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Naomi Peak, 12 July 2015 (revised July 30, 2015)

Ten hikers headed for the highest point in the Bear River Range, 9987-foot Naomi Peak: Clay, Windy, Nick, Dan, Chris, Roddy, Stephanie, Tory, and co-leaders Dave P and Jim. As we hiked up the trail we came upon large meadows of blooming blue flax mixed with a colorful combination of Indian paintbrush and sunflowers.  We were also serenaded with the songs of white-crowned sparrows and olive-sided flycatchers.  Early in the hike Jim pointed out a Williamson's sapsucker, his first sighting of the year.  At Naomi Peak we were greeted with a turkey vulture flying overhead and panoramic views that were particularly spectacular with the crystal clear visibility, good enough to see the Uinta Mountains way off in the distant southeast.

After lunch on the peak the hikers split into two groups. Jim led Chris, Dan, and Nick off-trail south along the ridge to return via Cold Water Spring. The others went back down the Naomi Peak trail, and both groups kept in touch via walkie-talkie radio.

Scenic vews into Smithfield Canyon and of Flattop, Mount Elmer and Mount Jardine helped compensate for the steep and loose footing Jim's group encountered while traversing the west slope of the Naomi ridge. Several grouse erupting into flight added to the interest, but it still was a relief to leave the steep west slope for the ridge top. Large meadows of thigh-high fernleaf biscuit root, Lomatium dissectum, showed how this plant could have been a viable food source for Native Americans, while the beautiful stickseed flowers reminded us the the seeds to come, sticking like Velcro to everything that brushes against them.

Nick left the group near the top of the Smithfield Canyon trail to camp before heading down to Smithfield the next day. The others were grateful upon finally reaching the trail near Coldwater Spring where the hiking was much easier. The hike finished at Tony Grove Lake after hiking a steep trail down to the campground. The large numbers of people aroung the lake and in the parking lot made us appreciate our peaceful and calm day of hiking.

Wildflowers along the route included lupine, various sunflowers, Indian paintbrush (both red and yellow), scarlet gilia (ranging from white to pink to red), buttercups, kitten tails, stick seed, clematis, Utah sweetvetch, biscuit root, buckwheat, and blue flax. We also saw grouse, mountain bluebirds, olive-sided flycatchers, Williamson's sapsucker, Clark's nutcracker, Cassin's finches, white-crowned sparrows, chipping sparrow, and turkey vulture.

 

NRT

Trail notes: The Naomi Peak trail is one of 19 designated National Recreation Trails in Utah, exemplary trails of local and regional significance. “NRTs are trails that connect people to nature, to each other, and to our shared histories and cultures.”

 

Trip Summary:

  • Left Logan at 8:15 after organizing carpools
  • Drove 29 miles to the parking area at Tony Grove and started hiking about 9:15
  • Lunch on the peak at 11:30
  • For those returning directly to Tony Grove:
    • Arrived at the parking area about 2:00 and Logan at 3:00
    • About 6.5 miles and 2000 feet of elevation
  • For those returning via Coldwater Spring:
    • About 7.5 miles, including nearly 3 miles off-trail travel, with 2300 feet of elevation
    • Arrived at the parking area 4:15 and Logan about 5:15
  • Clear skies and pleasant conditions

Thanks to Dave P and Jim for the narrative, with photos by Jim m Dan, Chris and Dave P and GPS work by Dan.

Starting out

Near the start of our hike
On the trail
Hiking the Mt. Naomi Peak NRT

Naomi

Sign

Stephanie, Tory and Chris below Naomi Peak A new sign marking a favorite side trail
Magog
Looking north toward Mt. Magog

Leaving

Hiking back to Tony Grove from Naomi Peak
Ridge
Nick, Jim and Chris hiking off-trail on the Naomi Ridge

Sisters

Looking south to the "Seven Sisters" ridge and Mt. Elmer
Jim
Jim near the ridge to Coldwater Spring
GPS
The GPS track shows 7.5 miles and 2300 feet of elevation for the Coldwater Spring hikers
You can also look at our route using Google Earth or the various map and aerial views of Google Maps