Mount Timpanogos is said to be the most popular hiking trail system in the entire Salt Lake region. It is usually hiked from one of two trails: Aspen Grove or Timpooneke. Of course you could set up a shuttle if you wanted to do both. I did want to do both but had no shuttle arranged. So I did it anyway betting that I could hitch a ride back after the hike and fortunately I did quickly find a kind young Salt Lake man who gave me a ride.
I chose to start from on the Aspen Grove trail, hike to the summit and return on Timpooneke trail. I started from the Aspen Grove trailhead which is about 500 feet lower than Timpooneke. After struggling for a few minutes to get out of the starting gate at the trailhead (it is poorly signed), I got on the correct trail and navigation after the beginning is not a problem. You start with an early morning steep climb of 3,100 feet before reach the saddle visible from the trailhead. There the trail levels a bit but continues to climb another 500 feet or so before becoming steep once again for the final 1,200 feet to the summit at 11,749 feet.
Along the way you pass waterfalls, two lakes one of which is Emerald Lake at the base of a glacier. There is a shelter near there as well. There is also a shelter on the summit and the first sight of that comes before Emerald Lake when you are about 1,700 feet below it and looking at a vertical wall. The hike continues west past the vertical wall to approach from the other side where it is possible to hike up at sensible hiking grades.
Before reaching the summit you hike to a saddle and a ridgeline with amazing views of the entire Salt Lake and Salt Lake and nearby cities. A small amount of stand up rock climbing is involved in the final climb but the trail is very well designed and not too hard for most able hikers. After reaching the summit there are spectacular 360 degree views.
The climb back down and return trip on the Timpooneke trail also produces some great views but not quite as many when compared to coming up the Aspen Grove trail. When given a choice I always select to hike steep grades up and less steep grades down. Coming down steep grades is not my cup of tea. Such is the choice here. Aspen Grove is steep and Timpooneke is not. You can do some of your fastest hiking coming down Timpooneke and that would not be possible on Aspen Grove.
I have submitted 2 tracks for this hike. One is the hike I actually did and the other is the hike I would do when I do it again (and I will). The revision is a trail just past Emerald Lake that cuts 1.8 miles off the hike I did. That 1.8 miles has no value added so nothing is lost by going the shorter route. Not sure how I missed that trail but I did not see it for sure. The 0.8 mile piece I inserted in the recommended track came from a lollipop hike (I think part of it is called the Glacier route) that is posted on the Backpacker Magazine website at http://bp2.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip ... pId=247932
This looks like a quality track to me and I just cut out part of it that I would want to use in my route next time. I hiked 15.9 miles and the recommended route is 14.1 miles. But to that I might add a trip to an historic B-25 wreck site which involves an extra mile or so roundtrip.
Anyway, enjoy the pictures. BTW, this is a 5 star hike.