|Classic view of Mt Timp's impressive head-wall and glacier|
Mt Timpanogos is the second highest mountain in Utah's Wasatch range and not nearly as tall as the state highpoint of King's Peak. Nevertheless, its imposing ridge dominates the Wasatch Metro Area and is far more sought-after than nearby Mt Nebo.
While this trail is probably the most heavily trekked in this part of the state, it is still considered strenuous. Starting at about 7,400' and topping out at 11,752' in 7 miles is no easy affair. Its an all day hike for just about every hiker. Water sources exist at the lower elevations but become scant after 9,000's.
It might not be evident on the topographic map, but the elevation gain of the trail is more like a staircase than a constant uphill. There aren't any flat sections but there's many sections of steep ascents and comparatively lighter elevation gain. The pace of the trail is somewhat modulated by this.
|At the lower elevations|
|From the summit, looking down at the glacial basin|
Imposing subsidiary summits dominate the skyline as the trail continues to switchback in a southerly direction. There isn't a single point on the trail where there isn't a magnificent view which is probably why it is so popular. Despite the crowds at the trailhead, the trail itself is long enough that the crowds quickly thin out and I was mostly alone on the trail. Saturdays are, of course, quite busy but any other day of the week makes the trail feel empty.
From roughly 8,700' to 10,000' the trail gains steady elevation until the sharp summit of Mt Timp comes into view-
|Mt Timp, striated with snow and rock, even in mid-September|
A notch is visible separating Mt Timpanogos from the other northern summits and this is where the trail eventually leads. It continues to swtichback and climb the steep face of the ridgeline but its never more than a Class I hike. Another popular lunch spot is the notch itself which is at 11,000' and about 45 minutes away from the top. From here, the entire front range metro area is visible as well as Utah Lake. Its a fantastic albeit crowded spot.
|Plateau before the final push for the ridgeline|
|No shortage of views|
|Utah Lake and the Wasatch front metro area|
|The notch before the summit- a very popular resting point|
Finally at the top, there's a curious pyramidal shelter with a summit register. No fewer than two dozen people were at the summit on this fine, early-autumn Sunday and I'm sure it gets much more crowded on Saturdays. Nonetheless, the views were phenomenal, as expected. Its easy to appreciate the glory of Utah's most famous mountain at this point. Even I was a little squeamish looking down from the head-wall over the glacial basin.
Despite the crowds, most other hikers were well behaved and respectful of the mountain. Other popular mountains I've hiked have had a higher ratio of totally oblivious day trippers; on this mountain, most people were pretty courteous. I made some new friends on the trail.
|Looking back towards the ridgeline|
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