There is no destination in Logan Canyon more popular than Tony Grove, but people who count on the placid mountain lake their for summer getaways are going to have to wait until July this year to gain access.
The roads to Tony Grove and Lewiston Turner Campground will both be closed through June for roadwork, then closed again on Aug. 15 until the end of the season.
Logan District Ranger Jennefer Parker said the work schedule was arranged to keep the area open at least during its traditional peak use period in mid-summer.
“We’re certainly aware it’s going to be a big impact for people, but we can’t fix the roads in the winter,” Parker said. “Surfacing has to be done at a certain temperature. We’re giving the contractor one season to get this done and we’re opening it for the main camping season from July 1 until about Aug. 15. But it will be a large task for them to get the full amount of work done in that time.”
The job involves repaving the entire 7-mile road from the U.S. 89 turnoff to the lake, plus completely rebuilding the roughly 1.5-mile stretch from the grove road to Lewiston Turner Campground. Drainage work will also be done along the routes.
Parker said the Lewiston Turner Campground road was never prepared properly, which has caused ongoing maintenance problems, so it will be stripped down to bedrock and reconstructed.
The Cache National Forest received a $1.2 million federal grant to help pay for the project.
“This is a multi-million dollar project. We competed nationally to get this money, and we’re very lucky to have gotten it,” Parker said.
Lost to summer early- and late-summer visitors won’t only be Tony Grove Lake and area campgrounds but several popular trails beginning at the end of the road, including the hiking routes to Mount Naomi and White Pine Lake. Asked if the closures will put pressure on the other areas in the Cache National Forest, Parker said she expects so.
Adventurous backcountry visitors can still access Tony Grove and White Pine lakes through hiking trails trials coming in from the north and other locations.
Parker said she is holding out hope the roadwork can be completed in time for fall-color viewing.
“It’s really popular to go up there and view the fall colors, and we hope by some chance it gets done by then. We’re not going to keep that road closed any longer than we have to,” she said.