The trail took us north along the ridge with good views all around: Egan Basin, Franklin Basin, St Charles Creek, Cub River Headwaters and peaks to the north. The sky was clear and the temperatures were cool. As we were still fresh in the morning, we made good time. We saw a monarch butterfly. Small black and white butterflies were very common. The trail passes by Cub Peak and continues north. At about 11:30am we took a break for an early lunch in the shade beside the trail.
Continuing, we passed a group of campers heading south. We could see Bear Lake through St Charles Creek valley. The trail dips down here to another crossroads where there is a pillar with signs. Trails go right (down St Charles Creek) and left (down into Cub drainage). After pictures here we went straight, climbing on the Highline trail (passing another group of packers) until at a point where a spur heads east. This is where we turned and bushwacked, climbing slowly on this spur to a peak with spectacular views in all directions and almost 1000 feet above Bloomington Lake. The time of our arrival here was 1:30 p.m. We saw people swimming and boating in the lake and a parking lot full of cars below. Taking second lunch we soaked up the surroundings with plenty of photos and watched 8 - 10 turkey vultures wheeling above us as if curious. We could see mountain ranges heading off in all directions, including the barely visible Uintas to the SE.
The time was growing late and we tried to send text to Jim's wife unsuccessfully. The group made the descent back to the trail (distance about 0.5 miles) breaking up into three groups. Nick, Jay and Alex went on ahead, Dan and Denis behind them and Jim in the rear (Jim passed Denis and I below). We gathered again at the masonry cairn.
The ascent south and along the ridge was tiring and the sun was hot. Two people passed on motorbikes. We regrouped twice as the afternoon wore on, resting in the shade. Jim told stories about Reinhard's style of camping. We reached the cars at 5 p.m. and were back to Logan by 6:30 p.m.
Trail notes: The route for this hike mostly followed the Highline Trail along the ridge crest of the Bear RIver Range, from Danish Pass to a peak overlooking Bloomington Lakes. This trail is a section of the Great Western Trail system. Motorcycles are allowed on this section of the GWT. This hike was entirely within Idaho.
Thanks to Dan for the narrative, photos and GPS work.