Big Springs Loop is a beautiful and mostly flat path through the aspens and meadows in Provo Canyon above Vivian Park. This description is for the 3.9 mile moderate hike. If you want the shortened 1.4 mile easy hike, click here.
There is no cell service beyond South Fork Park, so download a map if possible.
From Provo Canyon, turn at Vivian Park and continue along that road past South Fork Park to Big Springs Park. On the way up South Fork Canyon you might see mule deer, squirrels or wild turkeys!
Big Springs Park
Big Springs Park has several parking lots, so keep going until you get to the last one and see the trailhead sign.
The trail has a few paths. The dirt single lane road heads up to the left. Then on the opposite side of the stream, the wider path is to the right and the more narrow is in the middle, close to the creek. This is a loop that is basically the frequently parallel paths, so you can take either one and return on the other or switch at your preference. For ease of explanation, the photos will show you taking the paths on the right side of the creek and then returning on the left side.
Pass by the trailhead sign and over the creek.
You can see how the two paths on the right side of the stream are close together with frequent connections.
Follow the path through the trees and over the tiny stream.
Soon you will arrive at a beautiful meadow!
It’s beautiful in every season!
As you get closer to the other side of the meadow, be sure to turn around and look at the view behind you!
In the fall the meadow is especially beautiful with all the fall colors!
This meadow is the destination for the shorter version of this hike.
If you go in late spring and early summer you are likely to see lots and lots of butterflies!
There were some other interesting birds and insects.
These photos are from September 13, but there were already some signs of fall.
By September 30, fall is in full force!
I also love this trail before the snow melts on the peaks and the grass is deep green.
The path continues through the trees above the meadow.
There are some beautiful wildflowers!
You will cross a little creek and then come to a junction. We went left here and returned along the right path, but again they will meet up later so you can choose either route.
Soon you will come to another little bridge and more fall leaves!
The path continues through the trees.
You come to a sign that shows the different paths. If you want this to be the halfway point, you can head back here along the Equestrian path. We continued the 0.2 to Big Springs.
Big Springs isn’t actually very big. They have put in pipes to collect the water, so the little stream that is left doesn’t live up to its name. It’s still a lovely hike. At Big Springs, you can head uphill towards Cascade Mountain, but on this loop you can either head right, down the gentle hill, crossing a couple bridges. Alternately you can return to the sign for the Equestrian Trail.
Soon you come to a camp area. 5th graders in Provo School District come to this camp, so you can see the large picnic table and tetherball poles.
Cross the bridge over by the table to see the little waterfall on the opposite side.
From here you can take the wider road to back to the Big Springs Hollow Trailhead. It is lines with trees!
If instead you returned the way you came from Big Springs, then soon you will return to the sign.
If you go this way there is another beautiful meadow.
You can turn left here for a shorter path or continue to the right for a little longer. This is taking the left route here.
Soon you will arrive at the wider road that you would have gotten to earlier with that other way.
At the base of the original meadow, you can look back and see it.
In the fall all the colors pop!
As you walk you will pass that same trail junction, coming from the other path and then a bit later can look through the tree-lined path you’re walking along to see the meadow you walked along near the beginning of the hike. For the rest of the way you can either take this wider road path or switch back on one of the many connector paths.
Stats: Distance – 3.9 miles round trip (this hike is very easy to make shorter or longer and not get lost)
Approximate hiking time – 2-3 hours
Elevation gain – 892 feet
Difficulty – Moderate/Easy
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – Yes
Seasons to hike – Year round in winter wear micro-spikes or snow shoes)
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes