I am tired of the pavement, just moved to Washington and ready to hit some trails. I hear part of Naches pass is easy, anyone wanna show me the ropes. Would like to go tomorrow but will also wanna go next weekend if it works better.
Ken123, i saw your truck at the licensing dept in Bellevue a couple of weeks ago. It was my little (old) blue and doorless Land Rover truck parked 2 doors down from you!!! Was a very long day indeed over there!!! Hope to meet you guys on the trails rather than a boring parking lot
sorry I missed your post, otherwise we could of gone. Wife won't let me out now. Looks like it'll be next weekend
Let's try and aim for next weekend then? Chomping at the bit to get out. Been a while. Mild to medium trails would be best. My little truck and I are still in recovery from the last run we did, during which I had a few "mommy I want to go home now" moments Still, was thrilling and extremely pleased we did it. Will watch for updates!!!
I would go, but I think I may be trading in my baby for a new 2012 4-Door Jeep!
After looking at my requirements for life(family/kids in the future) I decided I really need the extra space in a 4-Dr, but wanted to keep all my mods. So I am working out a deal with a dealership where I trade in my 2-Dr, but swap all my aftermarket parts to the new 4-Door. So I'll get a new 4-Door, with the nice new engine, but keep all of my modifications(almost all will transfer).
Until I get the new one set up, I'll be watching from the sidelines.
Some friends and I just wrapped up a 4-day, 3-night trip on the Naches / Manastash trails. I'll post up a thread about it in a little but but I can give you some info:
The trail is completely open and easily passable by any Jeep. Our "smallest" rig was a TJ w/ 4 cyl engine on 30"-ish street tires with a 2" BDS lift. He had zero problems throughout the entire trip* and nobody required any winch or recovery strap work.
We did the ENTIRE Naches Trail from start to finish, even the little tail bit past the FS Rd 1913 bridge. I like this part because of some of the fun hill climb sections toward the end above the river bend.
It takes about 4 hours to run the whole Naches Trail. We finally entered the western end at 2pm and exited the eastern terminus at 6pm. This included plenty of time for photos, checking out the cabin at Government Meadows, and carefully squeaking through some tight spots on the tail end of the trail.
Speaking of tight spots... most of the trail is not an issue but the very end of the trail, between the 1913 road / bridge and the very end, are some tight squeezes through the trees. Anyone with a wide rig might want to take care here. Not much room to manuver on the trail and it would be tricky to back up and turn around as you're on a severe hillside.
The trail is particularly bouncy, especially the eastern half. And it gets dusty for anyone not in the lead.
To get back, the easiest-to-find-routes are either running the Naches in reverse or heading down Forest Service Rd 19 to Hwy 410, then turning right on 410 and back over Chinook Pass.
If anyone wants to know where the western end of the Naches starts, let me know....
Manastash Ridge Trail System
Once on FS Rd 19 you can access the Manastash Ridge trail system, a 115 sq mile piece of territory criss-crossed by 4x4 trails as well as reach Hwy 410. Just drive down toward Hwy 410 and look for FS Rd 1903. Turn onto this road (east side of FS Rd 19), go up about 1/4 mile and the start of the Kaner Flats Trail is right there on the right across from some camping spots. FS Rd 1903 criss-crosses the Kaner Flats Trail several times.
At this time, the Kaner Flats Trail is the most realistic and convenient way to accessing the rest of the Manastash Trail System from the Naches trail.
We opted to camp in the Manastash trail system, just on the side of Lilly Pond Lake Trail. We were going to camp near Lilly Pond Lake but there were too many bugs. It wasn't the prettiest camping spot but was reasonably convenient for not being in an improved campground.
There is a fuel station at the Whistling Jack lodge in Cliffdell if you need to refuel. Prices are high but it's the only game around. Just go down FS Rd 19 to Hwy 410, turn left (east bound) and head into Cliffdell about 5-10 miles down the road.
FS Rd 1708 is shut down up to the Lilly Pond Lake trail tie-in. However, between this point and the top of the Manastash Ridge the road is still open as a Jeep trail. You'd have to come up the Kaner Flats trail, down Lilly Pond Lk trail, then up the remainder of the 1708.
Also, from Funny rocks you can reach Ellensburg but you need to take the Manastash RIDGE Road to Observatory Road and then to the Umptanum / Wenas Rd.....OR work your way down to Wenas (which we did) and take the Uptanum / Wenas Road in.
Alternatively, you can head out Taneum Creek Rd but if you come out of the Manastash Campground you'll have to take the Buck Meadows Trail as the FS Rd 31 is washed out where it crosses Manastash Creek near the CG.
Lots of details here w/o reference to a map. If you're interested in exploring this area let me know and I can make some notes on a map for you.
*Apart from a freak popped sidewall on a gravel road, we still don't know how it happened
Forgot to mention..... If you just want to run the Manastash Ridge trails you can by pass the entire Naches by buzzing around on Hwy 410 over Chinook Pass.....
Some pix from this past weekend....
Naches Trail Images
Crossing one of the brdiges just west of Government
Meadows (I think the last bridge before the meadows).
This is one of the bridges near the east end of the trail, down
on the flat-ish part of the trail. Worse for wear but passable.
The "bonus" tail end of the Naches Trail.... not much room on
the hill climbs to maneuver or back up if you need to.
We needed to help our buddy get his snorkel-equipped rig between
the trees by acting as a counter-weight hanging off the opposite side of the rig.
Getting the rest of the rigs through was tight but otherwise not an issue.
Boulder Cave Images
A great day-trip would be to do the Naches Trail and then get down to Hwy 410 and explore Boulder Cave. It's accessed by a road that crosses the river about 1 mile east of Cliffdell. Easy to find via Forest Service campsite / parking area and a well maintained trail to the cave. It's about a 10 minute walk up hill. The cave is cool but we found a hidden waterfall on the upstream side of the cave. If you go, hop over the rock wall near the upstream mouth of the cave and keep heading up stream about 100 ft behind the large boulders.
Also, bring some shoes you can slosh in the water. I'd highly recommend walking down Devil's Creek back to the parking area for the return hike to your Jeeps. It is VERY cool and feels like you're walking through an Indiana Jones movies in parts.
The hidden waterfall... you can walk (crawl, really) completely
around the back of the falls. The water is cool and crisp, good for a
refreshing plunge to cool you off and wash off trail dust.
Inside Boulder Cave.... BRING YOUR FLASHLIGHTS.
The hike back to the parking area along Devil's Creek is awesome.
Sections feel like you're in an Indiana Jones movie, especially where
the creek necks down between sheer stone walls. Bring water shoes.
And these are some pix from Manastash Ridge.... not that you have to go here to run the Naches Trail. But, if you were to camp out Saturday night you can run part of Manastash and then have some fun there on Sunday, too, before heading home.
On the String Trail.... after running Tipover and heading
back to the ridge trail. About 6:30pm or so.
Coming back down from the top of Frost Mountain. . . it's a nice steep
hill climb to get up . . . and a nice steep descent coming down.
Climbing up the Kaner Flats Trail.... near the top among the rock fields.
On the Kaner Flats trail right before the last big, steep, hill climb.
Out a smidge late on the Manastash Ridge trail....
trying to get back to camp.
Almost to the top of Raven's Roost trail. . . only several
hundred more feet of elevation gain.
Exiting far to the east toward Wenas. We had no map but with some
help from a couple locals we made our way out this way. Another 3
miles and we hit the road that took us in to Ellensburg. for some Rodeo
City BBQ before heading home on I-90