White Pine Lake, 12 July, 2020
A glorious wildflower display greeted hikers on this Sunday trip from Tony Grove Lake to White Pine Lake. Columbine, hairy clematis, scarlet gilia, little sunflower, yarrow, Indian paintbrush, larkspur and many others splashed color through several meadows backed up by forests and peaks.
With temperatures predicted in the 90's in Cache Valley, the group of thirteen escaped to a cool mountain morning, warming to low 80's by the mid-afternoon return. Driving separately due to pandemic precautions, we parked in the backcountry parking lot and used the horse trail to hike 0.6 miles to the White Pine Trail overlooking Tony Grove Lake. We noticed the crowds and the high parking fee ($10!) had motivated users to park in unusual places.
Pausing at current and abandoned junctions, the creek across the trail, views of Mount Magog, and the twisted aspen forest we made our way to White Pine Lake for a leisurely lunch. Several very happy kids and our two happy dogs provided great water entertainment. (The dog beat the kid to the stick every time.)
Returning to Tony Grove we split into smaller groups hiking independently. After the 400 foot climb out of the glacial lake basin, the rest was all downhill. At least one group returned via the Mt. Naomi trail and the “giant’s steps” of quartzite.
We noticed that all the trail signs were present, vertical, and readable; features no doubt appreciated by the backpackers, day hikers, and horse riders we encountered on the trail.
The day was well-spent on one of the most scenic trails in the Bear River Range.
Thanks to Jane for the narrative and photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.