I found out that the name of the place I wanted to go was "Sagebrush Flats" and the name of the mountain I could see in front of Mt. Timpanogos was "Mahogany Mountain". I also found out that there are at least three ways to get there. There are two trails (that were mentioned) that begin at the base of the mountain, and there's also a road that goes into Sagebrush Flats. I decided to take the road, thinking that once I got there, there would be some hiking that I could do. There were two reasons I chose the road instead of hiking the entire distance.
four-wheel drive for ten miles once a month. Since my time hasn't permitted me to go four-wheeling often enough to meet the suggested amount in the owner's manual--and since I love four-wheeling nearly as much as I love hiking, that was enough to sway me into using the road. I figured that I could always come back and hike up the trail some other day. Although I didn't really need my four-wheel drive, except for one mud puddle where I would have gotten stuck in two-wheel drive, high clearance is a must on this road. As it was, it turned out nearly perfect.
The road begins up American Fork Canyon. You pass Timpanogos Cave National Monument, then pass the turnoff to Tibble Fork, and continue on up the Alpine Loop Road to the turnoff for Timpooneke Campground. As you continue up the campground road, you will pass the parking lot for the trailhead to the top of Timpanogos. This one is appropriately named Timpooneke Trailhead as opposed to the other popular trailhead at Aspen Grove.
Once past the trailhead you continue on up the paved road which soon becomes dirt. Well, dirt, rock, and since it had been raining nearly all night, mud and mud puddles! These are some of my favorite places in my 4runner. On the way in, I drive through the puddles somewhat cautiously, but on the way out, once I have driven through them safely, I hit the gas hard. If you have never done it, I suggest it. Make sure you close the windows--or leave them open on whomever you'd like to soak!
Part of every expedition I go on is scouting for future outings and on this trip I found plenty of camping, hiking, and picnic opportunities.
Wildflowers were in abundance.
The trail tops out on a little knob with incredible views before plummeting downward into another part of the flats, and then up again through quakies until it reaches the ridgeline. At least, I think that's where it goes. As I entered the part of the trail that went through the quakies, the underbrush got higher, and I realized that I soon would be soaked from head to toe if I continued much further. Looking at my watch and noting the time, I thought that there would be no way to make it to the top, or even the ridge before I'd have to turn around anyway, so instead of getting soaked with no hope of getting to a place with any better views, I headed back down.
|Looking northwest toward Salt Lake County|
rain started again. lightly at first, so I left my rain jacket in my pack. The closer I got to the trailhead, the harder it began to rain. I stuck my camera under my arm a bit and decided I could make it the last quarter mile without having to put it in the plastic bag that I always carry for that purpose inside my pack.
moose and two calves. I couldn't get close to them (and didn't really want to because mama mooses can be dangerous) and I had left the big zoom lens at home, so I took the best shot I could with the equipment I had.
|Mama moose and two babies.|
|The cliffs of "Timp" shrouded in clouds|
|Thankfully the mud puddles were more water than dirt.|
|One thing I'm always on the lookout for is a nice picnic area.|
|This is Make Out Rock. No further info provided.|