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Trib Trails: Timponeeke Trail to Scout Falls offers easy(ish) escape

Winding through Mount Timpanogos, this Utah County trail is full of great views and hidden treasures.

(Kelly Cannon | The Salt Lake Tribune) One of the views from a resting spot on the Timpooneke Trail.

I wouldn’t say I enjoy hiking. I would even venture to say I don’t enjoy hiking. But I do, on occasion, feel nature’s pull to go outside. This is usually reinforced by the fact my blue heeler mix loves the outdoors. After a quick Google search of dog-friendly trails in Utah County, I found Timponeeke Trail to Emerald Lake. It is one of a multitude of trails found on Mount Timpanogos, located in the scenic Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

(Kelly Cannon | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tree coverage is one of the nicer features on the Timpooneke Trail.

The trail in its entirety is seven miles. I did not plan for us to go seven miles, but rather just about 1.5 miles to Scout Falls, which offers a good place to turn around. The trailhead acts as a starting point for three different trails, with Timponeeke being the middle one.

One really nice aspect of this trail is the tree coverage. I went in the early afternoon and was in the shade most of the time. There are a plethora of trees, including quaking aspen (my favorite). The path is mostly uphill and can get steep and rocky in some areas.

(Kelly Cannon | The Salt Lake Tribune) Honey the dog demonstrates the steepness of the Timpooneke Trail.

Being beginner hikers, my dog and I were able to make our way up at a fairly normal pace. We did have to stop for water breaks, but the views were worth the pauses. It was only once we got home and I began researching this article that I found the trail is considered “difficult” and “strenuous,” especially if you continue up to Emerald Lake.

One part I truly loved was the little hidden treasures I found along the way. My favorite was a little babbling brook that came out of the side of the mountain. With rocks, tree branches and moss, it looked like something out of a picture book.

(Kelly Cannon | The Salt Lake Tribune) A babbling brook on the side of the mountain is one of the hidden treasures of the Timpooneke Trail.

We did manage to make it to Scout Falls. I’m sure it’s a lovely little waterfall when Utah is not in the middle of an extreme drought. The views from the falls were also very lovely, though I’m sure they’re even better when there’s not a blanket of California wildfire smoke.

(Kelly Cannon | The Salt Lake Tribune) One of the views from a resting spot on the Timpooneke Trail.

Timponeeke Trail to Scout Falls

The Hike: The trail to Scout Falls is roughly 1.5 miles and offers a good place to turn around for a shorter hike. For those feeling more adventurous, the hike continues to Emerald Lake for a total of seven miles. It gets very rocky and steep if you go past Scout Falls.

The path is very clear and distinct, with lots of foliage coverage and good spots to pause and catch your breath. We saw a lot of other people going the opposite way of us but we were alone for most of the trail. Horses are also allowed on the trail, though we did not encounter any.

Getting there: There are two ways to access the trail. Coming I-15 going north, take Orem 800 North Exit 272 and keep going to the mouth of Provo Canyon. Take a left onto Highway 189 Provo Canyon Scenic Byway. Then take a left on Highway 92 Alpine Scenic Loop/Sundance turnoff. Stay on the road until you reach the parking lot labeled Timpooneke Trail.

Coming I-15 going south, take American Fork/Alpine Exit 284 and turn east onto Highway 92. This will take you through American Fork Canyon. Stay on Highway 92 until you come to a parking lot labeled Timpooneke Trail.

Because you can access the trail from both ends of Highway 92, we took American Fork to get up there and Provo Canyon to get back down to have a leisurely drive.

Region: Utah County

Distance: Roughly 3 miles round trip to Scout Falls, 14 miles round trip to Emerald Lake

Time: 3 hours but we are beginners

Elevation gained: 833 feet to Scout Falls, 4,425 feet to Emerald Lake

Dogs Allowed: Yes, on leash

Restrooms: Yes, at trailhead

Biking: No

Difficulty: 5

(Kelly Cannon | The Salt Lake Tribune) Honey the dog takes a break on the Timpooneke Trail.

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