Emerald Lake is the melt from the permanent snow at the top of Mount Timpanogos. It can be accessed by the trail from Aspen Grove. Sometimes hikers camp near Emerald Lake and then summit Mount Timpanogos the following day.
Hiking to the peak of Mount Timpanogos from the Aspen Grove Trailhead is the second most popular trail. It is known for its series of waterfalls, mountain goats and Emerald Lake. It is a little steeper than the route up Mount Timpanogos from the Timpooneke Trailhead, but spectacular!
Aspen Grove Trailhead
The Aspen Grove Trailhead is located in Provo Canyon near Sundance Resort. It is beautiful in all seasons, but Emerald Lake and Timpanogos Peak are only accessible from around June-October, due to deep snow.
Aspen Grove to Mount Timpanogos Peak
This trailhead shares the parking lot with the beautiful Stewart Falls. One mile into the trail you run into one the first waterfall and then one more 1/4 mile switchback and you would be to one of my favorite waterfalls! These two falls are the destinations of the great family-friendly hike Timpanogos Falls!
After the second falls the path gets a bit steeper. Continue switchbacking up the somewhat steep hill to see waterfalls all the way up! You also get a lower view of Robert’s Horn (a lesser sub peak of Mt. Timpanogos) then the Primrose Overlook hike offers.
This trail is steep, but the waterfalls are amazing! Here are just a few of the dozen or more.
Every few minutes you pass another stunning waterfall!
Often you have to cross the stream, but the water is shallow and there are stones to step on. If it were earlier in the year then there would still be snow. Be very cautious. You don’t want to be stepping on any snow with water running underneath. This year the snow melted especially early, so we didn’t encounter anything but tiny patches until near the top.
Just after five miles and an elevation gain of nearly 3,500 feet, you will reach Emerald Lake. The snow around it remains year-round.
If you are lucky, you might get a chance to see mountain goats!
The wildflowers near Emerald Lake are beautiful!
Here are a few photos of Emerald Lake from other trails. This first one was taken in the meadow from the Timpooneke Trail. Can you see the glacial ice and snow coming down on the left? At the base is Emerald Lake.
Aspen Trail to Emerald Lake
Stats: Distance – 10.3 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 5-10 hours
Elevation gain – 3467 feet
Difficulty – Difficult
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks, narrow rocky trail at the end
Bathrooms – At the trailhead
Seasons to hike – June – October
Permits needed – $6 fee paid at ranger booth (or National Parks pass)
Pets allowed – Yes
If you like challenging hikes and peaks, try some of these: