Navajo County High Point Trip Report

Black Mesa

Date: June 17, 2001
Author: Ken Jones

This was too late in the year - it was pretty hot for 8,000 ft (that's the view of a Seattle-area guy, anyway).

The start of the driving is not actually under the conveyor belt, but directly across route 160 from SR 564 (which leads to Navajo National Monument and is well signed).

The mileage log is accurate - our measurements were all within a tenth or two or three. Don't be distracted by a minor road to the right just (50 yards?) before the major junction at 6.5. The gate at 7.3 miles has a "Please close the gate" sign and a bunch of locks; none affected our ability to open it. There is a decrepit "No Trespassing" sign next to the gate as well - someone who wants to could call as it indicates for permission from "Rob Olson" at 677-3245 (the numbers were hard to read, but I think that's right).

The junction at 14.3 leads to a locked gate on the right, we parked there. The alternate fork off the Lolomai Point road was also locked.

The route stays near the north edge of the mesa. There is usually a vehicle track to follow all the way to Yellow Water Canyon. If you reach the canyon where we did, you will be on a very faint track which leads to a gate in a fence (unlocked). When you pass through this gate, continuing in the obvious direction leads to one of the easiest breaches in the west wall of the canyon. There are several ways to get out up the east side; we added to our hike by straying further south than we should, because the east wall is passable almost at the mesa rim.

I walked right to Andy Martin's cairn while looking for the highest point. If he put it in the wrong place, we're both wrong. Lunch was much nicer just north of that spot, on a mesa rim rock overlooking Kayenta and the north.