By: Patty Kline
Last summer I took a trip to Provo, Utah to visit friends and climb Mt. Timpanogos. This is a great desert peak in the Wasatch Range located in the Uinta National Forest. It is similar to Charleston in a way, having ski resort at it's foot. This resort is owned by Robert Redford and called Sundance, as a lot of skiers know.
It was a brief 30-40 minute ride from my friends' home at 4000 feet to the roadhead at Aspen Grove at 6850 feet. Federal Highway 189 leads out of Provo for 13 miles. Then we turned left on Utah State Hwy 92 and on to the trailhead at Aspen Grove.
The air was fresh as we started at 7:30am on this day in mid-summer. This was 20 miles round trip all on trail, although it gets a little dicey near the top. The gain was 5000 feet. On top of Mt. Timpanogos, Utah Valley spread out under me to the west and the desert vanished from sight beyond the cities of Provo, Orem and other budding communities. I saw the High Unitas Range to the east about 50-75 miles away.
Rather than take the trail back the first 2 miles from the top, I took the "glacier route". This is the remains of what used to be a glacier 10 years ago, and even a bigger one 30 years ago. The lack of precipitation in recent years shows. There wasn't much left to glissade on. The glacier ended about 1250 feet below the peak at Emerald Lake where I joined the trail again. There to meet me was my friend with his 7 year old daughter who did just under 4000 feet of gain and 16 miles round trip by making it to Emerald Lake and back. She will make a great peak bagger when she gets a little older.
The wild flowers were everywhere. They were the kind you see in more northern climates than our peaks in central California. This peak reminds me a little of Ruby Dome, but the drive is 100 miles closer.
I would recommend this peak as a must for a summer climb to anyone passing anywhere near the area. It was one of the best peaks I did all summer.
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