Mt. Timpanogos

Mt. Timpanogos via Timpooneke Trail
11,752′
14.2 miles RT
4650′ gain
3:15 up
Class 2
 

Mt. Timpanogos is the king of the southern Wasatch range, rising high over Lehi and Provo, UT. The area is a wilderness, yet the summit lies within clear sight of probably a million people and an interstate highway.

My college friend Nick and I headed up the Timpooneke trail early on a Saturday morning. The parking lot was recently expanded so even on our July weekend there was plenty of space.

Low on the trail

We saw a nice mule deer about a mile in, then continued to climb through the lower canyons and benches through the next few miles. The views of the Wasatch Alpine Ridge to the south were amazing. There is a lot of water low on the trail this time of year.

Scout Falls
False summit over one of the lower benches
South down the lower canyon

Soon we caught sight of the true summit as we neared the Timpanogos Basin, about 4.5 miles in.

First sight of the true summit
Timpanogos basin. Wow. (Click to expand)

Views in the basin were stunning. Wildflowers stole the show from the rugged alpine scenery. A flat walk across the basin gets you to the ridge hike but we were in no hurry.

That’s nice
Bomber Peak and the hike to the ridge from the basin
Timpanogos’s NE face

After the meadow hike, switchbacks bring the trail to the ridge on rocky terrain.

Looking back down into the basin
Nearing the end of the switchbacks

At this point, the trail reaches a saddle and the town below is visible. There is still a mile and several hundred vertical feet to go.

Timp’s West side (click to expand)
Final bit of the trail

After hiking some gnarly looking steep switchbacks we summited after 3:15 hiking

Summit shot with the Alpine ridge in the background
East summit pano (click to expand)
Alpine ridge from the summit (click to expand)
Emerald Lake
South towards Nebo on a hazy day

The summit was not too crowded considering it was a prime summer weekend! We stayed and ate for a bit then headed down, where we found more people. I guess we were just fast?

Upper slopes from the summit
Basin from upper switchbacks
Basin panorama (click to expand)

I cannot get over how outstanding the wildflowers were in the basin. Go now.

Lower basin trail
The Sound of Music was shot here in Utah. Or so I like to think
Sad to leave

Not a lot of shots from the lower trail. It seems a lot longer on the way down than on the way up for some reason. My La Sportiva Thunder hiking boots also completely exploded on the way down which was a sad day. I am planning on replacing them with two pairs of footwear: a pair of trail running shoes for summer and mountaineering boots for winter/spring snow hikes. Hopefully that will work better and will be a more survivable solution than my do-it-all heavy boots.This is probably the best hike in the area for people who are not looking to do anything technical or scary. Highly recommended, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom.

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