This is high country that have few visitors, does have big predators and fall hazard. Don't take risks way out here!
Beginning at the already high, South Navarre Peak Campground, you benefit from the hard work of your vehicle at the start of the Great Western Traverse, eventually totally over 10,000 feet of descending throughout the entire ride. The trail immediately but gently descends along Safety Harbor Creek on the East side of Uno Peak down Summit Trail #1259. Meeting the Dry lake trail, the Safety Harbor Creek trail begins at the same time as you climb up Horsethief Basin to Deadman's Pass.
Offering some of the best views of the traverse, earning this ridge does give you the optional (but not indicated) traverse to the Horsethief overlook or Sunrise Lakes, but the recommended route is to descend over Deadman's Pass and down to the Summit trail in the meadow below.
The full route has you head East up a small climb called the "High Way", which gets you out into the alpine (and sun) of which benefits you with a second descent down The Eagle Lake trail (or Prince creek alternatively). Do not continue to Cub Lake. Instead, take the Chipmunk Pass shortcut to climb Northwest to the Chipmunk Pass trail, then head East (right) once you meet the trail. Follow this into the open meadows and the short climb to Chipmunk Pass, a saddle in between two mountains. Ponder for a moment why one is not legally allowed to ride your bicycle any further Northward and then remove the bitter with a sweet short descent back down Chipmunk pass trail to meet the Hoodoo Pass traverse, returning to Boiling Lake.
Now is a good time to filter some water and eat a snack for one steep climb up Eagle Lake Trail to Horsehead Pass is next. Head East up the trail till you reach the saddle. Stop, take a few minutes to breath in the 7,500 foot high view to the East. Relish for a moment that its pretty much all downhill from here!
Descend Eagle Lakes trail, expecting switchbacks at first, then flowing trail next. If you've forgotten water, you can fill up at the creek running between upper Eagle Lake and lower. Descend the trail all the way to NF road 4340300. Continuing down this fireroad gains you more descending, so why park your car at the trailhead, park it at the bottom! Continue to descend down the route as indicated to wherever you decided to park or all the way to town!
Local Trail Association
Trails in Route
Route TypePoint to Point
More Stats for The Great Western Traverse mountain bike route
Altitude change-5,112 ft
Altitude min1,320 ft
Altitude start6,432 ft
Altitude end1,320 ft
Distance climb11 miles
Distance down22 miles
Distance flat4,038 ft
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
Recent Trail Reports Along Route
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