For our second big camping road trip of the year, Traci and I went to the Bear River Range in far northern Utah. I chose this area because it would allow me to bag a couple more county high points like I’d done on our previous trip to southwestern Utah. I took Wednesday off work and we headed north on I-15, almost getting into an accident north of Salt Lake City. We stopped in Logan for fuel then drove up Logan Canyon into the mountains, eventually finding a place to camp at the head of Slideout Canyon, below Temple Peak. My plan was to hike the two nearby county high points that weekend but it rained most of the time so I bailed on those plans. We were surprised when not once, but twice, people drove right into our camp and tried setting up right next to us. Both times Traci chased them off, but not without a big argument each time. I’m glad she did the dirty work of yelling at our almost-neighbors, because if it had been me it would have come to blows both times (not because I’m a violent person, but these guys were super masculine and probably wouldn’t hit a woman they didn’t know but wouldn’t hesitate to hit another dude). I have never camped somewhere where people thought it was okay to set up their camp 20 or even 50 feet from a stranger, particularly when there were other spots available 100 feet or more away. The experience really soured us on the area and, as you’ll see later, led to us leaving early.
On Monday the weather was finally quite nice so after work I hiked to the top of Bridger Peak, the highest point in Rich County at 9,255′ elevation. The hike was a bit under three miles total and had about 900′ elevation gain/loss. About half of the hike followed a trail and the rest was through trees and along the ridgetop leading to the summit. Along the way I saw what I think was a young hawk lying on the ground. It barely moved as I skirted around it, but it was gone when I passed by again later. I reached the summit and found the register, which had been replaced only three days earlier, but I was the second person to sign it since it was replaced. I also found the geocache near the summit.
We didn’t initially intend to move to a different camp spot on this trip, but there were just too many people in the area and we had a change of plans. I took Wednesday off work and hiked Naomi Peak, the highest point in Cache County at 9,979′, then we moved far away that afternoon/evening. I got an early start that morning and drove to Tony Grove and started hiking before 7:30. I had the trail all to myself for almost the entire hike, but as I got close to the summit I noticed some people catching up to me. I reached the summit about three hours after starting the hike, having covered 3.5 miles and climbing almost 2,000′. I hurriedly took a few photos, then moved south along the ridge to eat a snack while observing the large group that had ascended the summit behind me. It was a quick and uneventful descent back to the truck, taking less than two hours.
I returned to camp to find that my lovely wife had packed nearly everything up. I loaded the last few things into the truck, we ate lunch, then hitched on and hit the road. Our plan was to avoid I-15 and head toward the Strawberry Reservoir area where we’d camped a couple of times previously. We drove to Evanston, Wyoming, and did all our laundry and shopping. Then we took I-80, US-189, and US-40 to a more familiar part of the state. Strangely, we ran into an entirely different problem there. It was almost dusk when we began looking for a place to camp. There were almost no people in the area, but there were hundreds of unoccupied camp trailers in every conceivable spot. We began looking for a place to camp near Daniel’s Summit, and several hours later ended up a couple of miles up the Indian Creek road southwest of Strawberry Reservoir and hadn’t found a place to camp that wasn’t taken up by empty trailers. We ended up parking on the side of the paved road near where Crooked Creek joins Indian Creek. I had no intentions of unhitching the trailer from the truck–we set up camp as minimally as possible and went to bed. The next day I got up early and worked for eight hours, then we got the fuck out of there, heading toward what I hoped was a friendlier place…
Photo Gallery: Bear River Range