White Pine Lake
(Bear River Range)

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

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Distance: 6.6 miles (round trip)

Walking time: 4 1/4 hours

Elevations: 1,250 ft. gain/loss
     Tony Grove Trailhead (start): 8,060 ft.
     highest point: 8,840 ft.
     White Pine Lake: 8,375 ft.

Trail: Good trail all the way

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

Vicinity: Near Logan

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     This is one of the most scenic hikes you will find anywhere, especially if it is done around the first of August when the wildflowers are at their peak. The first two-thirds of the trail pass through a series of alpine meadows that are filled with acres and acres of pink, blue, purple, yellow, and white flowers. No other trail in this book offers the abundance of wildflowers you will see on the White Pine Lake trail. You might want to stop at the Forest Service Ranger Station in Logan and buy a guide to the wildflowers on your way to the trailhead. As you leave Logan you will see it on the right side of Highway 89 just 2.1 miles after you leave Main Street.
     Given the natural beauty of White Pine Lake and its environs, it is unfortunate that it is not a part of the Mount Naomi Wilderness Area. The lake lies about a mile outside of the wilderness area’s eastern boundary. It is a popular destination among snowmobile sportsmen during the winter months, and it was their lobbying effort that led to its exclusion when Ronald Reagan signed the Utah Wilderness Bill into law in 1984. White Pine Lake is still pristine, but there is no guarantee that it will not be developed in the future. Already there exists a jeep road within 0.6 mile of the lake.

     From Tony Grove Lake the trail climbs gently uphill for a quarter mile to the junction with the Naomi Peak trail. Turn right here and continue climbing for another 1.9 miles until you reach the highest point on the hike, some 780 feet above the trailhead. Up to this point the trail goes through open meadows with occasional groves of Engelmann spruce and limber pine. The limber pines are the trees with large clusters of needles near the ends of the twigs that look almost like tufts of fur. They get their name because the branches are so limber they can be bent double or even tied in knots without breaking.
     Finally, 2.1 miles from the trailhead the trail starts down into White Pine Basin. The prominent peak west of this point is Mount Magog and, although you cannot see it yet, the lake is located just north of this peak. When you reach the bottom of the basin you will come to another trail junction where you must turn west for the last half mile to White Pine Lake.
     The lake itself is small and very shallow, but the beauty of its setting makes up for its deficiencies. It is situated directly between two 9,700 peaks, Mount Magog and Mount Gog, with a magnificent stand of spruce on one side. There are a number of good camp sites above the eastern shore, and if you have the time it is a very pleasant place to spend a night.

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