A week in Utah- day one (July 1st)
I had been planning this trip for about 8 months and it was to include a full week in the state of Utah. With the exception of this first day, I would be traveling with my son in law Andrew from Portland Oregon and good friend Dennis Poulin
for the rest of the week and we would be hitting much of the state in our pursuit of Utah's county summits. I was to meet up with them on Saturday so I wanted to get the wheels in motion and I left Kennewick in eastern Washington on thursday afternoon with the hopes of driving to the campground that is near Cache county's highpoint, Naomi Peak.
Tony Grove Lake, very close to the campground
I arrived at Tony Grove Campground
just as it was getting dark. Rather than set up a tent, I found a site that had a flat driveway and just slept in the back seat of my Tacoma, a practice I was to do all week long. Actually, it is an access cab and with a good custom made foam pad fitted for the back seat (jump seat area) I slept very well. After all, I spent 30 nights the year before sleeping in the back seat of my Honda Accord. I cooked up a quick meal on the tail gate of the truck and was soon sound asleep, dreaming of the next day.
Bright and early, I was up and fixing a quick meal. I figured I would be up and back before the campground needed more money from me so I left the truck parked in the campsite space and shouldered my day pack and headed for the trailhead, about 1/3 of a mile away. The first mile was very nice as the trail was a breeze to hike. Soon, I began to hit snow patches and then the trail disappeared underneath a blanket of snow. Footsteps in the snow led the way until I ascended to a saddle where footsteps went off in every direction. Still I could ascertain the path that lay beneath the snow and a check on my pre set GPS coordinates led me in the right direction.
After the trail bottomed out in a little valley, I headed up to the northwest towards another saddle between Magog Peak and Naomi but before
reaching this saddle I just started making my way cross country through the snow. The snow was just the right consistency for traveling on it and I made good time to the snow free area that was the summit of Naomi Peak.
The rocks above the snow hid the summit of Naomi Peak
Wonderful views in all directions rewarded me for my effort and I sat for awhile just soaking it all in. My descent back to the vehicle went quickly as I was able to boot glissade several hundred feet on the just right snow and I was pleased with my good fortune with the weather. Interestingly enough, I met no one at all on this fine day until
Up the trail from the TH
I met a father and son heading up near the trail sign that is a few hundred yards up from the trail head. When I trudged back through the campground, a few campers were still cooking breakfast.
I had intended to climb Bridger Peak
in nearby Rich county and so I made the drive over to the base of the hill only to be dramatically discouraged by hordes of swarming insects, mainly of the blood sucking mosquito kind. I couldn't move ten steps without being totally immersed in them and not having either Deet or a mosquito headnet, decided to come back another day. The funny thing was that just a few miles away, I saw no mosquitoes at all.
After running for my life from Bridger Peak, I headed for American Fork Utah where I had a room for the night and where I would link up with both my son in law and Dennis the next day.
The Utah Week summary
In the merry month of July, this is what I was able to do and see:
Day 1 (as reported above)
Day 2 - Mine Camp Peak
& camped out at 11K feet 2 miles from Fishlake Hightop.
Day 3 - Fishlake Hightop
and Blue Bell Knoll. Drove to within 5 miles of
Mt. Ellen and camped. Went via Boulder & Burr Trail to Capitol
Reef Nat'l Park and then east into the Henry Mtn Range
Day 4 - Mt. Ellen
and then drove via Hite, Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument
and up to a spot where we camped close to Mt. Peale
Day 5 - Mt. Peale.
Then some time in Moab and drove to a spot where we
were close to Mt. Waas
Day 6 - Mt. Waas
. Then spent time in Arches Nat'l Park before we drove to
a spot where we camped close to East Mtn.
Day 7 - East Mtn and a long drive to So. Tent Peak. Then drove to a spot a
few miles from Monument Peak.
Day 8 - Monument Peak and then drove up and did Eccentric Peak in the
eastern Uintas. From there I started my drive home. Left Eccentric TH at 5pm and drove into Kennewick the next morning around noon.
I hope to put up a trip report for each day. In the 8 days, I did 11 peaks, saw two National Parks and a national monument, drove the Burr trail and went over Hell's Backbone into Boulder. Car camped every night and loved every minute of the trip.