HIKING & BIKING
See our blog post for more information on hikes in the area!
Quick, Family-Friendly Hikes (1 to 5-mile hiking trails)
The 5 mile trail starting at Deer Creek Campground and the 4 mile Box Elder Canyon Trail, accessible in the “C” group campground are both great day hikes. Don't be fooled by the shorter mileage; the steep cliffs that provide beauty to the area also create quick elevation gains. An ever-popular family jaunt is Timpanogos Cave. Maps and information are available at the Fee Station at the mouth of the canyon.
Some of the "Can't Miss" Hikes suggested by the Forest Service, located on the Alpine Loop, include: Box Lake (1 mile), Stewart Cascades (2 miles), Big Springs Trail (4 miles) and Bear Canyon Trail (2 miles).
Longer Hiking Trips
American Fork Canyon is the gateway to several trail heads, and opportunities galore to combine trails for hundreds of miles on foot. The granddaddy of the Canyon, Mt. Timpanogos, stands 11, 750 ft. above sea level, 7,100 ft. of that above the valley floor. Stretching 11 miles over the greater Provo/Orem area, the massive mountain dominates the skyline. Several routes approach the major summits on the mountain, although there are two popular trails to Timp proper.
The Timpooneke Trail approaches the summit from the north side, and is ascended 8 miles up the main paved road through American Fork Canyon. Utah hiking trail maps put this route at just over 17 miles out and back. Be prepared to climb over 4,700 arduous feet, but be rewarded by breathtaking 360-degree views of the valley below. Along the way, get a view of the geological past of this impressive mountain as you climb the Giant Staircase and view the Wasatch Mountains’ only true remaining glacier. For an interesting historical side-jaunt, take the second trail to the west after reaching the lip of Timp Basin. Continue along for about one-half mile and you’ll start to see scattered remains of a B-52 Bomber that crashed in the area on March 9, 1955.
The Aspen Grove Trail head to the summit begins from the south side and is best accessed through Provo Canyon and Sundance Resort. This approach passes waterfalls and an alpine lake on its way to the summit. This is the more popular route, so start early on weekends. After passing directly under Timp Glacier and climbing another 1,000 feet to just below the saddle, Aspen Grove Trail merges with Timpooneke Trail for the final ascent to what feels like the top of the world. Spring comes late at this elevation, and the early blooms of Alpine Wildflowers are just peeking out in mid-July.
Sundance Resort is located about seven miles up Provo Canyon in the shadows of Timp, which provides the perfect alpine backdrop for more of Utah Valley’s trails to adventure. One of the best examples of this is Big Provo Hole, and intermediate to expert level hike that climbs and drops over 6, 500 feet in pristine evergreens and barren rock walls. You’ll hike 8 hours with a skilled guide that’s got the skinny on terrain that’s rarely seen. Other options include the 4-hour Arrowhead Summit hike that provides incredible views of North Fork Canyon and beyond.
To hike the other side of Rock Canyon, the Windy Pass Trail is a seven-mile out and back that starts with a 1.5 mile ascent in the cool shade of the canyon until the trail splits and a well-marked path points you toward Squaw Peak. Continue another 3,000 feet of climbing up some fairly steep sections, and a few hours later you’re sitting atop a jagged razor’s edge with a keen view of the valley below.
Find more great hike ideas on our blog!