way down the road toward Enumclaw. Pit stop at Safeway to top off fuel tanks and grab a snack, then it was off to FR 70 to the Naches Pass Trail. Aired down at the Pyramid lot and Hit the trail. We decided to skip the hill climb section due to our late start and jumped on a little later. Got to Government Meadows a short while later and took a little walk down to the cabin. The weather was cloudy and cool with an occasional drizzle, but not enough to keep the dust down.
Made good time over the Cascades with the clouds breaking only occasionally, gorgeous scenery even with the low ceiling.
At the end of the Naches Pass Trail we shot down NFD 19 to 1902 and headed out to Ravens Roost to check out the view from the 6í000+ overlook. On the way up the sun was peaking through and we had some amazing views of the sun shining on some of the sheer Cascade cliffs. Unfortunately, when we got to the over look the elevation was enough to put us in the clouds and visibility dropped to about 50 feet, the temp dropped dramatically and it started to drizzle. Oh well, next time I guess.
Continued down 19 to 410 and Whistiln Jacks for a final fuel top off before we headed out into the Manastash area. It was getting a little late when we left Jacks so we beat feet down NFD 1708 over the washout (which isnít bad any more), and made it out to the 4 fingers climb about sunset.
In the past we headed over to Moonrocks and Funny rocks from here but tonight our destination was Tripod Flats for our camping spot. The trail was tight getting down the backside of the ridge especially in the dark. Once in the flat we made camp near the hunting camp on the North end of the flats and had a dinner of Italian sausages.
Late start in the AM, packed up camp and hit the Shoestring Trail winding through the forest and stopped for a little walk down to Shoestring Lake.
Joined up with the String trail and tiptoed through the rock fields up toward the Manastash Ridge Trail. Stopped along the top of the cliff for a break and some pictures. (same cliff someone drove off of a month ago needing to be airlifted out, only 500 feet or so, not to high)
From there we started up the Manastash Ridge Trail, Iím sure that the views along this trail are absolutely amazing on a clear day.
The trail was not difficult for the most part, one section however, just after the Kaner Flats Trail joins back up with it, there is a very steep section with large boulders that took some good planning and spotting to find the best line, especially for me, the little guy with the 31Ē tires.
This being a shakedown run for the Toyota, the hill did its job and found that the weld on the curb side shock tower was not going to hold up. So we spent a bit of time removing the shock and shock tower before we could continue on.
Made it to Quartz Mountain ~6í200 ft as it was starting to get a little darker and very windy.
Our original plan was to head through the mountains toward the Fortune Creek area to camp for the night, but due to the late start and the extra time for the broken suspension, we decided to find a camp site near by. So we traveled down NFD 3100 to NFD 3120 and found a nice secluded campsite there.
Had a great steak dinner followed by símores, and hanging out till late in the night, leading to another late morning. The new drop down tailgate came in quite handy.
Somebody was ready to go bright and early.
We followed NFD 3330 to NFD 33 then NFD 3350 out to Cle Elum. Aired up there and got on I-90 to make the trek back to Seattle. The sky finally decided to open up on us making for a chilly and wet ride home without the doors and only a safari top.
I decided that I wanted to try and track our trip with GPS and used the Motion X GPS app on my iPhone4. I was pleasantly supprised with how well it worked. Most of the trip it said it had an accuracy of 16-33 feet. I forgot to push the pause button at the end of the Naches trail so some of that data was a little skewed but the rest seemed very accurate. I was able to get the track reports with all of the elevation, speed, and distance info, as well as the gpx and kmz data files. Could also put the data into Google Earth to see the tracks on the map.
The trip ended up being 99 miles from the start of the Naches Pass Trail to Cle Elum. With a low elevation of 1883í entering Cle Elum and a High elevation of 6295í at the start of the Manastash Ridge.
Was a great trip and will have to do it again visiting some of the other trails in the area. Hopefully get some better weather next time.
MORE PICTURES HERE-Jeep Camping 8/29-31/10 pictures from family photos on webshots