ApproachYou can access Mt. Timpanogos easily from Highway I-15, using the 272 exit. and driving east along highway 52 ( 800 North in Orem) to the junction with highway 189, the Provo Canyon road. Be aware that there is road construction going on in Provo canyon but that now seems to be further up Provo Canyon. Go East on 189 for 7 miles to the Sundance Ski resort turnoff (watch for it just after you go through a tunnel) and turn left on highway 92 for 6 miles, going past the Sundance ski area and the Aspen Grove recreation area. Proceed until you come to a fee booth (pay the fee ) and look for parking just beyond in a lot at the left. If full, look for additional parking just up the road. From the parking lot, you'll find the most popular trail, the Aspen Grove trail that heads on up the mountain
Route DescriptionASPEN GROVE Trail: Starting near the fee area booth parking lot near the Theatre in the Pines Picnic area, the A.G. trail gives you a 16 mile rountripper and 4900 foot effort gain and loss to look forward to. Interestingly enough, some of the first mile of the trail is paved until you come to the first major feature you encounter, a nice waterfall. This is the first of several waterfalls you encounter on this trail but the major feature to me is the switchbacks. Long, long switchbacks initially but shorter as you gain elevation. This trail is subject to a lot of traffic on the weekends so if you're planning to climb on a weekend, get to the TH EARLY or you'll find parking a big problem. The trail is never difficult and steadily gains until you top out at some meadows and then the trail makes its way to Emerald Lake and a nearby hut. The trail continues past the hut, to the right of the summit block, across a long rockslide shelf above the Timpanogos Basin, goes up a couple switchbacks, and meets the Timpooneke trail near "the saddle. This portion of the trail traverses a semi-permanent snowfield where extra caution should be exercised. Even after the snow is gone, the trail edges close to a cliff for a short bit and you need to pay attention while in this section of the trail. Small children should be watched carefully. In early season, an ice axe and crampons may be extremely valuable. From the saddle to the summit the trail is well beaten and easy to follow when there is no snow present.
The view down on the Utah Valley from the saddle is outstanding. The trail goes to the west side of the mountain and soon the summit hut comes into view. Many switchbacks will get gain elevation and allow you to gain the summit of this great mountain. To get back down, you can return to the Trailhead via the glacier or the way you came. Thanks to SP member Dillweed for some of his suggestions for this trail. I will add some more information soon on the glacier descent.
Shortcutting Please do not do it. Stay on the trail and resist the temptation to commit one of the major crimes against trails that exists, shortcutting. It causes deterioration and scars the shortcutted areas.
Essential GearNo special gear needed in the summer but early spring or late fall may require snowshoes, ice axe and even crampons. The upper area of Mt. Timpanogos requires care and this trail can be prone to avalanche danger in the winter time.
Miscellaneous InfoIf you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here. Phil Lowry included the following information in an addition post he made earlier. It also applies to the Timpanooke Trail so I'll repost it here in its entirety:
Date: Jan 11, 2003 9:09 PM
I have been measuring the mileages on the two major Timp trails (and the one not mentioned on the website, the Hartsky cutoff) for about five years with both mechanical wheels and GPS plots onto digital elevation models.
The Timpooneke Trail is 7.03 miles long one-way, while the Aspen Grove Trail is 6.82 miles long one-way. I have communicated this info to my buddies at the Forest Service but they refuse to update their information or signs. Bureaucracy sucks.
Yes, I'm the geek who's climbed the mountain 259 times (12 more than noted on the site, since another season has passed since that post . . . ;-))