This is my most favorite hike in Utah.  I've hiked the Alps in Switzerland and this local hike really does feel like you are hiking the Alps!
It is a featured hike today. The trailhead may take longer to get to depending on where you live. If you go the full distance it will be an all day hike. A local hike will be offered on this day at our regular time at 8 am and finish by 12 noon. Within minutes of the Salt Lake valley you enter what we call "paradise"! Lush green foliage, spectacular waterfalls, cool mountain air, shady forests, peaceful alpine lakes and streams, stunning views and vistas await you. We accommodate both beginner and moderate hiking abilities. Please join us often!

6:00 AM to 5:00 PM

6200 South UTA Park n Ride
6570 South Wasatch Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121

You'll find us on the south end of the large parking lot, known as "6200 South Wasatch Park n Ride" Questions? Call or text me at 801-278-5313

This is a free event!

PLEASE READ before coming on this hike

Everyone should be to the trailhead by 7:15 AM, ready to start hiking.

Either an appointed person or I will greet you at 6 AM at our regular 6200 South meeting place. 

If you plan on attending this outing please read the following so everyone is safe and has a great time!

FYI: I offer a local hike as well, regular meeting time at 8 AM.

A bathroom is at the trailhead. 

Getting to the trailhead: Do a google map search. When you see the Timpooneke Campground, area, continue past it a little further. You'll enter the Timpooneke Parking Lot. If you have any questions about that, ask anyone you see. They'll confirm if you're at the right place.
There will be more people attending than what you see RSVP'd here.
Read my notes on where you need to be by certain times. Scroll down to see them. If you want to enjoy this hike, take it seriously. If you can't reach these landmarks by the times I have posted, turn around and start back down the mountain. It's not going anywhere soon so you plan to get stronger and come back and hike it again.

On this featured hike, you need to be responsible for yourself and ONLY hike as far as you personally feel comfortable hiking. What goes up must come down. Leave plenty of strength for the descend. Don't allow anyone to talk you into going further than you feel good about. Know your own medical/health condition and act accordingly. The mountain will always be there for you. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself. We want all of our hikers to have a great experience on this and every trail you join us on.

Always ease into hiking if you are new to the sport. You can hike this trail even as a beginner if you'll remember to turn around after a few miles.

Beginner hikers: You should do this hike, with or without our group if you can't come on this day BUT treat it as a "get acquainted" hike. Go a few miles up the trail and you'll be rewarded with beautiful waterfalls, wildflowers and spectacular scenery in every direction. Go slow, go fast, do whatever just come! Don't forget a camera and water.

Strong hikers: Options include..

1) The upper meadow (this is a GREAT accomplishment but the good stuff is still beyond this)
2) Emerald Lake - I love this area! I take a nap, see mountain goats, it's so beautiful and peaceful and has incredible views in all directions.
3) Saddle - I love this with the great views but it can get crowded which is not pleasant
4) Summit - I love this for the accomplishment, the views and bragging rights.

FROM THE UPPER MEADOW: You are approx. 60 minutes from Emerald Lake OR the Saddle - depending on your speed. We went to Emerald Lake (14 miles RT) in an hour after reaching the upper meadow. It's still a climb and you are above 11,000 ft. Plan to stop often, catch your breath, take photos, stop and acclimate to the high altitude.

As you come up Timpooneke Trail, Emerald Lake will go to the left and the saddle will go to the right. There are signs clearly posted. Pick one, then see how you feel about going further.

From the Saddle you have approx. 40 - 60 minutes to the summit (15 miles RT), depending on your speed. 12,000 ft altitude may slow you down.
Here we are passing through one of the rock fields before reaching the upper meadows. Plan on more rock fields on your way to Emerald Lake and before arriving at the saddle. Expect a Rock Trail from the saddle to the peak.

A few tips for a successful hike and post-hike recovery:

1) Hydrate your body by drinking plenty of water the day BEFORE the hike.
2) Drinking 1 liter per mile is recommended. People hide bottles of water along the trail and so they have water to drink on the way down. This hike will make you more thirsty than hungry. Bring a sandwich and some snacks i.e. peanuts, granola bar. Your favorite hard candy will make the harder steeper parts of the mountain a lot easier since most of this hike is mental.
3) Put your cell phone on Airplane Mode as soon as you enter American Fork Canyon to save energy. When you get into the upper meadow, Emerald Lake, saddle or peak area you will have reception. I've made the mistake of keeping it on and draining my batterie - just when I wanted to take a photo!
4) Bring your annual national park pass if you have one. Fee station is not open this early in the morning. Put your pass on your dashboard before you hike, where it can be seen. Those who don't do this will receive a notice that you need to pay $6/vehicle as you leave the canyon.
5) We begin early to 1) get a parking space 2) get more hiking in before it gets hot 3) look for moose on the way up.
BRING a light jacket.
6) If you hike to Emerald Lake, the saddle or peak, expect 14 - 15 miles RT with 4000 - 5000 ft. elevation gain. The peak is above 12,000 ft. above sea level so this is some great high altitude hiking!!

