Utah’s second-highest mountain, Mount Timpanogos, or Timp as it’s affectionately called, is a popular tourist destination. At almost 12,000 feet high, the peak makes for a stunning sight towering above the Utah Valley.
There are several things to do around the mountain, from hiking to adventure sports to exploring the mountain’s century-old caves.
If you’re visiting Mount Timpanogos, plan your visit well to make sure you take advantage of what the area offers. Here are 30 things you can do on and around Mount Timpagnos!
Note: remember that some activities are only open in the summer, while others are exclusive to winter. But no worries; whichever season you chose, there’s plenty to do!
Hike to the Summit of Mount Timpanogos
Hiking up Mount Timpanogos is challenging, but extremely rewarding; hikers enjoy stunning views of valleys, waterfalls, fields of wildflowers and ancient rock formations. There are two main trails to summit Mount Timpanogos – one is the Aspen Grove Trail, and the other is the Timpooneke Trail.
The Timpooneke Trail, which is 14.3 miles long, is the more popular of the two. The Aspen Grove Trail is less famous and slightly lengthier at 15.9 miles long. The Timpooneke Trail is less steep, which makes for an easier ascent, but both trails promise you stunning views of waterfalls, lakes, meadows of wildflowers and boulder fields.
Depending on your fitness, your experience level, and how many breaks you take, the hike to the summit and back can take 6-10 hours. The walk is fairly strenuous, so if you’re planning on having a go at it, start training a few months before you set off.
Hike to the Timpanogos Falls
If the hike to the summit seems too intimidating, test the waters with a short hike to the Timpanogos Falls.
It’s a 1.9-mile hike with some climbing that will take 2-3 hours in total. The highlight of the walk is the sight of the silvery Timpanogos falls. Dogs are allowed on this trail, so feel free to bring your pooch along!
Hike to the Stewart Falls
Another relatively easy hike is the hike to Stewart Falls, which is on the Aspen Grove Trail. The trail is 3.4 miles long and takes 4-5 hours roundtrip. Cascading from over 200 feet high, the Stewart Falls are a majestic sight to behold.
Look For Rare Wildflowers
Whether you’re hiking to the summit or along more accessible trails, keep your eye out for wildflower fields. Mount Timpanogos and its environs are a protected wilderness area and flora and fauna flourishes. Look for yellow buttercups, sky rockets, yarrow and Elephant Head lousewort.
Because it’s a protected area, Mount Timpanogos is also teeming with wildlife. You can spend many a happy hour watching deer, elk, moose and mountain goats which have made their home close to the summit.
There are also several predators in the area, including bears and mountain lions, but they tend to be more reclusive and nocturnal.
Picnic at Emerald Lake
If you do decide to make the hike to the summit, plan your hike so that you have a meal at Emerald Lake, which is near the summit of Mount Timpanogos. The Emerald Lake gets its unique blue-green hue from the remnants of the melted Timpanogos glacier.
While it’s a beautiful place to eat and replenish your water supply, remember that hikers are not allowed to start fires on Mount Timpanogos. So, unfortunately, you may have to settle for a cold meal!
While the Emerald Lake is directly on the Aspen Grove trail, to get to it from the Timpooneke Trail, you’ll have to take a short detour.
Visit The Crash Site Of A World War II Bomber Plane
If you’re up for taking a short detour when you’re making your way up to Mount Timpanogos’ summit, you can see the site where a World War II plane crashed in 1955. The aircraft was trying to make its way through the Wasatch Mountains to reach California when the pilot lost control of it during a snowstorm. The plane wreckage sits a mile away from the Timbookee Trail. It’s worth visiting it if you’re interested in history.
Visit the Timpanogos Cave
Another interesting site to visit near Mount Timpanogos is the Timpanogos Cave, which is a protected National Monument.
The Timpanogos Cave is actually a collection of three ancient caves connected by man-made tunnels. Rangers conduct guided tours through the caves. If you go on one, you’ll spot unique rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites and even a slumbering bat or two!
The tour is considered strenuous, and takes you through miles of dark, uneven terrain; if you get claustrophobic, skip this activity!
Make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes and bring gloves with a good grip. Also bring along a jacket or sweater, because the caves are cool at around 45°F. It’ll take 2-3 hours to hike through the cave.
Note: the caves are only open from May through to September, as the winter snows can make caving difficult and dangerous.
