By Greg Bennett and Hunter Lock
The power of the Wasatch is more than a pep band from BYU.
It is what residents of Utah Valley feel when they look up and remember “life elevated.” It’s the backdrop to every event and the visitor at every backyard barbecue.
There’s a reason nearly all neighborhoods and real estate properties in the county boast “amazing mountain views.” And nobody is exaggerating that claim.
But each resident also has his or her favorite spot in the Utah Valley Wasatch — that one that feels a little extra like home.
Consider this the Utah Valley Magazine tribute to “our” mountains.
Whether you hike them, rock climb them, camp near them or simply look at them — we all feel their power.
Lone Peak (11,253 ft)
On the north end of the valley, Lone Peak is a welcome site from Salt Lake City to Provo. It’s the namesake for a high school, a fire district and a hospital.
Known for its granite rocks offering a unique climbing challenge, Lone Peak is most often approached by hikers via the Jacob’s Ladder Trailhead.
Mount Timpanogos (11,752 ft)
While not the tallest peak in Utah Valley (that honor goes to Mount Nebo in the south), the most notable mountain in the valley is unquestionably Mount Timpanogos.
It dominates the skyline and is easily recognizable in all parts of the county.
Timp has two main hikes popular throughout the year (especially July through September). One starts near Aspen Grove and takes hikers to Emerald Lake (6.9 miles). The second begins at the Timpooneke Trail Head and also takes visitors to Emerald Lake (7.5 miles). Both trails then combine and take hikers to the peak of Timp.
In decades past, Utah Valley celebrated “Timp Hike” days, where thousands would ascend the mountain. While the organized event hasn’t occurred since 1970, Timp remains a beloved part of the valley and a popular hike for scouters, college students and wildflower lovers.
Cascade Mountain (10,908 ft)
Cascade still dominates much of the views from Provo and the surrounding area, although the mountain itself is much less user-friendly than its taller neighbor, Mount Timpanogos. Nearby Squaw Peak — just east of the Provo Temple — is more popular for outdoor enthusiasts and is a more memorable formation associated with Provo.
Provo Peak (11,068 ft)
Provo Peak is, in many ways, the sleepy giant between Timp to the north and Nebo to the south. It also hits the 11,000-foot mark, but with no well-maintained trails to the summit, it pales in popularity to its shorter neighbor to the west — Y Mountain.
Y Mountain is the easiest to identify (for obvious reasons) and a popular trail is accessible for hikers of all skill levels near Kiwanis Park in Provo.
Spanish Fork Peak (10,192 ft)
Maple Mountain — topped by Spanish Fork Peak — is a south valley landmark neatly situated between Hobble Creek Canyon to the north and Spanish Fork Canyon to the south.
While it is shorter than other mountains along the east side of Utah Valley, its rise is dramatic due to its relative location to other massifs to the north and south. The peak rises 5,500 feet above the valley.
The mountain includes a trail up the right fork of Maple Canyon. While the route is well-maintained, the rise is steep — climbing over 4,600 feet in less than six miles.
Loafer Mountain (10,687 ft)
Loafer Mountain is another south county landmark, accessible via the Mount Nebo National Scenic Byway (Nebo Loop) just north of the Payson Lake area.
The Loafer Mountain Trail begins easier than it ends, but new switchbacks put into the trail make it easier and minimize erosion to the area.
Mount Nebo (11,928 ft)
The tallest mountain in the county — and the Wasatch Range, for that matter — is Mount Nebo, which is made up of three peaks, with the tallest (11,928 feet) being the north.
There are trails to the north and south summits, but the hiking is strenuous. For most, Mount Nebo is best appreciated from the scenic lookouts along the Nebo Loop.