Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hiking near Heber, Utah

Heber Valley, Utah, is a place where many choose to stay for family reunions, etc. Heber itself is really a gateway to numerous outdoor adventures. If you're an avid hiker, Heber is a location that makes hiking in both the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains accessible. Within just an hour or so drive time, you can be into the heart of the Uintas, up along the Mirror Lake Highway (Highway 150), or up along the scenic Alpine Loop Road, with access to Mt. Timpanogos in the Wasatch Range and more. To say nothing of various walks and short hikes along the edges of the Heber Valley itself. For some great hiking in the Uintas, check out this link:

Of the hikes mentioned in the preceding link, I've done the Bald Mountain Summit, the
Cascade Springs Interpretive Trails (some of them), Crystal Lake Area Hikes, the
Currant Creek Nature Trail, and the Provo River Waterfalls.

Some comments on the hikes mentioned above. The Bald Mountain hike is one of the most spectacular hikes in Utah when you factor in how easy it is to do. Within just an hour or so from the trailhead, you are treated to an amazing view of the many surrounding lakes and peaks of the High Uinta country. Incidentally, you can also join my "High Uinta Lovers" page on Facebook. Here's the link: Clickety-click

Another one in the high Uintas are the various trails that can be taken via the Crystal Lake Trailhead area, just off the road that heads to Trial Lake. I've gone on the trail that heads over to Weir, Duck, Fire, Beaver, and other lakes, as well as the other trailhead from the same parking lot that heads over toward "the Notch", Lovenia Lake, and other spectacular lakes. Amazing scenery along any of these trails, but if you can make it as far as Fire Lake, you're really in for a treat.

A short one, just off Highway 150, is the Provo River Waterfalls Trail. If you are short on time, this is an enjoyable short hike that basically parallels the highway.

The Cascades Springs Trails are nice shaded trails past, of course, Cascade Springs. You won't get a lot of exertion out of this one, but you will enjoy the peaceful nature of the trail. And it's beautiful in the fall. Great for adults and young children.

The Currant Creek Nature Trail winds its way up from the Currant Creek Campground facility, through aspens and then some evergreens to top out with a great view of the reservoir below and the surrounding countryside. This too is great for both adults and young children.

Another great hike is Mt. Timpanogos from the Aspen Grove Trailhead. On this hike, you can go all the way to the top, or do a shorter hike up to the waterfalls. To get to the trailhead, drive out of Heber down Provo Canyon to the turn-off to Sundance Ski Resort and the Alpine Loop Road. Just up past Sundance and a bunch of cabins, you will find the trailhead. Here's a link to a good description of the hike: Mt. Timpanogos, and a map that shows the route to the trailhead: Route: Heber City to Aspen Grove Trailhead

Remember, that most of the high country in Utah has a lot of mosquitoes, until about mid-August when the colder nights of approaching autumn seems to get them on the run. Take bug spray with you for sure if you're going earlier in the season.

Finally, for the real adventurous, and you're going to need a four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle to even make it to the trailhead, there's Pittsburg Lake, up American Fork Canyon. Here's a description of the trail, written by yours truly: Hiking the Wasatch: Pittsburg Lake. This is a very cool place. On second thought, I will be your guide. I'm always up for a hike to Pittsburg Lake. Then again, I'm always wanting to go to any of these places. Utah is just amazing.

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