Tony Grove to Bunchgrass hike, October 13, 2012
Eight hikers came on this traditional end-of-season hike; Dave W.
(the leader), Jane, Dave P., Jim, Anne, Ryan, Denis and
Gordon. We usually enjoy bright fall colors on this hike, but this year most of the fall leaves had already
dropped and our hunter
orange attire was the most colorful feature of the day.
It took more than an hour to set up the car shuttle, drive to Tony
Grove and don our orange clothing, so we did not start hiking
until about 9:15. Low clouds and a light mist accompanied
the 2-hour hike to our lunch spot at White Pine Lake (we were
pleased to see that several damaged trail signs here had recently
been repaired).There were lots of people along this section of the
trail - about 24 men and boys straggled out in several groups
after camping overnight at White Pine Lake, a group of 10
lightly-equipped USU students hurried past us, and four horsemen
arrived at White Pine Lake to round up stray cattle.
The rain became more intense and trail mud stuck to the bottom of
our boots as we hiked down White Pine Creek. Here, we saw
fresh marks across the trail where beavers had been dragging trees
across the sagebrush meadow and down to the water. The
light, misty rain returned for the final two miles down Bunchgrass
creek (we enjoyed more fall color in this lower-elevation
portion). After arriving at the Bunchgrass parking
area about 4:30, Denis took the other drivers back to Tony Grove
so they could retrieve their cars for the return trip to Logan.
The anticipated fall colors were lacking, the weather was cool and
wet and the trail was muddy, but we still enjoyed the hike.
Next year, we may plan this trip for a week or two earlier, with a
possible end at Franklin Basin, for a change. The general
elk hunting season is going on, but it was hardly a factor.
Twice we heard distance gunshots, and we only saw three hunters
during the entire hike - and this was during the last 1/2
mile. This route took us over portions of three different
trails: The Mount Naomi Peak National Recreation Trail, 0.3
miles, the White Pine Lake Trail, 3.8 miles, and the the White
Pine - Bunchgrass Canyon Trail, 7.2 miles. Our GPS track
shows 11.3 miles total distance with 1000 feet of climbing.
Leaving Tony Grove under a low cloud
cover and a light mist
On the White Pine Lake trail
Lunch at White Pine Lake
Hiking out in heavier rain
Colorful aspen trees in lower Bunchgrass
The trip totaled 11.3 miles with 1000 feet of elevation gain