Cache County, Utah
Panoramic views in every direction
6.56 miles round trip
2,326 total gain
$6 parking fee at Tony Grove
I carried two liters and had plenty
Well traveled but rough in places
At trail head
Yes for ages ten and up
Naomi Peak (affectionately called Mount Naomi by the locals) is a Northern Utah classic hike. It is the highest peak in Cache County and the highest north of Salt Lake City. It stands 20 feet short of 10,000 feet. This trek will cover the most popular (and by far the easiest) route from Tony Grove Lake. There are other routes accessed through the Mount Naomi Wilderness in Smithfield Canyon, High Creek Canyon, and Cherry Creek Canyon. These other routes all include thousands of feet of gain through very rugged country but you can find much better privacy. The Mount Naomi National Recreation Trail starts at Tony Grove, climbs the peak, and exits through the gorgeous High Creek Canyon. This is what we did on this day and it requires a long day and a shuttle in Cove, Utah near the Idaho border. The drive to Tony Grove is located in Logan Canyon. As you near the top of the road Mount Naomi and the high ridge will become visible. The peak itself is the high point on the right of these photos.
We set up our shuttle and spent a gorgeous night camping near Tony Grove Lake. We visited the last week of June and woke up to frost so come prepared. There was also still plenty of snow on the hike.
We woke up early and took some awesome mirrored photos of Tony Grove Lake with a totally clear dark blue sky. The views of Naomi were also very with the morning sun.
This is one of the most used trails in Cache County but it still rarely feels crowded once on the trail. The area is also famous for having over 100 technical caves due to the many limestone sinkholes that the mountains are made of. If you encounter one keep your distance. They can be very dangerous without proper equipment. Main Drain is near the peak and is the deepest cave in Utah at almost 1300 feet deep. We encountered a group going to make the long trek into Main Drain. One of our admins is in the Wasatch Grotto and knew the people.
There are two parking areas. One is for day hiking. If you are backpacking you will need to use the back country parking area that is a half mile before the day parking. We payed the 6 dollar fee and used the day use parking. It was very crowded but like I said before the trail itself was not bad at all. The popular White Pine Lake trail also starts from here.
The trails are all well signed with the exception of the cutoff for High Creek which I will show later in the Trek. As we started through the first meadow the moon was just starting to disappear.
The first parts of the trail pass through several pretty meadows and climbs pretty gently. You will see Mount Magog above you during the beginning stages.
You will soon come to the spot known as the staircase. The reason for the name is obvious.
We were still a little early for wildflowers but in July and August this trail doesn’t take a backseat to anywhere in regards to wildflowers. There are several species that exist only on this mountain. We did spot a few early ones in the form of Glacier Lilies.
The views will soon open up to the main ridge of the Bear River Range. The views are beautiful everywhere.
You can see lots of evidence of the glaciated past of the area on the rocks. Look closely for the glacier grinding marks on the rocks.
We found a snow drift that was perfect for a slide! Unfortunately our video file got corrupted but you can see how happy everyone was haha.
From this point the trail steadily gets steeper but is still reasonable and more good views come out.
Keep your eyes open. A short distance off the trail I spotted a seasonal lake I had never seen with waterfalls that were the highlight of the trip for us. I am sure the lake dries up by mid July.
The lake is fed by a long cascading set of waterfalls that were fun to climb around and were a great way to cool off as we made our way back up to the trail.
Just above the waterfalls there were some very pretty flowers I hadn’t seen before. Does anyone know what they are?
You will then come to a saddle with great views of Mount Magog on the right and Mount Gog on the left. White Pine Lake sits right between the two but is not visible.
From this point the trail disappeared under the snow so we made our way up the huge drifts that last into August on high snow years. Be careful to watch your footing through here. It would be a long dangerous slide if you slip.
Once at the ridgeline you will see a sign for the Mount Naomi Wilderness (which is everything west of the ridge) and this is where the trail to High Creek starts if you are exiting that way. (after a short jaunt to Naomi)
The final push to the summit gets very steep but footing is always good and not scary at all.
Once on the summit the views are fantastic in every direction. Being where I live this area will always have a special meaning for me. Be careful on the summit. The west face drops 2000 feet nearly straight down. To the sound you can see Flat Top, Mount Elmer, and Mount Jardine (all high peaks in the Mount Naomi Wilderness) as well as the Wellsville Range across Cache Valley. Way off in the distance you can also see Willard, and Ben Lomond Peaks, as well as the Promontory Mountains.
Just to the west is Cherry Peak. This is one of the prettiest areas of the range especially when viewed from High Creek Canyon and also has a small ski resort on its west side.
To the north is Doubletop Peak which is the second highest point in the range. Doubletop is another awesome hike that has good chances of seeing very rare Pika. On the right of the photo you can see Sherman Peak which is the highest in the Idaho portion of the range.
We ate lunch at the summit and took in the great views. Be sure to keep your eyes open for small mammals. We had a great time!
We returned via High Creek Canyon which we covered in a different Trek. Most people do an out and back and return the way they came. You could also take other long routes through Smithfield Canyon, or Cherry Creek Canyon after summitting Cherry Peak.
This is a Cache Valley classic and pack a lot of great views and terrain into a relatively easy peak to bag with just over 2,000 feet of gain. Its one of my favorites for sure!