High above the Salt Lake Valley rests a regal giant of a mountain, its sheer face offering a challenge to all who pass by. Mt. Timpanogos is one of the toughest hikes in the Wasatch, and it's one of the top adventures to tackle in Utah.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument is famous for two things: Mt. Timpanogos, and the incredible cave at its base. It's a great place for families to enjoy a bit of nature, and share a sense of wonder for the natural world.
Looking for the best trails to fully experience this monument? Check out these three top trails, and get the full experience of Timpanogos.
To explore deep into the heart of this cave, you'll need to be part of a guided tour. They will lead you through the cave safely, pointing out all the incredible sights along the way.
The Timpanogos Cave trail may be tougher than some expect. As part of a guided tour, you'll hike 3.1 miles round-trip to and from the cave. The tour itself takes about three hours, with about one hour of that spent in the cave itself.
Tickets for the cave often sell out well in advance - especially during the high tourist season in summer. Prices range from $2 to $12 per person, with a $22 "Introduction to Caving" class offered as well. To make sure your adventure gets underway, make sure to call ahead or reserve your tickets online.
Ready to conquer one of the toughest hikes in the Wasatch Range? Mount Timpanogos stands tall as one of the highest peaks in the Wasatch, and it's a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts for its incredible views.
To get to the trailhead, you'll have to drive all the way up Timpanogos canyon. You'll have to pay an entry fee - or display a national parks pass - to get in. The road winds up mountain switchbacks, giving you jaw-dropping views before you even get out of the car. Once you get to Aspen Grove at the top of the ridge, the trailhead will be waiting for you.
Mt. Timpanogos is a tough 15.6 miles. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks, as you'll be out on the trail most of the day.
If attempting this hike in the snow, know that the road shuts down in winter several miles before Aspen Grove. You'll have to hike, snowshoe, ski, or snowmobile your way to Aspen Grove for the start of the hike.
Beautiful in both winter and summer, the Stuart Falls trail takes you into the heart of the Wasatch range for one of the most spectacular waterfalls you've ever seen. Stuart Falls plunges over 200 feet from the top of a rocky outcropping, misting the air and showering water below. It's a short 3.4 mile hike, round-trip, and it's absolutely worth it.
What's the best time of year to go? If you're looking to see the waterfall when it's running the strongest, do this hike in May, when the mountain snowpack is beginning to melt. You'll be rewarded with a rushing waterfall to picnic near.
If winter is more your style, check out Stewart Falls during the snowy months for a beautiful waterfall scene. You'll have to travel the winter road on foot to get there, but you can cross-country ski your way to this beautiful natural scene.
Whether you're looking for an underground experience or a view from the top of the world, Timpanogos National Monument has the outdoor adventure you're looking for. Take a drive out to this beautiful area of the Wasatch front today, and see just what nature has waiting for you.
Happy Trails, my friend.