For those of you interested in a little diversion from the main trail to Mount Timpanogos, a hike to the B-25 crash site just below the Middle Summit of Mount Timpanogos is certainly worth a visit. Back on March 9, 1955, a US Air Force B-25 bomber crashed on the eastern slope of Mount Timpanogos. Two passengers and three crew members died in the crash that was caused by poor weather conditions and pilot disorientation. The crash site is located along the lip of Timpanogos Basin about three-quarters of a mile northwest of the main Timpooneke Trail as it enters Timpanogos Basin.
As you near Timpanogos Basin at just over 10,000' elevation, you will encounter a trail that forks to the right at the toilet sign. Follow this trail to a second toilet sign, and then continue straight towards the mountain. The trail will continue several hundred yards where it contours around a hill, and then follows a small stream toward two ponds. Once the stream is crossed the trail basically disappears. Make your way to the northwest, up the gently sloping terrace to the mounds in the distance (perhaps one-half mile). As the terrace begins to narrow and disappear, turn more westward and hike up a rather steep slope to another terrace where you should begin seeing one of the radial engines from the B-25 bomber.
Its coordinates are 40.40731 degrees latitude and -111.65467 degrees longitude. Wreckage of the B-25 bomber is scattered from this point upward to approximately 10,800' elevation. Beautiful wildflowers and mountain goats are common in this area during the late summer months. As always, be prepared for sudden changes in weather. It rained on us briefly while we were up here. We started hiking at the Timpooneke Trailhead at about 9 AM and returned at about 5:30 PM.
If you are interested in hiking to the Middle Summit of Mount Timpanogos (also known as Bomber Peak) at 11,347' elevation, your best approach is from the south along the main ridge of the mountain. Hike the main trail to Mount Timpanogos to the saddle where you see the first glimpse of Utah Lake (to the southwest). From this point, turn northward on a less-traveled trail that contours on the west side of the mountain. This trail fades to almost nothing before you reach the summit. High winds can also occur along the summit ridge, so be prepared.
As of 2008, the entrance fee into American Fork Canyon has gone up to $6.00 for a three-day pass. Since this is a wilderness area, group size limitation is 16 persons.