Looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Salt Lake Metro area? Try this “a-bit-off-the-beaten-path” trip.
The Alpine Loop Scenic Backway (Highway 92) is a 20-mile trip along the base of Mt. Timpanogos (west of the Heber Valley). The route is reached from the west through American Fork Canyon (1-15 exit at Alpine) or from The Provo Canyon Highway (#189) to the south. The Backway goes through part of the Uintah-Wasatch Nat’l Forest with twists and turns through groves of tall aspens and views of 11,750 foot high peaks of “Mt. Timp”. Along the away, visitors can stop for a tour at the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. Lunch and a hike or bike ride at nearby Sundance Resort, and a visit to Stewart Falls within the resort, makes a great day.
Near the summit of the Backway, veer down the mountain to an especially lush spot – Cascade Springs… Water bubbles up through limestone from deep caverns. The water then cascades down a series of mineral terraces where wildflowers, cattails, watercress, maples, oaks, willows are abundant. Brown trout find a safe home here, too, as there is no fishing allowed. More than 7 million gallons of water seep through the ground each day, eventually flowing down to the Provo Deer Creek. A series of pathways and small bridges allow visitors a choice of shorter or longer loop walks through the site. A 7-mile long dirt road from Cascade Springs east into Midway in the Heber Valley is an optional exit route.
Several options are available for lodging for this trip. Stay in a Salt Lake Metro member of the Bed and Breakfast Inns of Utah. Or if you choose to begin or end the visit in the Heber Valley, any “Wasatch Back” member Inn is a great option. The innkeepers are always a great source of terrific information and often will share their own favorite “hidden ” spots.