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Primrose Overlook Loop

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The Primrose Overlook is one of the most stunning viewpoints in all of Utah with incredible views of Robert’s Horn and Mount Timpanogos.

There are two routes. If you just want to go there and back in the shortest path, click on this link of the Primrose Overlook.

This path adds about a mile total, but not much difficulty. You can go either direction, but counter-clockwise is definitely easier. I took my five kids on this loop hike when my youngest was five. The last hill proved challenging, but they all agreed the views are worth it.

Summit Trailhead

This trail begins at the Summit Trailhead at the top of the Alpine Loop. The loop closes in the winter, but once open (around May) it can be accessed from American Fork Canyon or Provo Canyon. Parking can get a full, especially on weekends. Here is a screenshot of the map of the Primrose Overlook hike from Alltrails. The green dot at the top is the Summit Trailhead. The left side is the Horse Flat Trail. The longer right side is the Lame Horse Trail. That trail is easier to do last, so I will describe it counter-clockwise, with the single track to the Primrose Overlook.

Horse Flat Trail

The Horse Flat Trail starts out easy enough walking through aspens.

There is a small meadow and then a little hill through more aspens to a larger meadow.

This trail is spectacular in the fall!

Then the trail goes up and down and up and down.
After the you head down that first hill you’ll see a split in the trail to the left. This is the Lame Horse Trail that you can take back to make this hike a loop. Isn’t this area gorgeous with the golden fall leaves!

Even though the overall elevation gain isn’t that intense, it has a lot of hills, the last of which is a bit steep and long. I would classify this as moderate; just prepare yourself for a workout. Nearly any other viewpoint like this would require climbing a peak, so this is a great reward for your effort.

There was quite a bit of whining and complaining during the hills and also some kindness encouraging each other. When we got to the log where my kids are sitting above, we were nearly to the overlook. There are actually a few logs along the way to rest if needed up the big hill.

At the top of the hill you get a sneak peak of what is shortly to come.

You come down out of the trees onto a pathway that starts giving you beautiful views to towards Heber and Deer Creek Reservoir.

At the top of this little path you get an incredible view of the backside of Mount Timpanogos!

Continue another 40 feet or so to a amazing 360 degree view!

The view of Mount Timpanogos is especially impressive! When you look closely during the summer you can see several small waterfalls.

In the fall the colors are popping!

If you look north you can see towards Mount Superior in Little Cottonwood Canyon. If you look east you can see the rolling patchwork of colored trees from above the Deer Creek Overlook and towards Stewart Falls.

To the west you see majestic Mount Timpanogos and Robert’s Horn.

As we walked out to the view my 7 year-old exclaimed, “This is so beautiful! It was totally worth it!” I agree! It is definitely worth the climb to see the view!

The shot above was taken on a morning hike and the one below was taken on an evening hike.

All the views are so beautiful from the Primrose Overlook!

We backtracked the same path we came. There is a super cool tree near the overlook.

After backtracking about 1/3 mile we headed right along the Lame Horse Trail so we could loop back. At the base of the field are two large troughs that are filled with water for horses. The path continued through the aspens and we passed Hidden Pond, which is quite small.

Depending on the time of year and recent rains, it may look more like a mud puddle.

When we came to T in the trail system (labeled), we headed left along Lame Horse Trail. The aspens became more dense, the birds sang more and it was a very lovely trail!

We passed one more labeled intersection, but continued left on Lame Horse Trail back to the parking lot. All along the trail in June – August there are so many beautiful wildflowers!

Overall this is a very beautiful and rewarding hike! My children were troopers and completed the 4 mile loop like champs!

This is a photo from July when the snow has mostly melted (except the permanent snow field you cross on this way up Timp. The fall golden hues are so much better than the photos!

Stats: Distance – 4 mile loop
Approximate hiking time – 1 1/2 to 3 hours
Elevation gain – 951 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – May – October
Permits needed – $6 fee paid at Ranger Booth (or National Parks Pass)
Pets allowed – Yes

Other hikes within 15 minutes are some of my all-time favorite hikes: Primrose Overlook without the loop, Ridgeline Trail 157, Mountain Backdrop, Stewart Falls, Timpanogos Falls, Island Meadow, and Scout Falls.


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

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