“Wild Winger!” Naches Pass 4×4 Run
Hosted by Eastern Washington Off Road
By Clay Graham / CegPics.com
Naches Pass is a historic wagon trail made for settlers going toward the Puget Sound.
On Thursday July 13th, 2006, I headed to Little Naches to set up camp near the East Naches Pass Trailhead. I blew a tire on the motor home just outside of Cowiche. Off to a great start.
On Friday Fatboy, Mischief Maker, Tiny, Yeti, Colemancooler and Blaine all pulled into camp.
PullUout, Dr. Turbo, YJ Guy and his friends showed up Saturday morning. YJ Guy and his friends came over from the west side by the forest service roads. They wanted to get going and we were not all ready yet so they went on a head of us. We finely were all ready and left around 10:30 or so. Blaine left his Scout at camp. It was new to him and he hadn’t did any mods to the rig yet or something a long those lines.
As soon as you come on at the trail head you can see a new sign. BF Goodrich just gave the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association (PNW4WDA) some money to put into the trail.
Just up the trail things started happening to rigs. Yeti’s Scout wouldn’t come out of gear because the linkage broke. Yeti got his linkage fixed and Dr. Turbo broke his rig in a mud pit. Dr. Turbo got going enough to go back home in two wheel drive. As we were getting ready to get going, Fordman’s party of 3 XJs showed up from the west side. Fordman tried Dr. Turbo’s mud hole from the other side and broke is welded Dana 35. PullUout pulled Fordman out and we headed up the trail.
The next part was a climb with a big hole at the top. I drove up around the hole. It was a little off camber but better than climbing up out of the hole. Fordman had to winch up that part. Yeti was the Tail Gunner. Yeti tried to climb up through the hole on top and twisted the rear drive shaft. We moved up the trail to give Yeti some room to winch up. There was a nice flat area to regroup after we dropped back off the side of that hill. After everyone regrouped and had a short break, Fordman’s party decided to go on up the trail so they could get Fordman’s XJ back to the other side of the pass. We headed out in two groups. Yeti, Fatboy and I (Ceg) hit the first forest road we found and headed back to camp to drop off Yeti’s Scout. We met back up with our group at FS1913. We were back on the trail with Fordman’s party ahead of us. The trail right after FS1913 had a lot of short bridges. One was zigzagged a few times. We caught up with them after Fordman broke his Dana 30. At least that is what we heard on the CB. We took a break to let them get up the trail.
After it sounded like Fordman was on a forest service road we headed on up the trail. There was a long bridge right not far from FS1914 and after were a lot of hill climbs. We stopped for a photo of the Naches Pass sign and then took a break at Government Meadows. We walked up the Pacific Crest Trail to read the signs and check out the cabin.
After the cabin, we ran on down to the first FS road we could find to run it back around to the east side. We stopped at a place we had cross earlier. Colemancooler had to get going so he went back toward NF19 and we hit the trail to run it back to camp. It was getting dark.
It was nice to get to see the part of the trail that we missed as we headed back. We were back at the part of the trail where Yeti broke his drive shaft and found a quad on it’s side. We helped the guy flip it back over and headed on into the mud hole section. I drove on through the last mud hole and Tiny followed. Tiny didn’t make it. We had to go around the by pass to get him out. When this was happening, PullUout got stuck in the Dr. Turbo hole and had to winch out with two flat tires. He popped the beads on them. We couldn’t do anything until morning so we headed back to camp. We got back to camp and had a few beers before bed.
The next morning PullUout, Tiny and Fatboy were gone trying to get PullUout’s rig back to camp. I guess PullUout lost a bead on another tire too. They used my front tires off my pickup. At the time I was hoping that was who took them. They got the rig back to camp. It looked funny with all the miss matched tires. They use my other two tires so PullUout could get his rig back home. PullUout came back with a small pickup to swap tires with me.
The Naches Pass Trail was a lot of fun. The trail head is only 52 miles from my house so I think I we go back real soon. Thank you to the guys that came out. It was great wheelin’ with you.
Note: This trail has changed over the years. There has been a reroute over the flat area we regrouped at. The mud holes at the east end were part of the trail and the by passes were very tight. We are happy those deep mud pits were filled. A lot of people broke their rigs in them. Mudding is illegal in this area. Please Tread Lightly.
Here are some photos of the “Wild Winger!” Naches Pass Run: