Mount Magog is one of the highest peaks in the Bear River Mountains. It is often photographed but not well known. The hike to Mount Magog uses the same approach as Naomi Peak, the highest in the range, which is farther southwest. Mount Magog will always be linked to Mount Gog the neighboring peak located to the north. The two mountains have a very different appearance. Mount Gog is a large peak with a flat summit plateau and impressive south face. Mount Magog is more dramatic with a pointed summit surrounded by steep cliffs. The first ascent of the mountain was made by members of the Hayden Survey.
The regular route up the mountain follows a well maintained trail as it goes up toward the top of the ridge. To climb Mount Magog, you'll have to leave the trail and follow the southwest ridge. Route finding is easy so you’ll just have to watch out for sinkholes in the area. The Bear River Range has many of them. This mountain is composed mostly of limestone which is sharp in texture. The north face has the largest cliffs and there are also cliffs on the east face of the peak. The summit view is very good and includes the major peaks in the area. You should also be able to see the northern peaks in Idaho on a clear day.
The Bear River Mountains form the northern extension of the Wasatch Range. The highest named mountains in the range include Naomi, Doubletop, Cherry, Magog, and Gog. These mountains are located south of the Idaho border and north of Tony Grove in Logan Canyon. With the exception of Naomi Peak, all of the mountains are seldom climbed. This is a great area with many mountains and lakes. Numerous peaks reach above 9,000 feet in elevation. They vary from rolling hills to summits surrounding by limestone cliffs. Mountains are usually no harder than class 2 off-trail hiking but more difficult routes can also be found. Some of the most interesting peaks remain unnamed.
As you may have noticed, Magog is an odd name for a mountain. Gog and Magog originate from the Bible and have an interesting history. They were often associated with a prophecy of the apocalypse. Most of the time, they are shown depicting good against evil. There is a lot of confusion about their names and how they were related. Sometimes it is the name of a person, and sometimes it is the name of a nation. Sometimes Gog and Magog are described as brothers, and sometimes Gog is the king of the Magog.
In Northern Utah, drive on I-15 north of Brigham City and take exit 362 (US-91/Logan). Keep driving on US-91 through Sardine Canyon. After 25 miles US-91 will merge into Main Street in Logan. Drive to the intersection of Main Street and 400 North in Logan. Turn east on Highway 89 into Logan Canyon. Drive for about 18 miles to the exit to Tony Grove. Turn here and follow this paved road for 7 miles to the trailhead and large parking lot for Tony Grove Lake.
If coming from the east near the cities of Soda Springs or Montpelier. Turn onto Highway 89 and drive south toward Garden City which is on the east side of the range near Bear Lake. Drive up the switchbacks into Logan Canyon. Go over the summit of the canyon and then drive to the road junction to Tony Grove. Drive down this windy paved road for about seven miles to Tony Grove Lake and the trailhead.
This is the standard route to the summit of Mount Magog. It starts at Tony Grove Trailhead in Logan Canyon. The route follows a trail for a couple miles and then goes up the southwest ridge to the summit. This is one of the shortest approaches in the Bear River Range. It is an enjoyable and interesting mountain so I thought a page should be submitted for it. Despite its rugged appearance, it only requires class 2 off trail hiking. When I climbed the peak many years ago, there was no evidence of other hikers having been there. So I guess more people have been hiking to it. The view from the summit is really nice and there is a steep drop-off from its north face down toward the White Pine Lake cirque.
This route page was added by Bob Sihler. The South Ridge is a good alternative to the standard route up the Southwest Ridge. An even better idea would be to do a loop of both routes. The South Ridge is rated class 3 with some off trail hiking and scrambling. This route offers more solitude and is not done as much and the chances of seeing other people are low. There are some subpeaks along the way that are actually more difficult to ascend than the summit of Mount Magog which adds fun to your hike.
