North Navarre Peak + Bryan Butte / 北納瓦拉峯+布萊恩孤峯

North Navarre Peak from Bryan Butte

See more trip photos here.

Last weekend, the pup and I climbed Marsupial Peak and Gilbert Mountain. So this week, I wanted to pick up our last peak in the core Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness.

The Lowdown on North Navarre Peak and Bryan Butte

Approach: Summer Blossom Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 4760′-7963′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available

Cooper Mountain Road Approach

The 41-mile trip to Summer Blossom Trailhead on NF-8020 (Cooper Mountain Road) started in Chelan, Washington. But the drive was much less appealing than the trail name itself. Compared with the similar driving distance to the Entiat River Trailhead, this approach was as different as night and day. Service road rose steadily in lower elevation, and then it hugged lower Sawtooth Ridge higher up. All the while, bypassing several high points.

Cooper Mountain Road had several deeply rutted sections in the last few miles on Cooper Mountain Road. But even so, we managed to make it to and back in a low-clearance vehicle. The estimated 2.5-hour drive one way in the map ended up taking an extra hour in practice. Since I had burned lots of fuel on the way up, I had doubts about making it back to Chelan. I was afraid of emptying the tank. But glad that never happened.

Sneak peek
Sneak peek

See more trip photos here.

North Navarre Peak Climb

The pup and I started walking late morning on the well-maintained Summer Blossom Trail. We had hiked the northern end of this trail a month ago via Deadmans Pass. Also the weekend before my trip up to the Northern Picket Range. Before long, we were on Navarre Pass 150′ below the summit. The highest point had trees blocking the views. But the east end was wide open with abounding views.

This broad summit offered excellent scenery into the long-running Sawtooth Ridge to the north. It also gave views to the northwest: Merchants Basin, Horsethief Basin, and Safety Harbor Basins. The north and east faces of South Navarre Peak looked daunting from this angle. We enjoyed an extended summit stay.

Sneak peek
North view

See more trip photos here.

Bryant Butte Climb

I decided to climb Bryan Butte on the way out since it’s still early in the day. I wanted to make the long drive worthwhile. We first got back down to 6600′. Then we left the trail at the sharp bend and moved northeast in the meadow. Soon, we were near the head of Falls Creek Basin. From 7200′, we climbed up by hugging the right of the southwest ridge through steep terrain.

We began to fight our way through dense growth from 7000′ and onward. But then it was a relief to find the bouldered summit with a broad 180-degree landscape. We saw the Merchants Basin plus the rest of the Sawtooth Ridge. But the tall, northern peaks were too far to provide impressive views. We stayed long enough for snacks and photos.

Sneak peek
All our friends

See more trip photos here.


On the drive back down to Chelan, we spent more time avoiding the ruts. The low fuel warning light came on before we were halfway down on the ridge. So I kept my inReach handy just in case anything had gone wrong. But thank goodness, we made it back to the city in time to refuel. The last thing we needed was to spend the night in the backcountry!

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