Updated: Sep 9
If you haven’t had a chance yet to enjoy the fall colors, take a drive, ride your bike or go for a hike on the Alpine Loop. This beautiful stretch of road climbs up American Fork Canyon providing a beautiful view of Timpanogos before dropping into Aspen Grove and Sundance Ski resort. This scenic byway is a local favorite and offers plenty of opportunities for sight seeing and recreation along the way.
The Alpine loop road from the mount of American Fork Canyon to Aspen Grove is 14.6 miles. About 4.5 miles up American Fork canyon you will come to a fork in the road, take the right fork to continue up the Alpine Loop road. At this point the road begins to switchback up the canyon providing an elevated view of the canyon below. A mixture of pine trees and quakies provide a beautiful array of colors as you traverse this section of the loop.
Before reaching the top of the loop is the turn off for the Timpanookee trail head to climb Mount Timpanogos and another trail that connects with various other trails in the canyon called Salamandor flats. As you reach the top of the road there is a parking lot and trail head called the summit trail. Great views of Timpanogos and other views of the canyon can be seen here. Also a network of trails for either hiking or mountain biking can be accessed from this point.
Soon after passing the summit trail you will come to a turnoff that leads to the cascade springs area. The cascade springs road goes about 7 miles to the north. Various hiking, biking and off road trails can be accessed from the Cascade springs road.
Quakies changing color just beyond the turnoff to Cascade Springs
Most people usually continue on the Alpine loop road as they descend down to the Aspen Grove area. Multiple turnouts dot the road allowing drivers to pull off the road and take in different views of the surroundings. This portion of the drive is mostly quaking aspen trees that turn vibrant shades of gold, orange and yellow in the fall.
First the road descends to the Aspen grove area, where another trail up Timpanogos begins and the National Forest area ends. Continuing down this road you will pass Sundance Ski resort and eventually connect with the Provo Canyon Highway.
Some important things to note about the Alpine Highway is that there is a fee associated with this area and there are parts of the road that are quite narrow so drivers should slow down and keep an eye out for cars and cyclists coming the opposite
way. If you have any questions about the Alpine Loop please comment below or send me an email at DustinACook@gmail.com.