Most people who enter the Navajo Nation from the south travel via Indian Road 12, from I-40 to Window Rock. However, a little-known dirt road parallels this paved route to the west, traveling through open forest on Defiance Plateau. The trail is used as a main access to the settlement of Pine Springs and by many Navajo who live on the plateau. Consequently, the route stays open year-round but may be snowcovered in winter and impassable after summer monsoons. In dry weather, it is suitable for high-clearance 2WDs.
Special Attractions: Oak Ridge Fire Lookout Tower; Long trail through open forest along Defiance Plateau; Alternative route to Window Rock from the south. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions.
© 2006 Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson/Adler Publishing . All Rights Reserved.