Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Provo Peak



Overview:
Provo Peak is on the ridge behind Y-Mountain, and therefore often overlooked, although it is much higher from the valley floor than the surrounding mountains and can easily be seen from West Provo. The summit is 11,061 feet from sea level, and you'll gain over 2,700 feet from the trailhead to the peak itself. Be prepared for a very steep hike, but well worth it considering the spectacular views of Utah Valley from the top. As a note of interest, keep your eyes open for deep marine fossils in the limestone near the top.

Distance: 3.2 miles up and back

Difficulty: 5

Hike Time: 5-7

Trailhead:

  • From the I-15, take the 800N exit in Orem (Exit 272)

  • Head east towards Provo Canyon

  • After about 3.6 miles, head left, taking the ramp into Provo Canyon

  • After 1.9 miles, take a right on Squaw Peak Road (the first right after the ramp)

  • Along the first part of Squaw Peak Road, you'll pass several turn-offs; overlooks, a parking lot, and you'll even pass Rock Canyon Campground

  • After 3.2 miles from the campground, look for a turn-off/gravel parking area off on your right. If you can look straight up the west Ridge from this parking area, you've found the right one


Maps:





Description:
During the initial trek, the trail follows an ATV road, but soon the road disappears leaving very minimal signs of a trail; found by some hikers, but missed by most. Don't worry if you can't see it, just head up the spine of the ridge being sure to keep the grove of pine trees, and terraced hillside on your left. Eventually you'll find a more established trail as the ridge becomes more rocky. This rocky trail has many switchbacks, is fairly steep, and will lead you past many false summits. During our adventure, we kept thinking that our destination was "just over that rise," and then another rise would appear.

From the top, you should have clear views of most of Utah Valley, the 7 Peaks of the Wasatch (Lone Peak, Timpanogos, Cascade Mountain, Provo Peak, Spanish Fork Peak, Loafer Mountain/Santaquin Peak, and Mount Nebo). You can also see Lake Mountain, and beyond that to the north, the Oquirrh Mountains. On a clear day, you can see the Onaqui Mountains and even some of the Stansbury Range to the north. Looking east, you can see views of the Strawberry Ridge, and northeast, the snow-capped peaks of the High Uintas. To the south, in addition to the Southern Wasatch, you can see the bulk of the Wasatch Plateau (which is different than the Wasatch Range).

On the way down, it is also very easy to lose the trail and therefore necessary to bushwhack through groves of aspens. Be sure to watch for moose. (see photos) Keeping your eye on the parking lot (which is visible during almost the entire hike), continue towards it, and you can't go wrong.


Pictures:





















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