Naomi Peak Hike

excerpts from the book
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails
by David Day

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Distance: 6.4 miles (round trip)

Walking time: 4 1/2 hours

Elevations: 1,920 ft. gain/loss
     Tony Grove Trailhead (start): 8,060 ft.
     Naomi Peak: 9,978 ft.

Trail: Good trail most of the way

Season: Midsummer through mid-fall. Parts of the trail are usually covered with snow from November until the end of June. For current conditions call the Logan Ranger District, Wasatch-Cache National Forest, at (435) 755-3620.

Vicinity: Near Logan

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      Naomi Peak is the highest point in the Bear River Mountains of northern Utah and southern Idaho. While the limestone range is not very high it is extremely rugged, and the views from the top of Naomi are outstanding. Many of the most interesting peaks in the range can be seen from the summit.
     If you are hiking in late July or August you will also be able to enjoy another highlight of the Bear River Range: wildflowers. Nowhere else in Utah will you see them in such staggering abundance. A colorful profusion of geraniums, paintbrushes, columbines, lupines, daisies, and mountain sunflowers stretch for miles across the meadows north of Tony Grove Trailhead. It is a shame that these meadows were not included in the 1984 Utah Wilderness Bill that created the Mount Naomi Wilderness Area. Snowmobile operators frequent the area in the winter, and they lobbied successfully to have the watershed east of the peak excluded from the bill. This hike touches only briefly on the eastern boundary of the wilderness area.

     From the trailhead at Tony Grove Lake the trail climbs gently uphill for about 400 yards before coming to a forest service signboard where it forks. Bear left here, as the trail goes into a long turn to the west towards Naomi Peak. The wildflower section of the trail continues for only about 0.5 mile beyond the sign before the grade gets steeper and the rocky soil becomes less supportive of ground cover.
     As the trail ascends toward the summit ridge you will climb onto two narrow benches, each about 250 feet above the preceding one. The path climbs out of the meadow and onto the first bench about 0.8 mile from the trailhead. Then after a brief respite the route becomes steep again until the second bench is attained 0.8 mile farther along. From the second bench the trail makes its third and last steep climb up to the summit ridge just north of the peak.
     Once you reach the summit ridge it will be necessary to leave the trail and strike out along the top of the ridge for the last 0.2 mile to the peak. The Mount Naomi Wilderness Area boundary line also follows the ridge, and you will see a forest service sign at the boundary just before the point where you must leave the trail. It is an easy ten-minute scramble along the summit ridge to the top of Naomi Peak. The peak is only 140 feet higher than the pass, and there is no vegetation to impede the way.
     The view from the top of Naomi Peak is striking. Smithfield Canyon, a deep gorge through the mountains, dominates the view to the west. The dome-shaped peak 1.5 miles to the northwest, on the other side of Smithfield Canyon, is Cherry Peak. Cherry Peak is easily accessible from the Cherry Creek Trail which you can see about 400 feet below its summit. The distinctive peak one mile east of Naomi Peak is Mount Magog. White Pine Lake, lies just out of sight on the north side of Magog.

High Creek Lake
     If you still have energy to spare after climbing Naomi, you might want to visit the nearby High Creek Lake . This side trip will add 2.4 miles to the hike's total distance and about a thousand feet to the elevation gain and loss. To get there just continue west on the trail below Naomi as it cross the summit ridge. After 0.9 mile the trail splits again with the right fork leading to High Creek Lake and the left fork leading to Cherry Creek. High Creek Lake is a small but very scenic lake nestled against the steep western side of the summit ridge. There are several groves of large Engelmann spruce around the lake, and a few fine camp sites along its southern shore. 

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