Provo Peak

Provo Peak – 11,068′
4 miles
Vertical gain: 2700′

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.

Morning light from the Rock Canyon Campground
MTB approach

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.

Aspen-covered west slope

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.

Steep section
We found a friend in the rocks
Upper slopes of the West Ridge

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.

Summit pano to the Southeast (click to expand)
Cascade Mountain, Timpanogos, and the valley (Click to expand)
Great view of Mt. Nebo
Windmills below Spanish Fork Peak
Timpanogos and Cascade Mountain
East Provo Peak
Remote valleys to the East
Summit group shot
Weird summit weathervane
Utah Lake
Flowers on the way down

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.

Descending the SPR
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