Cherry Peak, 20 September, 2020

Fifteen hikers and one dog turned out for the socially distant Tony Grove to Cherry Peak hike.  Eleven hikers met at the regular spot and four joined us at the Tony Grove trailhead and started on the trail about 9:10 a.m., enjoying the cool (if a bit smokey) morning air at 8000 feet elevation. Jack provided a naturalist talk about a 500 year old Engelmann Spruce which is found along the trail (this tree is huge).

There were mountain bluebirds, juncos, Clark's nutcracker, raptors along the way. The trail passed the (now dry) waterfall and went up to the saddle at 9800 feet elevation at the Wilderness boundary near Mt. Naomi. The group split here, with Dave P., Dave W., Laurel, Jane and Susan going to Naomi Peak (9979 feet) and returning to Tony Grove, Jack heading off toward White Pine Lake for a solo off-trail loop and the others continuing down the trail toward Cherry Peak.

Cherry Peak hikers, Dan, Deanna, Beula, Naveen, Teresa, Tawnya, Ralph, Blake and Matt descended to the High Creek saddle, climbed to the southwest side of Cherry Peak and made the steep ascent to the peak.  The nine hikers spent a half-hour on top of 9765 foot Cherry Peak enjoying lunch and taking photos.  They were joined by an acquaintance from the University who was trail running the entire Summit Creek drainage (amazingly enough).

After lunch on the peak, Tawnya and Matt followed the ridge to the west into Cherry Creek drainage, ending at the Cherry Peak ski resort (see http://www.cachehikers.org/Reports/TonyGroveCherryCreek/NaomiPeakCherryCreekSept2018REPORT.html for a description of a similar hike).  Ralph, Teresa, Buela and Naveen returned along the same route they followed to the peak.  Deanna, Dan, Blake, and Jasper the dog went down the ridge to the east, descending a rocky, exposed section before joining the other hikers at the High Creek saddle. The group, now seven in number, climbed back to the Naomi saddle, where Blake went ahead on his own while the other took a short rest. 

The descent back to Tony Grove Lake was uneventful although there were multitudes of hikers coming up the trail and the afternoon temperature was warmer, too.  Hiking ended at the trailhead parking lot about 4:45 p.m. after about 9.6 miles and 3400 feet of climbing (of course the distance and ascent totals were different for the other groups). 

Trip Summary:
  • 15 people and one dog participated:  Ralph, Dave P., Jack, Deanna,Teresa, Laurel, Susan, Blake, Dave W., Jane, Dan (leader) and Jasper (dog) met at Logan, Tawnya, Matt, Beula and Naveen met at Tony Grove.
  • Drove 29 miles to the Tony Grove Day Use Area
  • Started hiking about 9:10, lunch on Cherry Peak 1:00 - 1:35, back at the trailhead about 4:45
  • Cool in the morning and comfortable temperatures in the afternoon, a light breeze, with mostly clear skies but a bit hazy from distant wildfire smoke
  • Our GPS track shows 9.5 miles round trip with 3400 feet of ascent

Thanks to Dan for the narrative, photos and GPS data, and Dave P., Deana, Jane and Dave W. for photos.

Near the start of the hike
Heading up the trail in the morning
Jack told us about this large spruce tree near the trail
Viewers Stairs
Viewing the "Giant Staircase" The quartzite stairs ("Giant Staircase")
Hikers Naomi Lunch
Hiking the Mt. Naomi Peak National Recreation Trail Lunch on Naomi Peak
Wilderness Magog
The Wilderness boundary near Naomi Peak, with Cherry Peak in the background Looking northeast to Mount Magog, with hikers on the trail below
                        Hikers Snow
 Hikers heading west toward Cherry Peak Snow remaining from yesterday's storm
Approaching Cherry Peak
Flattop doesn't look flat when viewed from the north
This way
This is the way to Cherry Peak Ascending Cherry Peak west ridge
                        Lunch High Creek
Lunch on Cherry Peak Looking north from the peak into High Creek South Fork
Cherry Peak Descending
Descending the east ridge of Cherry Peak
High Creek
Looking northeast toward High Creek Lake
Shrubby cinquefoil
Buckwheat Hugging
Sulfur buckwheat Tree hugging
Fall colors
Fall colors along the Tony Grove road
Our GPS track shows about 9.6 miles and 3400 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.