Navigation Trail #291
This is an excellent trail that leads to developed campgrounds located at the north end of Upper Priest Lake (Navigation Campground) and the south end of Upper Priest Lake (Plowboy Campground). The trail passes through valley and side hill terrain. Along the trail there is an old homesteaded cabin, beaver ponds, abundant wildlife, riparian areas and scenic views. Trail is approx. 8 miles long.
Southern Trail Access :
At Nordman turn east onto Reeder Bay Road. Stay on the main road approx. 12 miles to Beaver Creek Campground. Turn right toward the campground then left uphill to the trailhead. Pull-through parking is available for trailers.
Northern Trail Access:
North on Hwy 57, Hwy 57 turns into graveled Forest Service Rd #302 approx. 4 miles past Nordman. Travel north on Rd. #302 approx. 14 miles until it turns into Rd. #1013 at the Granite Pass junction. The road to the trailhead is on the right side, located 5.5 miles up Rd. #1013. (1 mile past the Hughes Meadows turnoff.) Stock trailer parking is available.
Plowboy Mountain Trail #295
This trail offers much beauty in terrain and scenic views of Upper Priest Lake. This trail is very steep and approx. 6 miles one-way.
At Nordman turn east onto Reeder Bay Road. Follow Reeder Bay Road/ USFS Road #2512 for 12 miles to Beaver Creek Campground at the end of the pavement stay left on Forest Service Rd. #1341. Trailhead is approx. 2½ miles on your right.
Trail can also be reached via Navigation Trail #291 at Navigation campground on Upper Granite Falls #301
The North Fork Granite Creek winds through stands of towering ancient western red cedar trees. Some of these towering giants date back 1000 to 2000 years. Wildflowers dot the forest floor with shades of pink, yellow, blue or white, with a different display for spring, summer and fall. Species that are commonly encountered include lily of the valley, spring beauty, trilliums, violets, foamflower, and wild ginger. The cool, moist temperatures of this secluded snap shot of history make this site a wonderful place to visit on a hot, dry summer day. There are three trails, two trails are maintained from the trailhead and one is north of the parking area. An easily hiked trail of 365 feet runs along the creek bringing hikers to a viewpoint of the Lower Granite Creek Falls cascading over a sheer rock wall. There is a one-mile loop trail of moderate difficulty that leads up the old road for 200 feet above the trailhead. This longer trail will bring you through a series of switchbacks to views of the Upper Granite Creek Falls and the Lower Granite Creek Falls. Ancient cedars can be viewed in the parking area and through a short loop trail just North of the parking area.
Take Hwy 57 North, Hwy 57 turns into graveled Forest Service Rd #302 approx. 4 miles past Nordman. Travel north on Rd. #302 approx. 12 miles turn left into the Stagger Inn / Granite Falls picnic area, park in the parking area, two trails starts in the in the parking area.
Hughes Meadow/Hughes Ridge Lookout
Hughes Ridge Lookout offers a spectacular view of Upper Priest Lake, Hughes Meadow and the surrounding mountains. The tower is a 45-foot lookout manned for approx. three months during the summer fire season and visitors are welcome. The panoramic views are fantastic and provide a picture perfect setting for a picnic, don’t forget the camera.
Hughes Meadow is a large meadow located on the west side of Hughes Ridge. Depending on climatic conditions and beaver activity on the stream that flows through the meadow, it may be extremely marshy throughout the year from spring-fall. Numerous birds and wildlife frequent the meadow. Of particular interest is the cedar grove along the entrance road adjacent to Hughes Meadows. Here, old growth cedars stand majestically, as sentinels to a meadow access corridor. With the exception of snowmobiles recreational vehicles are prohibited on Hughes Meadow. Also, the access road into Hughes Meadow is closed to all vehicles each year from March 15-June 30.