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View of Timpanogos in the fall.

Lame Horse Trail 055
(Aspen Grove Summit Trail)

The Lame Horse Trail -- also known as the Aspen Grove Summit Trail -- joins the Aspen Grove recreation area (in the North Fork of Provo Canyon) to the Alpine Loop Summit of American Fork Canyon. The trail is narrow singletrack: mostly smooth aspen cruising, but with a good spattering of rocky rooty technical stuff. Elevation gain is 1200 feet over the lower 2 miles, for an average 12% grade. 

View west at Mount Timpanogos, on the ridge overlooking Aspen Grove. Photo and original trail review on October 4, 1999 by Bruce. Latest update August 2018.

The trail is 2.9 miles in length, and is done as either an up-the-highway and down the trail, or as an out-and-back on the trail. The uphill isn't horrible - a strong intermediate rider can do it with a couple of brief rest stops.

You can begin the ride either at the Alpine Loop Summit parking lot (GPS N 40 25.837' W 111 36.837'), or at the Aspen Grove trail parking area at GPS N 40 24.350' W 111 36.307'.

The Stewart Falls Trail and Aspen Grove nature trail also begin at the Aspen Grove lot. These are hiker-only trails. But bring your walking shoes and check out these nice hikes while you're in the neighborhood.

As you might guess, the Aspen Grove trail features tons of quaking aspens. Here a carpet of giant ferns has turned brown as the aspens turn gold in the fall. Photo October 4, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

Aspens and ferns along the trail.

At the top, the trail starts on the east side of the Alpine Loop summit trailhead. After 1/10th mile, the Deer Creek South Fork trail splits off to the left. Keep straight for Lame Horse.

For the bottom end, drive up the North Fork of Provo Canyon. Go to the Aspen Grove trail-parking area. Find the trail on the west side of the parking lot, and follow the "Lame Horse Trail 055" sign. After 0.35 miles, you'll cross a footbridge. Here the trails split. Turn right off the main trail, and begin climbing.

Climbing uphill through aspen forest.

The trail climbs through oak brush and maple to the first ridge, after which you're in quaking aspens and spruce. Ferns, thimbleberry, currant, and wildflowers of every type fill the spaces between the quakies.

Squirrels, grouse, and deer are common along the trail.

A pine cone bobs in the breeze in front of golden quaking aspen leaves. Photo October 4, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

Pine cone with fresh pitch.

View up from the trail. At 1.45 miles, turn left at a trail intersection (straight ahead takes you to a pullout on the Alpine Loop road). At two miles, the slope of the trail lessens. You roll, twist, and turn among the quaking aspens -- a truly delightful ride.

View above the bike, of towering pines and golden aspens. October 4, 1999.

Portions of the trail are often snowbound until mid June. In more dry years, the trail may be ready to ride in May. Snow usually closes the trail again in late October. Late September is an excellent time to ride this trail, as the fall colors change.

View over the aspens into the North Fork of Provo Canyon. Photo October 4, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

North Fork of Provo Canyon

At 2.8 miles, you'll pass the Deer Creek South Fork trail on your right. Continue on to the Alpine Loop parking area at 2.9 miles. To extend your ride, take a cruise on Ridge Trail 157, which starts here. Or do an up-and-back to Horse Flat.

Tall ferns and thimbleberry carpet the floor of the aspen forest as we approach the summit.

Getting there: From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland (Timpanogos Highway) exit just south of Point-of-the-Mountain. Go east towards the mountains on UT-92 and continue up American Fork Canyon. There's a $6 fee per car (as of 2018). About 6 miles up the canyon, turn right at the North Fork junction. Drive up to the summit of the Alpine Loop. To reach Aspen Grove, continue 3 miles down into the North Fork of Provo Canyon.
From Provo/Orem, drive up Provo Canyon and turn left at the North Fork road (toward Sundance Resort). Drive past Sundance and continue uphill to Aspen Grove.

Bathrooms:  Aspen Grove, Summit trailhead
Water:  Aspen Grove

Aspen Grove Trail Map

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
     GPX track
High-res topo for printing (160 KB):  View 
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to AF Canyon resources
     Links to Provo Canyon resources

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