High Creek to Tony Grove, 21 July, 2019
Nine hikers took part in the hike between Tony Grove and High Creek: Dave W, Deanna, Jane, Dave P, Kathy, Tawnya, Jack, Nick and Dan (the leader). We met at Smith's Marketplace and took cars to either end of the route picking up Jack and Nick in Smithfield on the way to High Creek trailhead. Nick, Jack, Tawnya and Dan started from High Creek and the others started at Tony Grove. Three hikers (Kathy, Jane and Dave P) did the up and back from Tony Grove to Naomi Peak.
The high creek hikers were on the trail by 9:15 a.m. and had pleasant temperatures crossing the five bridges in the first two miles of hiking in lush forest. We stopped for a break at the beaver ponds with views of the north side of Cherry Peak. Jack counted the bird species which totaled 27 by the end of the hike. There were numerous patches of snow still hanging on from winter at the upper elevations. The wildflowers seemed to be late this year and not yet at full peak.
After some strenuous climbing and passing the waterfall the group of four reached High Creek Lake about 1:10 p.m. Nick went for a swim to cool off. We had lunch at the south side of the lake which appeared to be eutrophic. At 1:50 p.m. we were back on the trail climbing to the saddle where we met Dave W and Deanna. We exchanged keys and continued on, climbing the switchbacks to Naomi ridge with great views of Cherry Peak and Cache Valley to the SW.
We took a break at the Naomi saddle at about 3:25 p.m. then continued down toward Tony Grove. Friends were met along the way who joined us for part of the time. Tony Grove was reached about 5:40 p.m. and Logan about 6:35 p.m.
The Tony Grove hikers enjoyed frequent stops as they hiked, admiring flowers and chatting with others on the trail. They especially liked talking to the bee scientists (they were looking for mason bees) and two delightful 7-year old girls on their fourth trip to Naomi Peak! After stopping for lunch on the Naomi saddle about 1:00, three hikers headed back down, arriving at Tony Grove about 3:30 and Logan at 4:30. The two others continued toward High Creek, stopping at the lake to observe the salamanders before resuming the hike down. They arrived at the High Creek Trailhead about 5:40 and Logan about 6:35.
Thanks to Dan for the narrative and photos, Jane for photos and Dave for photos and the GPS data .