My post hike treatment:

Before the hike, buy a bag of EPSON SALT and a Bath Pillow. These are waiting for me when I get home! Don't forget to stretch a little before and after the hike.
I make sure I have a little time after the hike to soak my body in this solution and rest for at least 20 - 30 minutes. Add 1 - 2 cups of Epson Salt into your bath water. After a good nights rest I feel like a brand, new, energetic person.
Photo: Trish in the upper meadow as we headed to the saddle and then to the peak, which is in the background.
As always: The hike may be changed due to conditions beyond our control (weather, road, canyon, trail conditions, etc. )

TIMELINE: My guideline for hiking this mountain.

6 AM - Start gathering, arrange carpools, final instructions
6:10 AM - Leave 6200 South Meeting Place
7:10 AM - Arrive at Timpooneke Trailhead and start hiking. Meet us at this traihead if you like. Bathrooms are located here.
11 AM - Arrive at the upper meadow by this time OR before.
12 Noon - Arrive at Emerald Lake IF this is your destination (take a nap, eat lunch, enjoy yourself, leave around 1 PM to head back down to Timpooneke or Aspen Grove Trail. If you go down Aspen Grove and you came up Timpooneke, you'll have to hitch a ride back to Timpooeke Trail to your car. (I did this a few years ago)
12 Noon - Arrive at Saddle around this time IF this is your destination. Stop there for a while to have lunch THEN either continue on up to the peak (40 - 60 minutes further) OR stop and head back down the mountain.
Learn more about Aspen Grove trail
Based on these times we were comfortably back to the trailhead before 4:30 PM or sooner, depending on your speed and how much time you spent on the mountain

NOTE: The appointed times and land marks are designed to help you know more about your own hiking abilities for this day. On any day you may be more tired or energetic than usual so adjust accordingly. 


Easiest and recommended for Beginner Hikers: approx. 1.5 miles to Scout Falls - out & back - 3 miles RT
After that: Go as far as you feel comfortable - anywhere between Scout Falls & the upper meadow.
Always make sure you have plenty of strength and energy to hike back down the mountain

What to bring:

Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich
Hard candy for some enjoyment on harder parts of the trail
4 liters of water or more (hide some every mile and drink them up on the way down the mountain. Just remember where you hid them.)
light jacket
good hiking shoes w/ traction
Hiking poles - My hiking poles especially help my knees on the way back down.
cell phone
Good attitude
National Park Pass or $6/vehicle for the fee station.
Money to give your driver if you carpool


This hike is subject to change without notice due to conditions beyond our control (i.e. weather, road, trail or canyon conditions).
As a worse case, changes will be made at our meeting place prior to leaving for the hike. It doesn't happen very often but contact me to confirm where we are going ONLY IF you plan to meet us anywhere other than our regular 6200 South meeting place.

Equipment or Gear

Water - 1 liter (1 quart) per hour of hiking is recommended, even in the winter
A healthy snack (granola bar, trail mix, etc.)
Sun protection i.e. hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm
Light jacket for wind protection and cooler mountain temperatures
First Aid Kit (small kit with supplies i.e. bandaids, etc.)
Cell phone - which may be spotty in the canyons
Camera - optional
Flashlight - be prepared even though most of our hikes are during the day
Small rain poncho
My contact information in your phone. Sheryl: 801-278-5313


6200 South UTA Park n Ride

6570 South Wasatch Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121

You'll find us on the south end of the large parking lot, known as "6200 South Wasatch Park n Ride" Questions? Call or text me at 801-278-5313


6:00 AM
Start gathering at 6200 South meeting place

We will greet you and quickly make sure everyone knows how to get to the trailhead in American Fork Canyon

6:15 AM
Drive to trailhead

From this meeting place it will take us 45 minutes to an hour to get to the trailhead.

7:00 AM
Arrive at trailhead, start hiking

Others will be waiting for us at the trailhead. There is limited parking at this trailhead which is why we try to carpool as much as possible. If you want to carpool on this hike, tell me in advance so you can contact some of the hikers prior to departure. There is a bathroom at the trailhead.  You are always welcome to hike a short distance if you want a much easier hike.  Don't carpool with others plan to do the full hike unless you enjoy waiting a long time at the car.

5:00 PM
Off the trail

Everyone should be off the trail by now.  Read my notes about landmarks and places you should be by certain times.  Everyone will be trying to do their personal best which means some people may be all over this mountain on this day. There is always a variety of hiking abilities in our group which is what we like. Come often and get to know other hikers with similar abilities. 

Related Links


Let us know if you'll be coming. It isn't necessary, but it helps us to plan.