Mt Timpanogos Summit via Timpooneke Trail

Hiking

Strenuous hike over a well maintained trail with unsurpassed beauty of waterfalls, alpine lakes, and fields of autumn wildflowers. You will see great views from the top across Heber, Utah, and Salt Lake Valleys.

Author

Utah Hiking Info

Start/Finish points

15 MilesTake I-15 to exit 284 (HWY 92) about 10 miles to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. After paying the entrance fee travel up the canyon staying on the main road through the switchbacks, continue to climb until you see the signs for the trailhead.

Nearest Towns

Route

This trail is about 7.5 miles one way from the Timpooneke Campground in American Fork Canyon. In the middle of August, you will see fields of Wildflowers and by going later in autumn you will see brilliant fall foliage. Chances are you will see some wildlife Such as mountain goats, deer, an occasional moose, and other. A snowfield on top of the mountain never melts (it is commonly called a glacier, but that is technically incorrect). Daytime temperatures along the trail are usually warm during summer, but it can get very chilly at high altitudes during stormy weather and at night, so dress in layers and bring a jacket. Light hiking boots are recommended footwear. Here we describe the Timpooneke Trail because it is not as steep and we think it is the better hike. Most people do the hike in one long day. It can also be done as an enjoyable overnight backpack.

There are six separate segments to this trail: Trailhead/Forest, 1st Ascent, The Meadows, 2nd Ascent, Alpine Bowl, and the Saddle and Summit.

  1. The trailhead has a small parking area and a vault toilet as well as an information station that is manned throughout the season. The trail starts out going over hills with a moderate amount of elevation gain as it follows a pine and fir forest stream. As you climb, you will see dynamic changes from fir to a mixture of pine, fir, and aspen. After about a mile, you will see a steep incline which is the start of the next hike segment.

  2. The 1st incline switchbacks on the west side of the mountain side for about two-thirds of a mile. There is a side trail along this stretch that leads to a waterfall. There are a few springs that run across the trail which may get your feet wet.

  3. After the incline you will meander through a bowl of green meadows of grasses and some scrub aspen. You will get a great view of the mountains behind you from this vantage. This segment is a little more than a mile long.

  4. Just over 2 miles, the 2nd incline is the longest section of elevation gain and arguably the hardest part of the hike. You will start with a steady climb up a shale embankment which eventually leads over to a steep slope. There are a couple false horizons so don't get your hopes up until you see another shale embankment on the other side. Once you get to the top of this the trail will split, one heads toward the Alpine Bowl, the other will lead to an open pit latrine. The latrine reeks, but it is located on a slope and the view is better than any other latrine in the world.

  5. Once you reach the Alpine bowl, you will have climbed to an altitude of around 10,300 ft. If you are planning to camp, this bowl has a number of great camping spots. To get to these spots, there is a left fork in the trail (which also will lead you to Emerald Lake) going towards the middle of the bowl and the right will continue on toward the saddle. In late summer or early fall, you will see a carpet of wildflowers in this bowl so make sure you bring your camera!

  6. The trail to the saddle consists mostly of packed rock fall and may have loose rocks on the side of the trail so be careful where you step, especially if you are passing someone going the other way. Half way to the saddle, the trail will converge with the Aspen Gove trail coming over from Emerald Lake. At this point you will start climbing some switchbacks and then go to the Saddle. The saddle has a number of Photo Opps of Utah Valley and rest spots here. Take advantage of these if you can since the next section is the second hardest portion of the hike. The trail has multiple switchbacks and false horizons as you round the top peak. The trail has a few spots that spits off and leads to ad hoc trails. There is an old survey station at the top of the peak which will allow you to rest with a little protection from the elements. From here you will see more than 200 miles distance from the Great Salt Lake on the north to Mt. Nebo on the south, great views all around. From here you can take the trail to the east which will lead you to the snow field and eventually to Emerald Lake below. Mountain rescue suggests not to take this route, especially later in the summer when the snow pack is low since a lot of injuries happen by people sliding down, going too fast and hitting rocks just below the surface. It isn't too uncommon to see Life Flight rescuing people from injuries sustained on the snow field.

The Outdoor Type ebook Sydney Outdoor Adventures has information on a whole range of outdoor activities in Sydney, from great surf beaches, hikes, mountain biking trails to camping spots, parks and reserves and diving locations. See here for more information.

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