While the Mt. Naomi wilderness/roadless area is on the west side of the Bear River Range of the Wasatch, the Cache Crest roadless area includes an area from the crest eastward on the more gentle side of the Bear River mountains.
Originally inventoried by the Forest Service as the "Worm Creek roadless area," a name derived from a minor drainage in the area, Idaho conservationists gave it a more appropriate description, "Cache Crest." Nevertheless, the Forest Service likes Worm Creek, and that's how it's identified on their maps
The area includes the scenic "highline" trail which provides views both down Cub River Canyon to Cache Valley on the west and down St. Charles Creek toward distant Bear Lake Valley on the east. There is one very scenic lake, Bloomington Lake, which is just a short walk from the end of the road. There are two other ephemeral lakes -- Worm Lake and Limekiln Lake -- which begin the summer full, but lose most of their water into the ground because the area contains much karst landscape and drainage.
Tiny Limekiln Lake.
Copyright © Ralph Maughan
The area has a variety of topography from gently-sloping foothills to rugged steep rocky peaks, several of which are over 9000 feet in elevation.
The Cache Crest roadless area is about 41,000 acres and lies just north of the Utah border in Idaho. The area has few developable resources. The Caribou National Forest recommended 16,000 acres of the area from wilderness designation by Congress when their forest plan was adopted in 1986. Wilderness protection is opposed by the machine crowd and they have made heavy inroads, turning most of the trails into ATV highways. The Sierra Club appealed the decision to keep the area open to dirt bikes and their more destructive cousins, the increasingly overpowered 4-wheeled all terrain vehicles. The Caribou National Forest at first agreed to close the area to conserve its wilderness character, but quickly backed down under political pressures.
Wildlife includes bear, cougar, elk, deer, bear, and moose. There have been recent reports of wolves near Bloomington Peak.
Separated from this roadless area by a road is the somewhat smaller Paris Peak roadless area, just to the north. This is fine backcountry and should be kept that way, and the motor vehicles given the boot.
The crest of Cache Crest. Photo from the Highline Trail. This has been
grabbed by the ORVers. This was taken back in the days when the ridge
was silent and rich with wildlife.
Copyright © Ralph Maughan
Cache Crest roadless area/ Oct. 24, 2005
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