Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point

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Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
The Kane County High Point (10,080 ft) is located on a small ridge similar to the Wasatch County High point, rather than on an actual peak. The highest actual peak, Andy Nelson Peak (10,027 ft) is nearby so it is worth to do both on the same day. In one day, we actually did the Kane CoHP, Andy Nelson Peak, hiked Cascade Falls, drove through the lava fields, and then drove to the Iron County HP (Brian Head Peak). 

Both peaks are very easy with only 4 miles RT for Andy Nelson Peak, and a 10 minute RT hike for the Kane CoHP. The best time of year to do these hikes are summer and fall, when the trail & road is dry. Both hikes have plenty of shade, but no water. Dogs are allowed off leash on both hikes, young kids can easily reach the Kane CoHP, and older kids can summit Andy Nelson Peak. 

Camping near the THs is very easy, as Navajo Lake has three campgrounds available for $17/night. I highly recommend making a reservation ahead of time, however, walk-in sites are available first come, first serve as well. We arrived on a Friday mid-day and got one of the last few sites at the Te-Ah Campground.



Andy Nelson Peak
Distance: 4 miles RT
Elevation gain: 877 ft
Time: 2-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, ages 6+
Fees/Permits? None

Directions:
Start at Navajo Lake Lodge. Park here, and then simply walk across
 the road. Here's a pin of where to park.

Kane County High Point
Distance: 0.4 miles RT 
(depending on how far your car can make it)
Elevation gain: flat
Time: 5-15 min RT
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? None

Directions: From Navajo Lake Lodge, drive back out to HWY 14 and turn left. Drive 3.1 miles and turn left on FR055. Drive 1.5 miles, then turn left on FR1642. If you are driving a small car, you'll want to park here and either hop in a friends 4x4 car or start hiking from here. If you have a higher clearance car, continue straight for another mile or so, as far as your car can make it. We parked about 5 minutes from the actual summit since the road got really rutted out and narrow.

Here's a driving map.

Andy Nelson Peak 

Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 Start by parking at the Navajo Lake Lodge, then walk across the road.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 You'll see the trail start right away named Lodge Trail.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 Soon after, you'll reach the Navajo Lake Loop Trail split. Stay right (not left as the sign points).
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 The trail is really well defined and gradually works up a few small switchbacks.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
A nice view of Navajo Lake!
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 At 1.2 miles reach the next trail split, and turn left.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
The next stretch of trail very gradually gains elevation until you reach the saddle. Here, you have a nice view all the way to Zion on a clear day.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
From the saddle turn right and start hiking off-trail, staying on the ridge.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 Reaching the top of the ridge - just a little further to the actual summit.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
Yay, we all made it! It took us an hour to get to the top. There was no summit register to sign - how sad!
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
From Andy Nelson Peak, if you walk just a little further West (100 yards), you can see Brian Head Peak (red arrow, the Iron County High Point), and the actual Kane County High Point (purple arrow).



Kane County High Point
After bagging Andy Nelson Peak, we headed over to Kane CoHP on the same day.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 The first sign after turning onto FR055. There's also a large sign talking about the sheep allotment and to keep dogs on-leash if you camp here.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 We saw hundreds of sheep!
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 Turning onto FR1642. 
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
There are several dirt roads back there, but you'll want to stay straight (aka Marathon Trail).
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
Just past the 4-way intersection, the road started to get really narrow from trees so we pulled over to park where we could. We started to hike from there.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 Hiking through the trees, off-trail, to find the summit.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
 We found the high point within 10 minutes of hiking.
Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
Signing the register. Not the coolest summit, but we marked it off our list!






Backpacking the Ashdown Gorge via Rattlesnake Creek
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Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point