Go for a Dark Sky Star Party
Every few weeks, the Timpanogos Cave rangers and the Utah Valley Astronomy Club host a Dark Sky Star Party. If you love stargazing, try to plan your trip around one. At the ‘party,’ guests will look at the stars through telescopes, talk about constellations and planets, and talk about how lights and darkness affect lives.
If you love the stars, then spend a night under them by camping on and around Mount Timpanogos.
There are several campsites around the trailhead, including the Mount Timpanogos Campground, the Theater-in-the-Pines Campground, and the Timpooneke Campground.
The Mount Timpanogos Campground has 27 tent sites as well as room for RVs.
The Theater-in-the-Pines Campground has cabins, tent sites and access to grills and picnic tables.
Each of the campsites requires reservations in advance.
The Forest Service also allows visitors to camp on the mountain; many hikers set up tents near Emerald Lake or on the meadows that you cross when ascending to the summit. Be sure to follow the ‘Leave No Trace’ guidelines; everything that you bring with you should be carried away.
Stay at Sundance Mountain Resort
If camping is not your style, but you would like to spend a few nights under Mount Timpanogos majesty, head to Sundance Mountain Resort – a ski resort nestled at Mount Timpanogos’ base.
In 1986, actor Robert Redford bought Sundance, naming it after his role in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.’ Sundance later became famous for the Sundance Film Festival and is today a popular vacation spot offering guests a ton of activities.
The resort has a variety of places you can stay, ranging from standard rooms to mountain suites and lofts with living rooms, master bedrooms, and kitchens.
If you’re traveling with a large group, rent a mountain home with multiple bedrooms, kitchens and other facilities. All the rooms have stunning views and are the perfect place to kick back, relax, and enjoy hot cocoa after a day of activities.
Enjoy a Scenic Lift Ride
Even if you’re not staying at the Sundance Mountain Resort, you should head over to hop onto one of their lift rides which will take you up the mountain and give you the chance to enjoy some truly stunning views.
Once you’re at the top, head off on a hiking trail, enjoy the view or have lunch at Bearclaw cabin, which serves ski food featuring local ingredients.
Plan your trip at the right time, and you can also embark on a Full Moon Lift Ride, during which you’ll travel up the mountain in the lift under the full moon and sparkling stars.
Another must-try experience at Sundance is the ZipTour, which has the longest zip line in the US at 2100 feet long! As you zip along, you can adjust your speed and even stop in mid-air to take a photo.
Note: the zipline is open only from May through to October.
Go Mountain Biking
If you have the energy (and the fitness level), rent a bike and explore the biking trails near Mount Timpanogos.
One great trail is the Timpanogos Great Western Trail, which is a 15-mile journey round trip.
The trail takes you through forests, aspen groves, and meadows including the ‘Julie Andrews’ meadow, which was inspired by the Sound of Music scene where Andrews dances her way through a meadow.
You may see some enthusiastic bikers reenacting the scene – if you do, hop off your bike and join them!
As you bike on the trail, you’ll ascend around 1,300 feet. If you don’t feel like biking uphill, Sundance has a mountain bike lift you can take up the path and then cycle back down. They also offer training to hesitant bikers with experts who can teach you the technicalities of mountain biking and help you improve your biking skills.
If you’re going through Sundance, an easy trail to tackle is the Elk Meadows Trail Ride, which is an approximately one hour ride. You’ll ride through meadows, fields and, along the way, discover a stunning mountain lake.
The trail is ideal for beginners as it’s mostly smooth riding. Another beautiful, relatively easy ride is the Stewart Falls Trail Ride which takes you past the Stewart Falls.
If you decide to ride with the Homestead Resort stables, take the Cascade Springs Ride which will take you to a spring that is fed by melting snow.
Both stables also organize yoga sessions on some trails; guide your horse to a tranquil meadow and spend an hour doing guided yoga and meditation.
Mount Timpanogos has a few roads which are ideal for ATV riding. Lofty Peaks Adventures rents ATVs and conducts ATV tours, but you can also go off to explore the ATV trails on your own.
The ultimate ATV trail at Mount Timpanogos is when riders make a 34-mile loop around the foothills of the mountain.
To make this loop, Follow the Great Western Trail to the Salamander Trail to the Timpooneke Trail. Then, go back to the Great Western Trail and then head to Baldy Pass on the Dry Canyon Trail. Baldy Pass is a peak on the West of Timpanogos and promises a stunning view of valleys and meadows.
From Baldy Pass, descend from the Dry Canyon Trail and join the Great Western Trail again, following it until you reach the Shoreline Trail. A few more minutes and you’ll reach the Provo River Parkway. Congratulations, you’ve just driven around Mount Timpanogos!
