Mt. Timpanogos (photos,map) is the most popular mountain hike in all of Utah. After Aspen Grove, the Timpooneke trail is the next most popular way to get there. The trail starts 500ft higher than the Aspen Grove Trail. As a result, it’s not quite as steep. It takes most people around 10 hours round trip to get to the peak. There are a lot of great destinations along the way though. Destinations in Green are great hikes for families with younger children.
- Lower Meadows – From the parking lot, head south. About 30ft after passing the outhouse, there’s a junction – go left (the right trail is the Timpooneke trail). After another 100ft, there’s another junction, go right (the left trail is the Great Western Trail). The trail you’re on now will go through 2 meadows, while following a creek.
–>Miles from trailhead:0.5mi Elevation gain:100ft (one-way)
- Great Western Trail (GWT) – The GWT is a 4500 mile trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. It passes right through the Timpooneke trailhead. To go south, follow the road west as it wraps around the north end of Timpanagogs, then follow it south along the east face of Timpanogos. To go north, follow the trail as if you’re going to the meadows describe above, When you get to the bridge, cross it and you’re on your way. The trail will take you through most of the Wasatch Canyons.
- Scout Falls (photos) When you leave the parking lot, pass the outhouse to pick up the trail, then immediately go to the right. The other trail will require bushwacking to find the right trail again, so you might as well take the right trail to start with. You meander through trees for awhile. At the next junction after 1.4 miles, go left to see Scout Falls or left to continue to the summit. Scout Falls is only 100ft off the main trail.
–>Miles from trailhead:1.0mi Elevation gain:700ft
- Giant Staircase (photos) From Scout Falls, you climb up through the Giant Staircase. There are plenty of switchbacks, so it doesn’t get too steep.
–>Miles from Scout Falls:1.1mi (2.1mi) Elevation gain:700ft (1400ft)
- Timpanogos Basin (photos) Once you reach Timp Basin, beautiful views will open up. Almost immediately, there is a junction. The right trail goes to an outhouse. It’s not in good shape, you might be better off just sitting on a log. This trail continues on to some engines of a WWII bomber that crashed in the 50s. The left trail at the toilet junction takes you across Timp Basin toward the summit.
–>Miles from Giant Staircase:1.4mi (3.5mi) Elevation gain:1300ft (2700ft)
- Timp Basin (photos) You will pass another junction. The left trail will take you to Emerald Lake. If you do a loop on the way back to take in the glacier, this is the way you will come back. The right trail will take you to Timp Saddle.
–>Miles from Timp Basin Entry:0.7mi (4.2mi) Elevation gain:300ft (3000ft)
- Timp Saddle (photos) People coming from Aspen Grove and Timpooneke trailheads merge at a junction just below the saddle. When you get to the saddle itself, be prepared to have you breath taken away. I call it a “Sound of Music” moment. On a clear day, you can see from Mt Nebo south of Payson to the Great Salt Lake. You are now above 11,000 feet.
–>Miles from Timp Basin:0.5mi (4.7mi) Elevation gain:700ft (3700ft)
- Mt Timpanogos Summit (photos) Making it to the peak is exilerating. You are now at 11,700ft above sea level, and close to 7000ft above the valley floor (that’s 1.3 miles in the air).
–>Miles from Saddle:0.6mi (5.3mi) Elevation gain:600ft (4200ft)
- Ridge trail south of the summit shack (photos) Many people will leave the summit and return to Emerald Lake via the glacier. You get to see new scenery, which is always nice. Just head south. there are several junctions, always take the right one that goes down. If you don’t you will get stuck on a ridge.
- Timp Glacier – Some people say it’s just a year round snowfield. Either way, if the snow hasn’t melted away from the top of the saddle, it’s a real rush glissading down it. The first few hundred feet, you can’t control your speed, but after that speed and direction are very controlable. You can slide 1000 to 1200 ft and drop around 400 ft. It’s very cold though; keep bare skin (legs, arms, hands) off the snow. You’ll need to steer around holes created by heated rocks at the lower portion, so gloves come in handy.
- Emerald Lake (photos) I love the blue color of Emerald Lake. I could just stare at it for hours. During busy times of the year, TERT will station volunteers at the shelter to aid others who might need help.
- Back to Timp Basin – After getting to the Timp shelter, head northwest. Just after starting down the shelf, take the right trail at the junction. This will take you back to the Timpooneke trail.