If you ever considered to conquer one of the greatest mountains in Utah, or planned to try to hike 7000 feet above the valley to achieve the satisfaction of one of the greatest adventures accomplishments while living in Utah, you certainly can’t rely on Google alone to find the answers to the questions on how to prepare yourself for such a great hike and how to actually conquer the Timpanogos Mountain as I did on September 2, 2012.
Timpanogos Mountain is the highest mountain in Utah. It is 7000 feet (or 7 mile hike) that starts at the bottom of the Orem-Provo area. You can drive to the beginning of the trail in your car, park your car, pay $6 fee for parking and start your long hike to the top of the mountain. Timpanogos Mountain has a nice hiking trail that has a few mini waterfalls (4 of those as I remember), and a few mini valleys surrounded by gigantic mountain rock walls.
Since it was my first hike to the tallest mountain ever in my life, with no hiking expirience previously I had missed to do my homework and therefore had missed to ask a few questions that would help to have my hiking experience more enjoyable, especially at the top of the mountain.
Since Google didn’t help me with the answres I thought to write those questions I had on here, based on my firsthand experience:
- How much time are you planning to spend on the entire journey?
- Who are you planning to go with?
- What are you planning to bring with you?
- What season of the year are you planning to go on the journey?
- What to expect during your hike?
How much time are you planning to spend on the entire journey?
At the beginning of the journey, Kimball convinced me that it would take me only 4 hours to get to the top of them mountain and another 4 hours to get to the bottom of the mountain. He told me that he did research and found this information online. I believed him. However, to be sure he suggested that we would get out early in the morning before 9am. With all our preparations to depart, and shopping for food at Walmart, we arrived to the bottom of the trail at 11am.
I should have considered to do research on my own or just double check with Kimball for sure whether it takes that long to get to the top of the mountain, but due to lack effort (ps. laziness), I took Kimball’s word for it and decided to give it a shot.
Since I have never hiked before I wasn’t sure exactly how much time it would take to hike the entire route.
When we came to the bottom of the moutain trail, there was someone sitting and I asked how long it takes to get to the top. A man said that it is 7 mile long journey only one direction. I figured that if I run around 10min each mile, walking would be at least four times as much per hour. So, I assumed, that it would take at least four and a half to 5 and a half hours to hike. And I was right
So, the entire trip lasted from 11am till 8:45pm when we arrived to our car.
This is how the schedule went:
- 11am get on the trail
- Make a few stops when you get tired
- 4:15pm arrive at the top of the mountain
- 4:30pm start descending
- 8:45pm arrive at the bottom of the trail
Who are you planning to go with?
Make sure to go on this journey with someone. There were a few benefits of me taking Kimball with me:
- Your buddy will take pictures of you
- You can share some fun laughs while hiking. This way you mood-up and continue your journey with positive attitude
- In emergency, for example, when I got cramps due to lack of water when going down the mountain, I had to stop and ask Kimball to help me to stretch, because I was unable to walk any further. After stretching and a slight massage on my leg, I continued journey down the mountain
- You can share carrying of the backpack responsibilities. Most of the journey I cared the backpack up the mountain. However, when going down I got my cramps I had Kimball carrying the backpack for me.
- You both can share your journey experiences with each other. This way it makes the trip much more enjoyable.
What are you planning to bring with you?
- Flashlight since it was getting really dark around 8:30pm, we barely made it with no flashlight). If you start your journey during the summer early enough you may not need the flashlight
- Plastic spoons (if you are bringing yogurt with you)
- Matches (in case you are stuck on the mountain over night. There is no one to help, unless some well prepared hikers are passing by)
- Medical aid (in case you harm or cut yourself). With all the rocks and trees and weeds around you, walking on those rocks can be dangerous
- Nice thin sweater, in case you get chilly. It was a little cold going down since the sun was going down.
- Sun block or long sleeve shirt
- Light gloves
- Headache medicine for high altitude sickness (Kimball complaint about his headache at the top)
- Music. I brought my phone and played spotify all 10 hours. Amazing how long my battery lives.
What season of the year are you planning to hike on the Timpanogos Mountain?
Best time of the year to go hiking is during the summer. Basically, when the snow completely melts and it is easier to walk on the trail paths to the top. I chose Sunday, because it is less busy time of the week. Most of the LDS people stay at home to observe the Sabath day. Holidays and Saturdays are the busiest times to hike. Make sure that you do your homework to find out the status of whether you can go hiking on certain days. For information, contact the Pleasant Grove Ranger District at 801-785-3563, visit the information booths located on State Route 92, or visit www.fs.usda.gov/uwcnf.
What to expect during your hike?
When you start your journey to the top of the mountain, the first 10 minutes you have a nice trail path (smooth, not many rocks). However, you get a much smoother walk up right before you reach the second waterfall.
You should stop by each waterfall to rest, take nice pictures, and to listen to the waterfalls. if you run out of water, you will have to refill your canteen from the waterfalls or little streams. I did it and survived. The last stop where they will see water is at emerald lake. Make sure you have plenty of water before leaving that lake because it’s another 1.5 hours up to the top of the mountain, and 1.5 hours back for a total of 3 hour before you will see water again.
Since you don’t see much snow anymore during summer you can still find some snow at the top of the mountain as I did. And, of course, I took a picture there. I think that all the waterfalls and creeks are from the left over snow. But still, water tastes delicious.
Make sure to take a lot of pictures. Remember, the first hour of hike is easy and exciting because the trail is not as rocky as at the top. Once you get to the very top then it is harder to breathe and you may get a headache as Kimball did during this hike.
I was really excited to get to the top and finally I did. I posted other pictures of the hike under Gallery.
Once you are at the top of the mountain, you will feel as if your mission was accomplished, but don’t forget that you still have to get down from the mountain which is a little faster but even more challenging, since your feet don’t want to work and your whole body is hurting you. But don’t feel down, it is worth it!
Today is September 3, Labor Day. It is the perfect day to rest.