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Timpanooke Loop

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Basics
Location:
North of Mt. Timpanogos in American Fork Canyon.
Length:
5.25 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Elevation Change:
600 feet

Description

The Timpanooke Loop is a favorite of bikers in northern Utah County. Fairly short and of intermediate difficulty, this trail is great for a quick after-work ride in the cool alpine splendor of the ridges near Mount Timpanogos. The loop follows the Great Western Trail from the Timpanooke Campground at the base of Mount Timpanogos up to Ridge Trail 157 at the ridge between American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon. It's all singletrack, and it's all great riding!
Location:
North of Mt. Timpanogos in American Fork Canyon.
Length:
5.25 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Elevation Change:
600
Additional Details:
Altitude gain is 600 feet, but the trail is a gentle up-and-down rather than a prolonged climb. The trail is 5-1/4 miles round trip. With a few stops to admire the scenery, the ride is easily completed in 90 minutes.

The Timpanooke Loop Trail and the Timpanogos Perimeter section of the Great Western begin together in the Timpanooke Campground at 7000 feet elevation. Go straight south from the parking lot, then turn left across a footbridge that crosses the creek. (Bikes are NOT allowed on the Timpanooke Trail as it enters the wilderness area!)

The trail climbs through deep pines, then rolls up and down through aspen, spruce, choke cherry, and elderberry trees with a riot of wildflowers. You''ll cross a few tiny creeks and a couple of beautiful meadows.

You''ll follow the Great Western Trail until you reach Ridge Trail 157, then turn right. (Left takes you towards the Tibble Fork and Mill Canyon trails that descend towards Tibble Fork Reservoir.) You''ll leave Ridge Trail 157 on the Salamander Flat trail, descending some switchbacks to the meadow. Here you pick up the original trail for the return trip. Or, you can follow Ridge 157 to the Summit Trailhead. (See trail notes below.)

In many years, bikers are on the trail beginning in early May. Occasional snowdrifts and mud spots can persist among the deep pines until late June.

This trail is good for late-season riding. After the Alpine Loop road is closed (usually November 1), just park at the Pine Hollow trailhead and ride your bike 1.9 miles up the Loop road, turning right into the Timpanooke Campground to catch the trail. The trail provides a good riding surface even with several inches of snow.

For a great 12-mile ride, take Timpanooke to the Ridge, but turn LEFT. After 1.6 miles, turn right onto the South Fork trail at the 4-way intersection with the Tibble Fork Trail. Loop down-and-back to the Alpine Loop summit, then head north on Ridge 157 back to the Pine Hollow trail fork and roll down to Timpanooke.

Trail Notes: Straight from parking lot (ignore Great Western Trail branching off on the right). 0.1m, turn left over bridge. 0.85m left at fork. 0.9m cross paved road. 1.5m 4-way trail intersection, left on GWT. 2.0m Pine Hollow trail merges from left, continue straight. 2.65m join Ridge Trail 157, turn right.

Return trail option 1: 3.05m leave Ridge 157, turning right on Salamander Flat trail. 3.55m 4-way trail intersection, turn right following sign to GWT. After dropping through creek keep right at fork. 3.75m primitive camping area, turn right and find trail at end of circle. 3.8m 4-way intersection (same as at 1.5m), turn left onto GWT. Retrace path back 1.5 miles to parking.

Return trail option 2: Continue on Ridge Trail 157 to the Alpine Loop Summit. Cross the road to the parking area. Find the Summit Trail at the west end (on your right as the pavement enters the parking lot) and head downhill. 0.75 miles later, the trail reaches the loop road. Turn right 30 feet. Find the continuation on the uphill side of the creek. 1/4 mile later, you''ll reach the 4-way trail intersection. Go straight through. Hang right after dropping through the creek. At the next 4-way intersection, go straight on the Great Western towards Timpanooke.

Information provided by utahmountainbiking.com.
Basic Directions
From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland exit and drive 7 miles to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. Pay your $3 fee there. Five miles later at the fork in the road, go along the south fork of the river. About 4 miles up, there's a T in the road. Turn right into the Timpanooke Campground road. The parking area is on your left about 1/4 mile later.

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