Last year in August, I took my first journey up to Mt. Timpanogos. The hike is beautiful. While it is 14 miles, it is not too hard. Afterward, my feet were screaming, but I had a terrific sense of accomplishment for having climbed that high while at the same time having a horrible hear of heights.
The highlight of the hike for me, was reaching the meadow in between miles 5 and 6. It is a huge open space where the summit casts its shadow and the fields are covered in wildflowers. Since I didn’t go until late August last year, we missed the peak of the wildlflowers. After talking with folks who know, I committed to hike again this year on July 31st. The plan would be to catch the wildflowers at their peak.
To be totally transparent, I had abandoned plans to climb on the 31st. I had not seen any really good pictures from the meadow this season. I was wondering what the impact of the drought was on the wildflowers. My main motivation is to go and get a kick-butt meadow full of wildflowers pick with Mt. Timp in the background.
On Friday (7/30) night, I went to bed thinking that I might get up early in the morning and head up to the trailhead and maybe do 4-5 miles on the Timpanookee Trail. I went to bed, fell asleep quickly, but woke up shortly after 1a. I got up to use the bathroom. When I laid back down, I picked up my phone to see what time it was. When I turned on the phone, it was on the TikTok app. The video that popped up first was a freshly posted video from Mt. Timpanogos the day before. (see below)
After watching the video and seeing the short snippet of the wildflowers, I got stoked. It gave me hope. So at 1a I decided that I was going to climb up all the way to the meadow.
I could barely fall back asleep!
I woke up without an alarm at 4:30a. I sprung out of bed and got to work. Now that I was going to be doing an 11-12 mile hike, I had to pack differently.
Water. Bars. Lights. Apple. Jacket. Solar charger. More water. Hat. Sunglasses. TP. Gu. Camera. Lenses.
I left the house at 4:45a and arrived at the trailhead around 5:10a. The parking lot was already full. In fact, some of the pullout parking 1/3 of a mile away was almost full. Fortunately, I got one of the last spots.
I threw my gear on, walked down the section of the Alpine Loop and then up the access road to the trailhead.
When I got to the trailhead, there were a good number of people making final preparations for their hike. There was a line at the bathroom of about 8 people.
I immediately hopped on the trail and started the 5 mile climb to the meadow. The elevation change is about 3,500 feet.
The trail was very crowded. Even at that time, there were people coming down off the mountain.
I love the hike up. There is so much beauty and nature to enjoy. There are dozens of wonderful vistas. And there was plenty wildlife and wildflowers. I saw fawns, 6 mountain sheep, dozens of chipmunks, and butterflies everywhere.
Below are some of the pix and videos I captured on the journey.
From the early meadow, the climb gets a little more intense. There is a series of switchbacks that gets the elevation going. The higher we got, the more the wildflowers and other friends came into play. The following pix show some of the beauty along this section of the trail.
After the early meadow, the chipmunks and some other small rodent like animal were all over the rocks. When I came out to one narrow portion of the trail that had a cliff on one side, I saw this little fellow enjoying this red berry. It look like he was eating it, but I am not sure. He was making a chirping noise.
THE WAY DOWN
I feel confident I saw several thousand butterfies on the hike. On the way down, I saw the biggest one I have ever seen. The first photo below shows that one.
This hike is simply fabulous. It has so much diversity. It is challenging at points but not too hard. It is certainly one of my all-time faves. The only drawback was that I did it on a Saturday and it was super crowded. I recommend a mid-week journey if you want less people around.
Last year I struggled on the way down. I was tired and my feet and knees were killing me. I was totally whacked when done. However, after having a strong hiking season so far, I handled this hike quite well. I am writing this the next day. My feet and ankles are sore. Even so, I would do it again.
And I think I will again in the next few weeks.