Backpack the second highest mountain in Utah's Wasatch Range. On your way up, stop to filter water or go for a brisk swim at Timpanogos Glacier.

The Timpooneke trailhead is located in American Fork Canyon, next to the Timpooneke Campground. There is a $6 fee to enter the canyon, unless you have a National Park Pass with which you get in free. On the weekends, it may be difficult to find parking at the Timpooneke Campground, so arrive early.

Once on the trail, it’s pretty straight forward. There is a waterfall called Scout Falls 1.4 miles up along the way. There is a sign and a short path to get to the falls. At about 6.5 miles, I reached the Timpanogos Basin. This is where I set up my base camp. In the summer, there are wildflowers covering the entire floor of the basin and is a great place for photography. Remember to practice responsible camping and leave no trace.

From base camp, I lightened my pack and headed for the summit. From the basin, it’s about 1.5-2 miles to the summit. There are mountain goats all along the trail at this point, so keep an eye out. There is a small lookout hut at the summit and views that will take your breath away. The summit is 11,749 feet.

From here you can back track and go back the way you came. Or, you can do what I did, and choose to glissade down the famous Timpanogos Glacier. Keep heading past the summit along the ridge until you come to the top of the glacier. I wrapped a jacket around myself to give me some protection. This is always a blast, but it’s a place where an injury could happen quickly. Use your best judgement and dodge the rocks as best you can! At the bottom of the glacier, there is a small hikers hut and a beautiful emerald lake. If you think you can brave the cold, this is a nice place to have a swim! It’s also a great place to filter some water. There is a trail past the hut that will take you back to the basin, and back to your camp.

The views are absolutely breathtaking. It feels more like hiking in Switzerland than in Utah. The wildflowers in the summer are not to be missed. Indian Paintbrush and Lupine are regulars in the area. There is always good wildlife; from moose to mountain goat. The trail is straight forward and there will be several others on the trail, so it’s hard to get lost.

Pack List

  • National Park Pass or $6 to enter the park
  • Backpacking Gear
  • Camera
  • Summit pack
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RT Distance 15 Miles
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Camping in the Basin

This was an absolute blast of an adventure. We backpacked up to the basin and camped just below the toilet in a secluded section of pines. The hike there was breath taking. The views are amazing from the basin. The winds were super strong throughout the night, I was worried we would be blown off the mountain! The next morning we set off for the summit. The hike up was really easy and short and the view at the top is amazing. Definitely going back to do this one again.

Aspen Grove

I loved everything about this experience. We took the Aspen Grove route & camped at Emerald Lake. My absolute favorite part was the climb to the summit where you got to do a little scrambling. It was incredibly windy and zero visibility at the top, but that just served to add to the adventure. We were dressed adequately, so it wasn't a problem, but I cringed each time I saw someone in a t-shirt and shorts. The wild flowers were beautiful & we made friends with a herd of mountain goats who were hanging out right outside of our tent! I want to go back & try out the Timpanooke trail next time.

almost 2 years ago

Timp!

I did the sunrise hike, where we started hiking at 1am and hiked through the entire night. We reached the summit at around 5:50, and watched the sunrise. The hike down was long, hot and tiring but the overall hike was unreal!!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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