1:30 up, 1:00 down
Next up on the list of Wasatch 11’ers is Provo Peak, which I hiked on Saturday with Simon and Tyler (who also did Deseret Peak with me weeks ago).
Provo Peak is part of the southern Wasatch range, hidden behind Y Mountain and the BYU campus. It is overshadowed by the taller and more visible Mt. Timpanogos and Mt. Nebo, so it is not visited nearly as often. The West Ridge route is the most common and shortest approach so that is what we chose. The last 3 miles of the approach road require a 4×4, which we did not have access to, so we parked the car at the Rock Canyon Campground and opted to ride mountain bikes up the extra 1300 feet vertical to the trailhead, which added some fun to the hike.
It was supposed to be extremely hot in the valley so we got an early start on the drive and hit the trail around 7am. The beginning of the route is an ATV trail, which we rode partway, then stashed the bikes and started straight up the ridge on a use trail.
The trail cuts through brushy slopes and aspen. The wildflowers are fully in bloom and there is quite a variety of species. Soon the brush ends and there is no shade. We started to get very warm without all the evaporative cooling from the plants as we hit a steep section of talus.
We topped out in less than two hours and enjoyed the summit views – which were unique compared to some of the more alpine peaks. Provo Peak lies among lush valleys and not many people see them.
Descent was uneventful but hot. The MTB ride down the trail was a blast but beat the heck out of our hands – it is very rocky and fast.