Of course, if you’re new to ATV riding or don’t want to loop the whole mountain, you can follow any of these trails until you’re tired and ready to turn back. Also, you should know that each path is pretty bumpy, thanks to steep roads and rocks that have been unearthed by horses.
Golfing at the Soldier Hollow Golf Course
A half an hour’s drive from the Mount Timpanogos trailhead is the Soldier Hollow Golf Course. Soldier Hollow has an exciting history – it was a venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics, where participants competed on the cross country ski trails.
In the summer, Soldier Hollow is a popular golfing destination with a 36 hole course. The course is divided into two sections: the Silver and Gold. Try the Silver for a more accessible course, or the Gold if you want a challenge.
In the winter and early spring, skiers flock to Mount Timpanogos and make their way happily down its slopes.
If you’re an amateur skier, book a spot at one of Sundance Resort’s Open Cross Country Ski Clinics, where experts will guide you through easy trails and help you build on your skiing skills. Sundance runs the clinics every month from late winter to early spring.
Meanwhile, experienced skiers may be able to take on Mount Timpanogos’ slopes alone. The best place to ski is the Aspen Grove Trail which has a steeper ascent that will make for a smoother, more fun ride down.
Using the Aspen Grove trail, make your way up to the shelter near Emerald Lake and use that as your skiing base. From the shelter, you can ski down any of the nearby lines. If you’re the first one to reach the shelter after a snowfall, you may have to dig through some snow to access it.
If you’re after an even bigger challenge, then drive over to Soldier Hollow. You can ski the same trails as the Olympic competitors did and see how close you get to the Olympic timings.
Snow Tubing at Soldier Hollow
Snow tubing is also a popular winter activity at Soldier Hollow, which has Utah’s longest snow tubing trail. A tube lift will carry you up a 1200 feet hill and then deposit you near the six tubing trails.
Each path has varying levels of steepness – choose the one you’re most comfortable with, plonk yourself in your tube, and set off down the hill.
Each tubing session is two hours long, so you can fit in at least 5-6 runs. There are day sessions as well as evening sessions when you can tube under the stars and a collection of pretty lights.
Book your tubing sessions before you go so that you don’t arrive there to find all the slots are filled. And if you get chilly in between sessions, warm up at the day lodge at the foot of the tubing hill.
Snowmobiling Around Mount Timpanago’s Foothills
Once you’ve had your fill of snow tubing or if you’re looking for a bigger thrill, try driving snowmobiles around Mount Timpanogos’ foothills. Both the Mutual Dell and the Sundance trail will take you through snow-covered aspen and pine forests which line Mount Timpanogos’ base.
A word of warning: the snowmobile trails are steep with several switchbacks, so go slowly.
Relax at the Sundance Spa
After a busy day of activities, it’s great to unwind at the Sundance Spa.
The spa’s menu includes massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and body treatments, all of which are designed to pamper you thoroughly. Make sure to try the Mountain Stone Massage, which uses hot stones to soothe sore muscles and release tension.
The Sundance Spa also hosts wellness programs like meditation and yoga workshops and mindful mountain walks. Also, the yoga and meditation classes are free for guests staying at Sundance.
Enjoy The Alpine Loop Scenic Drive
Want to explore the Mount Timpanogos area, but don’t feel up to hiking, horseback riding, skiing or biking?
Take a drive along the Alpine Loop Scenic Drive, a twenty-mile road that takes you from the American Fork Canyon to Mount Timpanogos’ winding roads before reaching the Provo Canyon.
As well as breathtaking views from immense heights, you’ll get to see the Mount Timpanogos Cave Monument, Sundance Resort and the Cascade Springs – all from the comfort of your car.
The road is only open from May through to October, after which heavy snowfalls block off some sections. Each season offers a different experience, but the drive is especially stunning in autumn when the fall colors surround you, and the earthy scent of leaves fills the air.
Fishing at Deer Creek Reservoir
Mount Timpanogos has a few lakes and streams, but the best fishing can be found twenty minutes from the mountain at the Deer Creek Reservoir.
There are several fishing spots at the Deer Creek Reservoir. Head there in the early morning or evenings, and you can catch walleye, rainbow and brown trout, mouth bass, and perch. There are even fish cleaning stations which makes it easy for you to grill up your catch for dinner.
In the wintertime, Deer Creek Reservoir has some excellent ice fishing spots.
