Monday, May 28, 2012

Tibble Fork Loop Trail

Day 1 of Summer Fun

As summer begins my husband and I decided to offer up a family summer challenge. If, as a family, we can hike at least 100 miles this summer then we will take the kids to do something special of their choosing. The boys decided that sounded like a good idea so here we go. Wish us luck!

We took our kids and some friends on a new hike up American Fork Canyon near Tibble Fork Reservoir. The hike is called Tibble Fork Loop Trail. I read reviews of the trail and it seemed like a good one for the family. Here are our stats taken from our GPS.

The stats:
4.5 miles
1000 foot elevation gain
3 hours

To access the trail you go to American Fork Canyon by taking exit 284 the Timpanogos Highway exit and following the road east to the canyon. From the toll booth (plan on paying $6 or buying a year pass to get into the canyon) drive until you see the Tibble Fork Reservoir sign. Turn left and follow the road until you come to the parking lot.

taken on the dam looking south
taken on the dam looking north
our hiking group today

The trailhead is located on the east side of the dam. Park and walk across the dam. Plan on the first mile of the hike being somewhat steep. If it has rained in the previous couple of days, I suggest you choose a different trail to hike. We hiked up in the mud. The kids loved it and it made for a memorable hike, but it was slippery and made the hike more difficult.

When you reach the first meadow be sure to turn around and look back down the trail. The view is stunning. The snow covered mountains tower over the aspens and pines. A 10 year old boy in our group managed to catch a snake near the small stream running through the meadow.

When you come to the junction in the trail with a sign for Mill Canyon hang a left. A man on a horse told us that there is a resident BIG black bear that often times is in this area so keep your eyes open. He saw it not more than 2 weeks prior to our hike standing in the middle of the trail.

Geo-caching Fun!
Take your next 2 left forks and then stay on the trail. If you enjoy geo-caching plan ahead. We found a geo-cache right off the trail. Remember that if you find a cache you can take something if you have
something to leave. This photo is of our group finding the cache. This is always so exciting for the kids!

Follow the trail and it will lead you to a bridge that crosses the river and puts you out on the road North of the dam. Follow the road back to your car. This was a fun hike. Be aware that this trail is open for equestrian use as well as motorcycle use. We saw plenty of both being Memorial Day Weekend.