Monday, September 2, 2013

Timp Sunrise Hike

The trail to the summit of Mt. Timpanogos from the Sundance side is 16 miles with nearly 5000 feet of elevation gain. The trail starts just above Aspen Grove and is in a national forest fee area. It's $6 per car.

If you want to make it to the summit to watch the sunrise, you should probably start the hike by 12:30am or so. It really isn't bad in the dark as long as each person has a headlamp. There are a few places where it helps to have your hands free. The first 3,600 feet of elevation gain up to Emerald Lake isn't bad because the trail isn't very steep and the terrain is pretty mild. The last 1,400 feet is through pretty rough terrain across boulder fields and up very steep sections of loose rock. We started at 12:45am August 30th and were moving pretty quickly not wanting to miss the sunrise. We ended up taking a few breaks and still made it up by 5:15am, an hour and a half before the sun came up. We brought long sleeves, but didn't need them until we got to the summit and it was 40 degrees and windy. It would've been very nice to have a blanket, gloves, a hat, hand warmers, etc. After an hour of trying to huddle together for warmth, we had to to pushups, jumping jacks, etc. to keep warm. It would've been very nice to have a mini gas stove to make some hot chocolate. We were so cold, that as soon as we saw a piece of the sun we took off back down the trail. We were moving quickly and got back to the car at 10am. 

The first couple miles of the trail is mostly paved until you reach this waterfall. 

The summit is about an hour and a half past Emerald Lake.

If you look closely you can see the structure at the summit 1,400 feet above the lake.
 Looking south along the ridge.

 Quite a crowd gathered to watch the sunrise.

 Looking down over Emerald Lake from the summit.

 I've never been so happy to see the sun come up. 

 Looking down over the path that crosses the boulder field.

Shadow of the mountain looking west over Utah Valley.

 If you look closely you can see the path leading up to the saddle.

Some things you might want to bring:
headlamps for each person
2 liters of water for each person
warm clothes/blanket for the summit
basic first aid items 
camp stove and hot chocolate if you're feeling ambitious

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