Mount Timpanogus, Timpooneke Campground, Utah

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Mount Timpanogus is famous for two things. It’s one of the highest mountains in the Wasatch Range and it’s the home of Timpanogus Cave National Monument. We knew we couldn’t get reservations for the cave tours this close to Memorial Day weekend and we knew we could probably not get into any of the more popular campgrounds in the Wasatch, but as luck would have it one of the primitive campgounds, Timpooneke, right at the base of Mound Timpanogus, opened for the season the day we arrived and we got one of the prime spots with a great view of the mountain.

Mount Timpanogus from the campground.

The bad news was…it’s still winter up here at 8,000 feet in northern Utah. Well, so what. We have a 4 season camper with heat, electricity, and plenty of water. We could handle a couple of days of winter. We got it.


We had 3 days of temps in the 20s with snow.

Clearing the solar panels.

We took a few walks around the campground, hiked a couple of short trails and waited it out for the beautiful sunny day that we knew was coming.

We knew we couldn’t make it to the summit, there was way too much snow up there on the mountain, but we figured it would still be a pretty good hike if we could get to the basin area part way up, abut a 4 mile hike one way. Loaded up with winter gear, including crampons and full gaiters we entered the Timpanogus Wilderness on the Timpooneke trail.

Western Wallflower ?

Spring was trying to push through but this high in the Uintas it still has a long way to go.

A third of the way up to the floor of the basin we reached Scout Falls. The trail to the falls, even with crampons, was tricky to navigate with 4 or 5 feet of snow still remaining on the trail.

It’s not quite as scary as it looks, but almost.

Scout Falls

The couloir behind me has about a 35° pitch. (Couloir: A steep mountainside gorge.)

Once we reached the first large meadow the trail started to get a lot steeper and while we continued on up to the floor of the basin that was as far as we felt we could safely go with our equipment.

North, from the floor of the basin.

High Point.

Even from there the view to the north of the Wasatch Range east of Salt Lake City was spectacular. The view of the upper face of the basin and the high peaks in the range were absolutely incredible and made it hard to believe it was the end of May. It certainly looked like winter from where I stood.

The basin wall above us.

Winter still…for a while.

Well, we got our nice day so now we can leave for Idaho. Our route will take us up I-15 through Salt Lake City and Ogden, then we’ll veer to the east a bit through Logan Canyon, which we have heard good things about, up the western border of Wyoming and into the Teton Valley of Idaho.


3 responses »

  1. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and great writing! We miss you and love you!

  2. Fantastic photographs! The snow reminds me of my second camping trip in Colorado–July 4th weekend, woke thinking it was the middle of the night, to discover 4″ of snow on the tent and the rest of the world I could see. All of it gone by noon. I love that country, but it sure can surprise you, if you’re not basically prepared for anything. Keep it up. Think you guys are going to have to write/illustrate some sort of Reader’s Digest condensed armchair travelogue. If you ever come back…

  3. I remember making that same steep climb to the waterfalls in good weather when I was ten years younger than you guys and…. it just about killed me! Thanks for posting such beautiful winter pictures of that amazing hike!

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