Salt Lake City, UT: Mount Timpanogos via Aspen Grove

Peakbaggers love this 13.9-mile lollipop-loop which climbs past mountain lakes and rugged cirques to the second highest peak in the Wasatch.
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Peakbaggers love this 13.9-mile lollipop-loop which climbs past mountain lakes and rugged cirques to the second highest peak in the Wasatch.

This popular, 11,749-foot peak rises dramatically above the Utah Valley and offers hikers a challenging—and picturesque—climb to its rugged summit. Get an early start and prepare for a 10-hour day of hiking.
From the campground at Aspen Grove, hike west into the Primrose Cirque. The trail switchbacks six times up the slopes of the cirque, then traverses to the southwest for a 22-switchback climb beneath Roberts Horn. The trail skirts Hidden Lakes and continues to ascend to the northern edge of Emerald Lake. After 5.5 miles, traverse the barren slopes above Timpanogos Basin and crest the Mount Timpanogos ridgetop. Follow the narrow ridge south to reach the windy summit (the second highest peak in the Wasatch). Look to the southwest for stunning views of Utah Lake and Utah Valley, then follow the same route back to the trailhead.
Caution: The return trip to the trailhead descends a steep, seasonal snowfield southwest of the Timpanogos summit. Do not attempt this if you are uneasy in snowy descents.
-Mapped by Gene Poncelet

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 22.4

Waypoints

TIM001

Location: 40.4043465, -111.6053848

From the campground at Aspen Grove, hike west into the Primrose Cirque. The climbing starts in 0.4 mile.

TIM002

Location: 40.4045448, -111.620491

In the next mile, the trail switchbacks 6 times up the slopes of the Primrose Cirque.

TIM003

Location: 40.4095192, -111.6188812

Trail swings to the left and traverses southwest.

TIM004

Location: 40.4003067, -111.6294785

Climb 22 switchbacks in the next mile.

TIM005

Location: 40.396904, -111.6325531

Keep left @ Y-intersection. Roberts Horn, a 10,993-foot peak rises directly to the the northwest. Ahead, cross the stream that flows from Emerald Lake and continue south. The trail curves to the northwest after skirting Hidden Lakes. Note: The trail that forks to the right reconnects with this route at Waypoint 6.

TIM006

Location: 40.39608, -111.6348343

Turn left @ T-junction, heading west beneath Roberts Horn.

TIM007

Location: 40.3947945, -111.6391068

Continue straight on the trail (the return route reconnects with the trail at this point). Ahead, the trail passes the northern tip of Emerald Lake and travels past Emerald Lake Shelter.

TIM008

Location: 40.3944702, -111.6458054

Bear left @ Y-junction. In 150 feet, bear left at Y-junction. From this vantage point above Timpanogos Basin, you'll get up-close views of Mount Timpanogos's 3.5-mile ridgeline.

TIM009

Location: 40.3968697, -111.654686

Turn left @ T-junction.

TIM010

Location: 40.3961334, -111.6545868

Crest the Timpanogos ridge and keep straight @ 3-way junction. Hike south toward the summit. Utah Lake can be seen to the southwest. Look north to find the backside of Alta Ski Resort.

TIM011

Location: 40.3908119, -111.6459808

Mount Timpanogos (11,749 ft.): Savor stunning views across the Utah Valley from the second highest peak in the Wasatch (also spelled Mount Timpanogas). Next, turn around and follow the same route back to the trailhead. Optional return route: Depending on the season and trail conditions, you may be able to descend a snowfield that covers the steep basin above Emerald Lake (mapped). To reach the snowfield, hike south along the ridge for 0.7 mile to a small saddle.

TIM012

Location: 40.3839186, -111.6391182

Turn left (north) off the ridge to descend the seasonal snowfield. In 0.9 mile, pass Emerald Lake, then turn right @ Waypoint 7 onto the trail. Retrace route to the trailhead.

Timpanogas Trail Sign

Location: 40.4043388, -111.6053772

Waterfall

Location: 40.3988887, -111.6299772

Early Start

Location: 40.3958282, -111.6363678

Snow in September

Location: 40.3956528, -111.6377487

Views of the Snowfield

Location: 40.3940659, -111.6473312

Mount Timpanogos

Location: 40.3953094, -111.6520386

Hikers rest on the ridgeline.

Snowfield

Location: 40.3959312, -111.6530685

Hikers cross the snowfield below Mount Timpanogos.

Views of Alta Ski Resort

Location: 40.3948479, -111.6535034

The backside of Alta Ski Resort.

Top of Timpanogos

Location: 40.3907852, -111.6459503

Hikers on the windy summit.

Emerald Lake

Location: 40.3904888, -111.6455984

Bird's-eye views of Emerald Lake.

Emerald Lake

Location: 40.3936844, -111.6392975