The Primrose Cirque in the evening. Emerald Lake lies 200 yards from
the highest trees pictured.
Timpanogos in the Summertime
99.99% of those who climb Timpanogos go between June and October when most of the
mountain is not covered in snow.
99.9999% of these hikers choose between two popular and beautiful trails. The shortest
(7 miles) begins just above Aspen Grove (which is just above Sundance) in the parking lot
100' past the ranger booth (where you have to pay $3 for a 4 day pass unless you have an
annual pass--$25 or a Golden Eagle pass--$50). Follow trail northeast into the Primrose
The trail remains fairly flat (and partially paved) until you reach First Falls. From
there it follows dozens of long and short switchbacks to Emerald Lake and the summit.
From Emerald Lake, follow the trail northeast across a snowfield and up to the
shoulder. If you hike at night (many people leave the trailhead at 1:00 a.m. to summit in
time for sunrise), the first time you see view of the yellow lights of the valley after
hiking for hours through the dark mountains, you're bound to take a sharp breath. Very
Camping on the small island in the middle of Emerald Lake.
Emerald Lake lies at the base of the glacier running down from the summit
ridge. The water is a stunning blue and very cold, with snow usually running right to the
water's edge even in July and August.
Sometimes slivers of ice break loose and become small iceburgs floating in
the lake. If they're thick enough, you can jump onto these and not sink through. No
guarantees here but it's fun to find out for yourself.
Try to walk on the rocks and not kill the vegetation in this high-traffic