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.

Trip Summary:
  • Participants: Laurel, Deanna (and Jasper Dog), David W., Kris, Harry, Brent, Monika (and Murphy Dog), Dave P., Kathy, April, Ralph, Dave W., and Jane (leader).
  • Drove 29 miles to Tony Grove Lake Started hiking about 9:00 a.m., lunch at the lake 11:45 - 12:15, returned to cars at various times with the last group arriving about 3:15 p.m.
  • Brilliant blue skies dotted with a few high white clouds. Temperatures ranging from the 50's to low 80's throughout the day.
  • Hiked about 9 miles and 1400 feet of elevation gain.

Thanks to Jane for the narrative and photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.

Cache Hikers at the White Pine/Mt. Naomi trail junction
White Pine Lake
Enjoying lunch on the shores of White Pine Lake
The quartzite "stairs" featured by Wikipedia
Arrowleaf balsamroot
Sticky geranium
Scarlet Gilia
"Blue" columbines
"Scarlet" gilia
Jacobs Ladder
Jacob's ladder
Our GPS track shows about 9 miles and 1400 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.