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Timpanogos Wilderness

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Distance: 29.3 miles


This 30-mile trip follows the Great Western Trail around the foothills of Mount Timpanogos including Big and Little Baldy, Sagebrush Flats, and Timpooneke. A summit of "Timp" at 11,749' and then down the Aspen Grove trail with stops at the many waterfalls along the way.

This hike begins at the Canyon Glen Picnic Area a mile or two up the Provo Canyon, elevation about 4900 ft (1399 m). The trail head is posted on a telephone pole with a sign marking the Great Western Trail (GWT). The first half-mile of the trail climbs immediately up to Johnson's Hole to level off at 5600 ft (1707 m). The GWT splits at Johnson's Hole, and you can follow either route around the depression. When the trails converge again, proceed for about one mile until you see a sign directing you up into the cedar trees and bushes up towards Little Baldy. A large rock cairn meets you at a trail crossing before climbing the tree-covered trail up to Little Baldy at 7400 ft (2256 m). The wooden glens behind Little Baldy are spectacular and a great place for a rest. The trail continues up the mountain and follows Dry Canyon--a hot, open trail through sparse aspen trees--and finally mellows at the saddle behind Big Baldy at 8332 ft (2540 m). Water sources are spotty on this side of Big Baldy, so be sure to carry at least three liters with you. Remnants of a campsite are visible at the saddle of Big Baldy and a short trail follows the ridge to the summit. Continue down the trail and switchbacks and across Battle Creek Canyon for your first possible water spot. Canyon run-off provides some water in the creek and some springs are nearby. Passing Battle Creek, continue on the GWT through beautiful tall-grass meadows with pine, aspen, and cedar trees all around. The trail levels off at about 7800 feet for a few miles as you make your way towards Sagebrush Flats. At the flats, there are multiple springs and water sources that feed Grove Creek Canyon. Sagebrush flats is a good place for a wilderness camp with views of elk herds in the meadows. There are multiple trails in Sagebrush flats that bring you back to the GWT which follows the Timpooneke road--a rough jeep trail rutted and worn. This wide trail covers several miles and brings you around to the north side of Timpanogos and the cliffs off North Peak. The trail leaves the road and goes back into wooded areas, mostly thick pine and aspen, and brings you to the Timpooneke Campground. Avoid the campground and continue down to the Timpooneke Trailhead. Follow the Timpooneke trail about a mile to make a campsite near Scout Falls. Water is plentiful and springs dot the area. The trail continues up the Giant Staircase to the alpine meadow of the Timpanogos Basin at 10400 ft (3170 m). A diversion trail West takes you to the crash site of a B-24 bomber. Debris, including the engines, are still visible. You can hike back down to the main trail or follow the contour towards the saddle for a summit attempt. Make a summit attempt over the Timp Saddle to the summit at 11749 ft (3581 m). Follow the trail back down to the saddle, but take the trail fork towards Emerald Lake and the Emerald Lake Shelter. This is the Aspen Grove Trail and continue past Emerald Lake to the Hidden Lakes area. This is a great spot for a final camp at 10000 ft (3048 m). Follow the Aspen Grove trail down the switchbacks past several waterfalls to the Theater in the Pines picnic area. Here you will see a trailhead towards Stewart's Cascades. This two-mile diversion takes you to a site with multiple waterfalls that plunge hundreds of feet and feed the streams down at the Sundance Ski Area. Take the trail back towards Aspen Grove to end.

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