Hike to the Summit of Buckley Mountain

Slate Canyon Trailhead, Provo, Utah, United States

  • Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Advanced

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    18 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    5000 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

This is a little known trail to the top of Buckley Mountain and gives you an incredible view of both Utah Valley and the seven peaks of Utah County, including Nebo and Provo Peak. 

There are a few ways to get to the top of Buckley, but the funnest (and most strenuous) way to get up to Buckley is taking the trail up Slate Canyon. Slate Canyon has a parking lot and bathroom located at the base of the trail, and the trailhead is about ten minutes from the Provo Center Street exit on 1-15. 

Park in the Slate Canyon parking lot and start up the trail. After about three miles of relatively steep trail, you'll take a left at a fork. Continue up the trail until it flattens out and you'll see two sign posts. One points to a Slate Canyon trail and one points to Forest Road 027. Go on the trail towards Forest Road 027. It will be a narrow trail through the forest for about a mile. Eventually you'll connect to Squaw Peak Road. Continue south on the road for about 2.5 miles until you reach a muddy parking lot (This parking lot is about 7.5 miles from the Slate Canyon trailhead). Once you get to this parking lot, the trail ends and you'll have about a mile to the summit -- and you have to bushwhack the entire way. Once you get to the summit, embrace the views and return along the same trail. 

The view is amazing during the Spring because everything will be very green and not too hot. If going during the winter, snowshoes would probably be necessary and be sure to check avalanche dangers. Also, because the trail is very lightly traveled, you are more likely to run into wildlife. I saw two big snakes and very fresh bear paw prints on the way up. 

Pack List

  • Sufficient water to last the entire day. At least 2 liters 
  • Sunscreen / hat /visor 
  • Snacks 
  • Bear spray (optional, but I did see fresh bear tracks when I hiked it in early spring) 
  • Good hiking shoes 
  • Long pants for the bushwhacking 
  • A buddy (because the trail is lightly traveled, it would be best to hike with somebody) 
  • A camera for the amazing views
  • Smartphone or gps tracker to help you stay aware while bushwhacking 
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A couple of months back I did this with a friend. We started at Slate Canyon, got up on the ridge and hiked the arete all they way up till we got on toad head and realized the way forward was not exactly safe. We back tracked and lost a lot of elevation before hiking back up to the aerie just east of toad head. It was steep, and filled with scrub oak. I loved every second of it. I really wish I had known about the trail, maybe I will go back and do this one again.

6 months ago
6 months ago

Laura Boyer

A girl who loves the outdoors. Climber. Skier. Peak Bagger. [Aspiring] Environmental Lawyer.

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