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Best Hikes With Dogs: Utah
by Dayna Stern (The Mountaineers Books)
If you attend BYU, you’ll know Squaw Mountain (or Squaw Peak, as it is known locally). BYU students congregate here on weekends for rock climbing, picnics, mountain biking, and nature walks.
Best Hikes Near Salt Lake City
by Lori J. Lee (Falcon Guides)
Utah Valley holds one of Utah’s most populous counties as well as some of its most historic cities and sites. Pioneers quickly settled Utah Valley after arriving in Salt Lake in the mid-1800s. Settlement wasn’t easy, and Squaw Peak is rumored to be named for one of the conflicts between Mormon settlers and the Ute tribe, which ended the life of Big Elk’s wife in Rock Canyon. From the valley, the view of Squaw Peak looms jagged, rocky, and impregnable, but the trail is not as difficult as it may appear. In fact, the elevation gain is the hike’s only challenge. The well-used, easy-to-follow trail ends with stunning views.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City
by Greg Witt (Menasha Ridge Press)
One of the most popular summit hikes in Utah County, the climb to the top of Squaw Peak offers memorable highlights such as the dramatic rock walls of Rock Canyon, a climb through a wooded hillside, and panoramic views from the summit. You’ll particularly enjoy the hike after the aspens have leafed out in the spring or when they turn a fiery yellow in the fall.The trail begins at the mouth of Rock Canyon behind the LDS Temple in Provo. From Salt Lake City take I-15 south to Orem University GPS Trailhead Parkway (Exit 269). Exit to the left and Coordinates continue east on University Parkway (UT 265) for 5 miles to 900 East in Provo.
Mountain Biking Utah
by Gregg Bromka (Falcon Guides)
Squaw Peak Road reveals some truly exceptional vistas of both the Wasatch Range and Utah Valley. From the outset, the route supplies a grand view of cliff-bound Provo Canyon overshadowed by the Mount Timpanogos Wilderness. From mid-route, you’ll be mesmerized by Rock Canyon, which fans out from a deeply incised notch lined with convoluted cliffs to pine-covered mountaintops. Only a wedge of Utah Valley can be seen through the gash. Above you, 11,000-foot tall Provo Peak and bulky Cascade Mountain appear to be no more than arm’s length away and bear down with a weighty presence. At the route’s turnaround at Camel Pass, there are heart-throbbing vistas of the entire route from beginning to end coupled with an aerial perspective of Utah Valley. From here, you can easily trace the razor-sharp Wasatch Fault as it curves around the base of Spanish Fork Peak and Loafer Mountain en route to the Wasatch’s monarch, Mount Nebo. Overall the route is fast-paced and low in technical difficulty. There are a few sizeable climbs that will make you sweat and groan, but you’ll find that revenge is sweet on the return leg. Tread: 5 miles of gravel road to Rock Canyon Campground, and then 8 miles of rock studded doubletrack to the turnaround.
My counter says it's closer to 8.5 miles round trip, but then the new parking lot is about half a mile down the canyon mouth from the old Trail start. There's a drinking fountain about a third of a mile up from the gate across the canyon mouth, almost a mile from the parking lot. Toilets at the parking lot but none on the trail. Great views, but hotter in the afternoon as you climb out of the shade of the canyon.
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