I think that when most people think of vacationing to Utah they plan on the ‘Big Five’ National Parks, which is fantastic, but there is soooo much to do up north folks! Especially if you like hiking. And if you’re visiting in the summer? Cooler than Zions. ;) And if you’re visiting in the fall? Holy spectacular! The foliage is amazing!
This beauty that is known as Utah? Wow, right? Well, today our next stop on the KBS Adventure Tour is our attempt at Scout Falls.
ABOUT THE HIKE
I read up on this hike, it seemed like a somewhat ‘easy’ hike (for me), I looked at maps…but by golly…somewhere we missed a sign or the turn to get to Scout Falls. That being said, the hike itself was still incredible–so much amazing scenery and was still worth it…even if Jordan and I didn’t make it to the destination.
This hike begins about eight miles up American Fork Canyon at the Timpanooeke Trailhead. If you keep on the trail, you’ll eventually make it to the top of Timp. ;) FYI, my nephew will run the trail to the top of the mountain (there are others we saw doing it too). His record time is a little over two hours. What the heck?
If you do a search on Scout Falls, you’re going to find a range of information, with elevation gain ranging from 600-800 feet and some have said even more. I think it all depends on the way you take as I’ve read that you can go a couple ways. THIS more recent post I just found is quite informative. I’d read about the ‘the turn at the log’ in another post last summer, but somehow we missed that it was really it. I’m pretty sure Jordan checked that way out and decided it wasn’t the right way and came back. I think we’ll know better next time–yes, there will be a next time. Why it’s not marked, I have no idea. You’d think with that kind of log presence that it was meant to discourage you from going that way. But it’s a legitimate hike. I guess it’s meant to keep the Timpanogos trail hikers on the right path. But those of us that want Scout Falls? Sign, please.
It’s about 1.5 miles to the falls and I think we ended up hiking 2-ish miles according to Jordan’s iPhone before we turned around. It was only another five miles to the top of Mt. Timpanogos. We considered it………not.
It does cost $6 for a three-day pass. You can pay at the booth if there are rangers there or you can self-pay here in the parking lot. I believe if you have a National Parks Pass that you don’t have to pay though.
We left early in the morning, arriving at the Timpanooeke Trailhead at 7 a.m. It was the middle of July and I do not like crowds and I hate the heat even more. Why put yourself through all that torture when you can feel like you have the place to yourself in the comfort of shade and coolness. Ahhh…. Also, the parking lot for the trailhead can get full as hiking there is quite popular.
This is what 7 a.m. looks like for all you sleepy heads. It’s the best! Summertime, shady, cool, alone (kind of). Seriously. Doesn’t get any better.
The first part of the hike is pretty gradual and then as you get closer to the mountain where the falls is (way over on that other side and to the right a little), it starts getting a little steeper. On our way down we passed by so many different people of different ages going up. A mother and her 8-year-old son were geared up with backpacks and tents and hiking up to the top of the mountain. They were going to stay the night half way up. Wow! You go kid! That’s impressive! We even saw a man who looked like he could be in his 70s…maybe even 80. Not even kidding. And he was hiking like a pro.
So I think it’s pretty good for most people–even little kiddos. I have a particular issue going on within my body and even though I had to take my time on the steeper parts, I still did it. Weird thing is, it’s better for me to run up the hill in segments rather than slowly walk up the hill. I’m the same with stairs. I’d rather take them quickly than ‘drudge up’ them slowly. So I’d have Jordan walk ahead and find me a rock, I’d run up to meet her, take a couple minute break sitting on the rock, and then do it again. Works for me. :)
Me and my hiking buddy/rock scouter.
As always, I love looking at all the details of the hike. I take longer to hike because I love stopping to see amazing bits of life like this. Someone told me that the Prairie Smoke (left) looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book. I agree.
And then there’s that moment when you’ve been walking for a while already and you realize you’re walking clear…over there. I remember thinking that I question the logistics of the mile and a half at this point. Seems like far away, but it’s really not that bad. Your hike is only 1.5 miles, but it does look like it’s far away.
And then there’s that on-top-of-the-world feeling. Nothing like it. What a view, right?
I’m always keeping an eye out for the wildflowers. There are just so many different kinds and so pretty!
As you get to the back mountain side–where I understand the falls are suppose to be (haha), you’ll start passing some little waterfalls. They are a little hidden and so pretty!
And then you start hitting some switchback trails. At this point, I believe you should start looking for the logs–which would be on the left side of a switchback. At least that’s what I’m remembering. The cool thing though is the switchbacks go back and forth over a stream going down the mountain.
You’re most likely gonna get wet and then walk through dirt. But it’s all good, because anytime you can walk through a mountain stream, you’re having a great day. And then you come home looking like this. Evidence of that great day, regardless of whether or not you hit your destination. :) I know we were sooooo close!
And now, here’s a little live video of what we experienced that day. Birds chirping. Rustling leaves. Water falling. Music to my ears! And I think I got my waterfall fix, even if we didn’t hit the big kahuna. Next time. I’m already planning on the hike. I do need to start getting in shape though. ;)