Boating at Deer Creek Reservoir
The Deer Creek Reservoir is also an ideal place for boating. Rent fishing boats, pontoons, wakeboards or sports boards from the Deer Creek Island Resort and then take to the water.
If you’re traveling with a big group, the pontoon is an ideal choice; it fits between 14-20 people and will allow for a lovely day cruising on the river, enjoying delicious food in the open air, and swimming in the warm waters.
Water Sports at Deer Creek Reservoir
If water sports are more your style than leisurely boating, then rent some water sports equipment and spend a day zipping across the reservoir. Popular rentals are SUPs, WaveRunners, Canoes, and Kayaks.
The vehicle you choose depends on your fitness levels and needs; the SUP or the stand-up paddleboard involves you standing up and using paddles to maneuver, while the kayaks and canoes require you do the same while sitting down. The WaveRunner, also called a water scooter moves through the water at high speeds.
As you make your way through the water, you’ll see Mount Timpanogos towering over the reservoir.
Visit Tibble Fork Reservoir
Another reservoir to explore that is half an hour’s drive from Mount Timpanogos is the Tibble Fork Reservoir.
This reservoir is surrounded by moderate hiking trails, camping areas, and picnic spots. It was renovated a few years ago, and it has a sandy beach which you can use to sunbathe on.
Carry along a pair of binoculars if you visit the reservoir and keep your eye out for the collection of beautiful birds that visit it. Look out for Golden eagles, peregrine falcons, hummingbirds, and woodpeckers.
Try your hand at fishing at the reservoir, and you may catch rainbow or brown trout. Or spend your day swimming in the reservoir’s beautiful clear water.
Visit the Timpanogos Cove Park
If you’d like to enjoy the beauty of Mount Timpanogos, but don’t feel up to a full-blown hike, head to the Timpanogos Cove Park instead. It’s near Cedar Hills city and is perched on top of a hill that has a fantastic view of Mount Timpanogos.
It’s especially fun for families with young children as it has lots of play equipment, including slides, ladders, and climbing walls.
Visit Snuck Farm
A twenty-minute drive from the Mount Timpanogos’ foothills is Snuck Farm, a charming property which is famous for its crunchy, fresh lettuce.
Gardening enthusiasts will be fascinated by the farm’s use of hydroponic farming to produce lettuce. Hydroponic farming grows plants without using soil, using nutrient-infused water to nurture the plants instead.
On a visit to Snuck farm, tour its greenhouses and then meet its resident chickens and goats who gobble up all the lettuce trimmings. Snuck farm also hosts cooking classes and the popular green series class, which will teach you how to always have greens on your table.
Stop by at the Snuck Farm store to pick up gardening tools, books, and fresh produce.
Tip: Keep an eye out for Snuck Farm produce as you’re dining in and around Mount Timpanogos.
Visit the Heber Valley Historic Railroad
The Heber Valley Railroad is half an hour away from Mount Timpanogos’ trailhead and is well worth the drive. It’s a heritage railroad which was opened in 1899.
While a century ago it was used for transporting passengers and cargo, today it’s morphed into a fun adventure for excited tourists. There are several scenic train rides which ply the railroad, including the Deer Creek Express, the Red Caboose, and the Provo Canyon Limited. Each of the trains make their way through mountain roads and by sparkling lakes.
Each train ride also includes a ‘train robbery’ where the train is briefly held up by cowboys with guns. The railroad also operates special pop culture trains like the Star Wars Train, the Wizard’s Train, and the Princess & the Pirate Train. Each features themed characters, trivia quizzes, prizes, and music. It’s a great adventure for children!
Hot Air Balloon Ride over Mount Timpanogos
Once you’ve explored Mount Timpanogos and all its surrounding areas by hiking, driving, riding, and taking the train, it’s time to take to the skies to see it from a different view!
Companies like Midway Adventures organize hot air balloon rides over the Wasatch range. Hop aboard and let the colorful balloon gently lift you into the sky and float over Mount Timpanogos, Deer Creek Reservoir and Heber Valley. An experienced guide will accompany you and your group, telling you more about the mountains and history of the area.
Flights begin at sunrise and will allow you a unique, bird’s eye view of the sun rising above the mountain ranges and reservoirs. Remember to carry along your camera!
In fact, you should carry along your camera for all your activities as you explore Mount Timpanogos. Whatever you do, you can be assured breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys beyond.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or biker, a skiing enthusiast, or you enjoy kicking back on a lake and fishing, Mount Timpanogos has got you covered.