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Backpacker Magazine – August 2001

Utah's Best Wildflower Blooms

Follow the hummingbirds in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness to the best high-country wildflower show in all of Utah.

by: Eric Hansen

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Expedition Planner: Mt. Naomi Wilderness, Utah

DRIVE TIME: The Mt. Naomi Wilderness is 1 1/2 hours (90 miles) north of Salt Lake City (about 30 minutes northeast of Logan).

THE WAY: From Logan in northern Utah, drive east and then north 19 miles on US 89 to Tony Grove Lake Road (Forest Service Road 003). Take this road west for 7 miles to the Tony Grove Lake trailhead.

TRAILS: A 60-mile trail network laces the Mt. Naomi Wilderness. For a weekend trip, hike the 10-mile section of maintained trail from Tony Grove Lake, over Naomi Peak, and down High Creek Trail. Combine that with a ridgeline walk north from Naomi Peak to Doubletop Mountain, an 8-mile (round-trip) jaunt on faint paths and easy, off-trail terrain. Another good option is to hike the flower-filled first 2 miles of the Cherry Creek Trail and ascend Cherry Peak on its south side.

ELEVATION: The crest of the Bear River Range stays above 9,000 feet for 13 miles (Naomi Peak tops out at 9,979 feet). The lowest trailheads hover around 6,000 feet.

CAN'T MISS: The tristate view from Naomi Peak.

CROWD CONTROL: You may see some flower-ogling dayhikers in the meadows near Tony Grove Lake. Solitude rules on the Doubletop Mountain and Cherry Creek Trails.

SEASON: Late June through October. Expect snow the rest of the time. Wildflowers peak in mid- to late summer.

GUIDES: Bridgerland Hiking Trails, a free Forest Service publication, is available from the Logan Ranger District (see Contact below). USGS topo map is Naomi Peak (888-ASK-USGS; http://ask.usgs.gov; $4). You can also get the hard-to-find guidebook Cache Trails, by John Wood (Bridgerland Audubon Society), at Logan-area retail stores or online at www.logannature.org/nature/books.html.

WALK SOFTLY: Don't pick or trample the wildflowers. Avoid camping at High Creek Lake.

CONTACT: Logan Ranger District, Wasatch-Cache National Forest, (435) 755-3620; www.fs.fed.us/wcnf.


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