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Meadow looking at Timpanogos

Timpooneke Loop (Salamander Flat)

The Timpooneke 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.

Chad Hunter looks at Mount Timpanogos above the trail. July 12, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

The loop follows the Great Western Trail from the Timpooneke 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!

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 Timpooneke Loop and the Timpanogos Perimeter section of the Great Western begin together (GPS N 40 25.891'  W 111 38.402') in the Timpooneke Campground at 7000 feet elevation. Go straight south from the parking lot on the Timpooneke Trail, then turn left across a footbridge that crosses the creek onto Salamander Flat Trail #150. (Bikes are NOT allowed on the Timpooneke Trail as it enters the wilderness area!)

Colorful blossoms of Indian Paintbrush adorn sunny areas.
Picture July 12, 1999, Bruce Argyle

Blossoms of paintbrush

Good-looking biker dude

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.


Chad takes a break as the trail winds upward through Colorado Spruce. July 12, 1999

You'll follow trail #150 until it joins Pine Hollow heading uphill. When you reach Ridge Trail 157, 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 Ridge Connector #216 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.)

Sticky Geranium blooms in the aspen groves.
Photo July 12, 1999 Bruce Argyle

Sticky geranium blooms

Wheelies in the snow. 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 Timpooneke Campground to catch the trail. The trail provides a good riding surface even with several inches of snow.

Chad pops up for the camera. Real men ride in the snow.
Without a coat. On one wheel.
November 20, 1999.

For a great 12-mile ride, take the GWT to Ridge 157 as above, 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 Timpooneke.

Other nice trails in this area include Timpanogos Perimeter, Ridge 157, Deer Creek South Fork, and Tibble Fork. For a color-coded map of trails linking to Ridge Trail 157, see the Ridge Trail Page.

Doc Argyle and his faithful Jack Russell terrier Jackie pause in the late evening sunshine. Photo by Chad Hunter, July 12, 1999.

Doc and dog at a meadow

View northwest down the summit trail as fall comes to the Wasatch 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.

View down the Summit Trail (option 2 above). Box Elder peak is in the background. September 20, 1999.

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 Timpooneke.

Timpanooke Loop Trail Map

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Get better performance.

Getting there: From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland exit and drive 7 miles to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. Pay your $6 fee (as of 2009) 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 Timpooneke Campground road. The parking area is on your left about 1/4 mile later.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Garmin     National Geographic     Google Earth     GPX
High-res topo (160 KB):  View 
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to north Utah County resources

Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc

Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc