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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!

Trip Summary:

  • Participants: Katie, Laurel, Jane, Dave P., Dan, Deanna, Stephanie, Denis, Rebecca and Dave W, leader
  • Drove 30 miles up Logan Canyon to Bunchgrass Creek and Tony Grove
  • Start hiking about 9:10, with lunch from 12:30 - 1:00
  • Arrived at the Bunchgrass parking area on US-89 at 4:05
  • Drivers returned from Tony Grove at 4:40 to pick up the remaining hikers
  • Back in Logan at 5:20
  • Rain most of the day
  • Hiked 11 miles with 1000 feet of ascent and 2700 feet of descent

Thanks to Dave W. for the narrative, Jane, Dave P. and Dave W. for photos and Dave W. for the GPS work.


Starting out

Starting out from Tony Grove Lake under light rain


Flagging and reflector strips for the Bear 100 Endurance Run marked much of our way Hikers donned waterproof ponchos as the rain became more intense


Descending Resting
Descending from the Magog ridge in the rain Taking advantage of a break in the rain while the others went to see White Pine Lake

Magog and White Pine Lake

Mount Magog and White Pine Lake
2016 2017

Trees were much more colorful in 2016 (left) than 2017 (right)

Lunch Junction
Lunch in a "dry" spot under a huge spruce tree Wet and muddy at the White Pine/Bunch-grass Trail junction
Again, trees in this view of upper Bunchgrass Creek were much more colorful in 2016 (above) than 2017 (below)
Sign Hike end
The Bunchgrass trailhead may be moving 1/2 mile south to accommodate US-89 changes The rain may have stopped by the end of our hike, but our muddy feet revealed the conditions on the trail
11 miles with 1000 feet of ascent and 2800 feet of descent

You can look at our route using: Google Earth, the various map and aerial views of Google Maps or download our GPS file.