Tony Grove - Bunchgrass, 30 September, 2017
Despite an unfavorable weather forecast, ten Cache Hikers joined this traditional late-season hike. Usually it's a great time to enjoy fall colors before the hunting season, but things were different this year, with rain, mud and muted colors.
We drove up Logan Canyon after organizing carpools, leaving one vehicle at the Bunchgrass parking area before proceeding to Tony Grove (this was a "point to point" hike, so we needed to leave a car at our ending point to take drivers back to their cars at Tony Grove). We started hiking about 9:10 under a light rainfall. Reflective strips and flagging from the previous day's Bear 100 Endurance Run marked the way to White Pine Creek and beyond. We quickly discerned the method: pink flagging showed the right trail while blue flagging at junctions marked the wrong way.
The light rain soon intensified, prompting several hikers to wear waterproof ponchos over their outer wear. We enjoyed a short respite from the rain to make a side trip to White Pine Lake, although one hiker stayed to relax the trail junction. The rain resumed shortly after we started hiking down White Pine Creek but we were able to find a dry spot for lunch under a large spruce tree. We resumed our muddy slog after lunch, continuing eastward down White Pine Trail, southward to Bunchgrass Creek and eastward toward US-89. The rain abated shortly before we arrived at the trailhead at 4:05.
Several hikers climbed into the car at Bunchgrass for a ride back up to thier cars at Tony Grove while the others waited at the parking area. The drivers picked them up about 4:40 and arrived at Logan by 5:20.
Our hike totaled 11 miles, including a 3/4 mile side trip to White Pine Lake. We climbed about 1000 feet, including about 800 feet from Tony Grove to the Magog ridge south of White Pine Lake. We descended about 2700 feet from the Magog ridge to US-89.
We were puzzled by the muted fall colors. We enjoyed a colorful fall experience on the same trip the previous year at this time (Oct. 1, 2016), as you can see by looking at our 2016 trip report as well as some photos, below. In retrospect, we probably should have gone on a lower-elevation and shorter hike instead of today's long muddy excursion, although it still was a good trip. Everyone stayed reasonably dry and warm, we enjoyed good company, and we had a chance to use some of that extra gear that gets carried around in our backpacks all summer!
Thanks to Dave W. for the narrative, Jane, Dave P. and Dave W. for photos and Dave W. for the GPS work.