Hiking Y Mountain is pretty much a rite of passage not just for BYU students, but anyone residing in the valley under the ever watchful Y.

The Y is representative of Brigham Young University and it's one of the reasons why students and locals often refer to BYU as "The Y." At 380 feet high and 130 feet wide, the Y is even larger than the letters of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, CA. The large concrete block is lit up 5 times per year for freshman orientation, homecoming, Y days (spirit week), and graduation (April/August). 

The hike itself varies in difficulty depending on who you ask. Those who are more seasoned hikers or are in good shape will tell you that it's easy. They may even describe it as, "fun" and "awesome" and "a good warm-up hike." However, those among us who tend to limit our physical activity to leisurely walks from the couch to the fridge, might see it as being a little more challenging. They might say things like, "We're only at the 2nd turn!?" and "Geez, I can't breathe!" 

Personally, I fall into the second camp. But if I can make it up to the Y, anyone can (even small children can be seen in tow behind their parents and older siblings).

I will note that a lot of the challenge lies in 2 aspects of the hike:

  1. It's fairly steep.
  2. Because its steep, there are a lot of switchbacks to get to the top. This means that although you aren't hiking vertically, the hike takes longer than you might anticipate when you first start out. (The first time I hiked the trail, I repeatedly lamented that it felt like the Y wasn't getting any closer and it felt pretty counter-intuitive to be walking away from the Y on some of the switchbacks).

Yesterday, I hiked the Y with my husband and my dog (yes, dogs are allowed on the trail but they are required to be on a leash at all times). Neither my dog nor my husband had ever hiked the Y so I was interested in getting their opinions. I had hiked it once before with my roommate during my sophomore year of college. I must have been in much better shape back then, because I don't recall much of a struggle. 

My husband and dog enjoyed the hike, they were able to walk the steep trail without any trouble (and the same goes for just about every person we saw along the trail). I, however, struggled a bit. Hikers across the mountain probably heard my complaints during our hour long trek (for the record, it probably doesn't take that long to hike if you're not constantly stopping to catch your breath). 

Luckily, this hike is unique and regardless of its level of difficulty, its well worth it just for the view of the valley along the way:

Despite my complaints, as I walked off the mountain I told my husband, "That was fun. We should do that again soon!"

Have you hiked the Y? Did you enjoy it? What level of difficulty would you say it is? Comment below to share your thoughts!