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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.