It's FUZZY time!
A GPS unit is needed for about half of this hike as you will have to make your own trail (bushwacking) in some areas. Also, a Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Backcountry Permit is REQUIRED for non-tribal members, even for day hikes on the Navajo Nation. See permits & fees.
Fuzzy Mountain Loop is a 6.7 mile round trip hike near Navajo, New Mexico. If mountains, low crowds, and limited access are your type of hikes then get packed for this one. About half the trail is bushwacking and ascending the mountain, but the views and hozhó is great up there.
Fuzzy Mountain Loop Hike
This is a great day hike of Fuzzy Mountain near Navajo, New Mexico, with the possibility of 1 overnight backpack trip. There are about 3 good scenic points on this hike with amazing views of the Fort Defiance Plateau, the Chuska Mountains, and a small canyon on the south side of the mountain. The canyon can be hiked back out to the town of Navajo if accompanied by a tribal member or you are a Navajo tribal member yourself.
The trailhead can either be started at the GPS coordinates of: 35.906812 -109.024892 -or- if you'd like to drive down the dirt road heading in the southwest direction then park between the red rocks cliffs and the small ridge line, that can be done too. There are no mile markers or signs on this trail.
A suggested camping area can be seen on the hike route, however no developed camping areas are located here, so any camping will require hikers to bring all their own stuff and pack out their own trash.
There are no water sources on this hike, all drinking water to be used will need to be carried. About 3 liters of water should be enough for this hike, however more won't hurt.
The hike starts up the side of the small ridge line where you will basically walk through an old trash dump site and follow an ATV road. Within about 1/4 of a mile there will a trail that leads through some rock crevices, but don't worry no rock climbing gear or rock climbing techniques will be required. After making it through the rock crevice you will stay on a noticeable trail for about 0.1 miles, which will then take you to a Three Way Junction (first waypoint on hike) with a small ATV looking dirt road that runs South/North. From that point head left (northish) on the dirt road and follow the road for about 0.2 miles or at the 0.62 mile mark. From here, prepare for some off trail hiking (this is where a GPS unit will definitely be needed).
The bushwhack hiking route basically heads towards a small mesa top shelf that sticks out from the Northeast side of the mountain, which is where you will reach the second waypoint in this hike, Mesa Top Lookout Point. Once at the waypoint, enjoy the vast view to the north of the Drum and Chief Mountains, along with the Crystal Chapter Area and Chuska Mountain Range. After a break there, you will continue to make your own trail until about the 2.93 mile mark, where you should then come upon an old ATV looking dirt road that heads up to the mountain top heading westish.
From there basically follow the road up to the Summit Point waypoint. You will have hiked ~3.45 miles once you've reached the summit. After taking a break and possibly enjoying a meal up here, follow the road back down to the 4.10 mile mark where you will then take a right onto a trail the heads downward and shortcuts to the dirt road below. The trail should go for about 0.1 miles then meet up with the dirt road (4.21 mark), which you will then head southwestish on the dirt road and basically follow it down the south side of the mountain.
At around mile mark 5.01 the next scenic view waypoint, Canyon Overlook, is reached while walking along the dirt road. A small canyon should clearly be visible below you if facing south. The canyon does lead back out to the town of Navajo but you will need to have a Navajo tribal member to go with you who is experienced in hiking over rough terrain with no trail system. From here continue onto mile mark 5.97 and take a right onto a small livestock trail that heads northwestish. The trail will go about 0.05 miles then lead you back onto the ATV road which will bring you back to the Three Way Junction waypoint you came to at the beginning of the hike.
To head back to the trailhead/where you parked, simply follow the trail back down the rock crevices and the small ridge line and to your vehicle.
Feel free to park at the grocery store or gas station in the town of Navajo if you are not comfortable with parking and leaving your vehicle at the trail head area. I would suggest not to leave any expensive items in vehicle or not take an expensive looking vehicle, especially if camping overnight.
Local Police Dispatch Phone Numbers
Window Rock Navajo Nation Police Station (928) 871-6111
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.