Other Peaks in the Area
If you are looking for a more challenging hike, you can combine several peaks together in the same day. For those of you who like long and scenic hikes, the best loop would include all four peaks. The easiest way to do this is to start by hiking to Mount Magog first, then follow the ridge to Naomi Peak, traverse over to Bullen Hole Peak, and then climb up to Mount Gog. From here you'll be able to hike down the White Pine Lake trail back to Tony Grove trailhead.
Naomi Peak - (9,979 feet) - This is the most common peak to combine with Mount Magog. The same approach from Tony Grove can be used for both peaks. They are connected by a long ridge. Naomi Peak has a trail to its summit and happens to also be the highpoint.
Mount Gog - (9,714 feet) - Mount Gog is located across the valley to the north. The most direct route from Mount Magog to Mount Gog is the lower elevation ridge above the cliffs near White Pine Lake. If you choose to traverse this ridge, don’t descend directly from the summit of Magog. Instead descend farther south so that you don’t run into large cliffs.
Bullen Hole Peak - (9,828 feet) - This peak is located on the ridge west of Mount Gog. It is one of the highest peaks in the range although most people don't know that. Bullen Hole Peak doesn't recieve as much attention because it is unofficially named. A traverse that follows the ridge from Naomi Peak to Mount Gog or vise verse is a good way to climb the peak. This is mostly off trail hiking and scrambling.
When to Climb
The main climbing season for Mount Magog is during the summer months. This is July through September.
The mountain can also be climbed in late spring and early fall depending on snow conditions. In normal years, snow last in early summer. Many people who have climbed nearby Naomi Peak in early July have encountered a lot of snow at the higher elevations. In fall, there are few people out hiking until October when hunting season takes place. Tony Grove can be accessed in winter by skiing or snowshoeing. The road will add seven miles in distance from Logan Canyon to the trailhead.
There is a $6.00 parking fee at Tony Grove Trailhead.
It should also be noted that you can park down lower in the campground. If you have an America The Beautiful Pass then it is free to park here. This just adds a small amount of walking distance.
Mount Magog is located in Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Logan Canyon is plowed in winter but the road to Tony Grove is not. Snowmobiles pack down the road to the trailhead. It would be a long distance to climb Mount Magog in winter so this is rarely done. Check winter road conditions at the UDOT.
The Wasatch-Cache National Forest Headquarters is located at 8236 Federal Building, 125 South State Street in Salt Lake City, UT 84138. Phone (801) 236-3400.
Logan Ranger District is at 1500 East Hwy 89 in Logan, UT 84321. Phone (435) 755-3620.
The best place to camp near the mountain is at White Pine Lake. There are sites with fire rings on the east and north side of the lake. Backcountry camping is allowed in undeveloped sites. This must be 200 feet away from any road, trail, or water source. The dispersed camping limit in one spot is 16 days. There are several campgrounds located along the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway. Some of them are first come, first serve and others can be reserved online. The campgrounds are usually open from Memorial Day to mid-October. Tent camping is between $17 to $19 a night.
Spring Hollow Campground is located 4 miles up the west side Logan Canyon. It is near the Logan River and Spring Hollow Creek. There are 12 sites available. Guinavah Campground is 5 miles up the west side of Logan Canyon. It is located in the forest near the Logan River. There are three loops that have a total of 40 sites. Tony Grove Campground is the most popular place to camp in Logan Canyon. It is about 18 miles up Logan Canyon at 8,100 feet. The campground has 37 sites. Sunrise Campground is located 6 miles west of Bear Lake and 1 mile east of Bear Lake summit. It sits at an elevation of 7,800 feet. There are 27 sites available here.
Lower Logan Canyon Campground Reservations: Spring Hollow Campground and Guinavah Campground
Upper Logan Canyon Campground Reservations: Tony Grove Campground and Sunrise Campground
Gog and Magog History
The history of Gog and Magog in religion. This has a lot more detailed information than my description.
Logan, Utah Avalanche Center
This has advisories, weather, and information on avalanche conditions in the mountains above Logan.
Utah Mountaineering Guide - By Michael R. Kelsey. There is a short description of Mount Magog and Bear River Mountains.