Mount Timpanogos is a 11,749 foot tall peak that looms over Provo with incredible 360 degree views, stunning landscape, an alpine lake, fall foliage, and even a summit wind shelter. Here’s everything you need to know to hike Mount Timp.
Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 14.2 miles round trip (22.85 km)
Height – 11,749 feet (3581.10 m)
Elevation gain – 4,350 feet (1325.88 m)
Duration – 8-10 hours (book time)
Trailhead Location – Timpooneke Trailhead (7,382 Feet) or Aspen Grove Trailhead (6,916)
Dogs – Are allowed on this trail
Need To Know Information
- Dogs are allowed on this hike.
- There are two commonly used trailheads for this hike that are both explained below.
- The trailheads require paying a parking fee, or displaying a National Parks Pass (America the Beautiful Interagency Recreation Passes)
- This is a popular hike, and you will encounter people. Parking fills up extremely fast. It is common to need to arrive before 6 am, and even 5 am on the busiest weekends.
- Camping is common, as there are campgrounds near the trailheads. Camping information and regulations below.
- Fishing is allowed at Emerald Lake with a Utah Fishing License.
- There are other trailheads to get to this summit, but they are less common due to longer distances, and greater elevation gain. Generally, they are only done by more experienced hikers, and therefore, those hikers can source information themselves.
Mount Timpanogos Via Timpooneke Trailhead – 14.2 miles round trip (22.85 km) – 4,350 feet (1325.88 m) Elevation Gain
This is the most common route to the summit as it is the least amount of elevation gain. The trailhead is large, has vault style bathrooms, and a campground nearby. The trail is very well traveled and well marked. Hikers have a junction about 50 feet into the trail where they take the middle route staying on the Timpooneke Trail as marked by the signs.
From here, the hike gradually gains elevation. The trail is extremely easy to follow and well maintained. 1.4 miles in, hikers reach a small unmarked junction that takes them to Scout Falls. Simply turn hard right at this switchback as opposed to hiking to the falls and backs (unless you’d like to). From here, simply continue along the trail as it switchbacks at a constant gradient up the mountain.
4.9 miles in, hikers reach Timpanogos Basin, where there is a junction heading into the basin towards the Emerald Lake Shelter, but hikers should go right towards the ridge to the right hand side of the Timpanogos Summit. Much of the route up to the pass can be seen from the basin.
Simply follow the switchbacks up to the ridge, and the well traveled path around the back side of the ridge and the summit of Timp. The trail is easy to follow, does feature some pretty steep drop offs, but the hike remains class 2 the entire time.
After reaching summit, hikers can retrace their steps back.
Mount Timpanogos Via Aspen Grove Trailhead – 14 miles round trip (22.53 km) – 4,860 feet (1,481.33 m) Elevation Gain
This is the second most common route to the summit, and also has a campground and vault toilets at and near the trailhead. This route is a touch longer to complete due to the additional 500+ feet of elevation gain and similar mileage.
Similarly to the other route, hikers start on very well marked and maintained trail and continue along the Mount Timpanogos Trail towards Emerald Lake. This route takes hikers right to Emerald Lake shelter, before hikers head across the basin, and end up meeting up with the Timpooneke Trailhead route.
Mount Timpanogos Loop
There are a few loop options worth pointing out. Hikers could spot cars if they come in a group, and hike up one trail, and out the other. This is a great way to experience both trails.
In addition, there is an “expert” route where hikers glissade down to Emerald Lake from the saddle between Mount Timpanogos and South Timpanogos. This is not a recommended route unless hikers have the proper equipment, the right conditions, and knowledge of glisading.
Hiking in Winter
Mount Timpanogos is commonly hiked in winter by those with substantial experience. This hike requires winter hiking / climbing gear, and lots of knowledge. Winter conditions persist in spring and fall frequently, and even hikers taking the standard routes should bring microspikes or even ice axes at certain times of the year.
There are several common campground utilized in the area. There is a campground at both major trailhead:
Timpooneke Campground: Reservations and other information here.
Aspen Grove Campground: Reservation and other information here.
There is also an additional nearby campground called the Altamont Group Campground: Reservation and other information here.
In addition to the campground, Mount Timpanogos is located in the Mount Timpanogos Wilderness, which means camping is allowed as long as regulations are followed for camping in the Wilderness. Here is a page with the rules and regulations.
Fishing Emerald Lake
This lake does have fish that can hold year round. This is a catch and release fishery, but many anglers can have success on most days on any of the lakes.
Here is a detailed weather forecast for the area:
Directions & Parking Information
To Timpooneke Trailhead:
If the Timpooneke lot is full, you can drive up the campground road and find Timpooneke Road. This is a dirt road in which you are allowed to park as long as you leave ample space for cars to pass. Parking at the campground will get you ticketed or towed.
To Aspen Grove Trailhead:
If the parking is full here, there is an Alpine Loop road in which parking is allowed at the turnouts. Again, do not park at the campground or at the Aspen Grove Alumni Resort as you will be ticketed or towed.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about