Navajo County High Point Trip Report

Black Mesa

Date: October 19, 2001
Author: Scott Casterlin

We had luck yesterday in Navajo country as I wrapped up my Arizona county highpoints. David Olson's mileage log is excellent to use, but we had a little confusion with it toward the very end of the drive.

As Ken Jones later noted, all gates near the towers leading to the east are locked, but this is where you should park anyway. The notorious "locked" gate at mile 7.3 had these signs: "no trespassing", "no wood hauling", "get permission", and "please close the gate". The gate was actually unlocked despite existing hanging locks. We drove through and passed an uninterested guy standing by a nearby corral. This gate was open on the way out, though some highpoint aspirants may still be uncomfortable around here... I'm making no endorsements or claims! You'll pass other "no trespassing" signs on the way in (Navajo and Peabody Coal).

When hiking, always staying as close to the rim as possible will help you head the occasional canyon in the easiest way. Old tracks and faint trails come and go. The Kayenta BM at 8120 feet is about a quarter-mile southwest of the end of a good road you'll eventually hit and use (somebody will someday figure out if this road is actually accessible). Walk east about a half-mile from this road end and drift up-slope through the trees and look for the cairn under a pinion near a northeast-facing point in the rim.

Allow at least six hours for the round-trip walk.