Rock Canyon Cave is a great trail and fun little cave to explore less than a mile and a half up the trail in Provo, Utah. There is a longer version of this trail that heads up to the campground. There are actually a few caves in Rock Canyon, that were created in mining ventures, but there others are higher up and require canyoneering to access. In contrast, this one is on ground level and shallow enough that even kids can explore it with headlamps or proper flashlights.
The Rock Canyon Trail begins directly east of the Provo Utah Temple. There are a few parking lots. The first section of Rock Canyon has no shade. You can take either path at the split, but the left path is a bit more direct. Just head towards the canyon opening.
The canyon walls are very imposing!
They are impressive in the winter too! This is a fantastic trail for Extreme Sledding.
There is also an pretty view of Utah Lake behind you.
Soon you arrive at the gate. You can easily get around it and there are lots of rock climbing options nearby.
From the gate on, it is mostly shaded. These summer photos were taken between 10-1 pm, but you can mostly walk in the shade midday.
The whole way you are walking near the river. It is usually just down from the trail, but is often visible.
There are a few wildflowers along the trail too.
There were lots of butterflies all along the trail.
There are five bridges along the trail. They are numbered so you can easily tell how far up you are.
Rock Canyon is one of the rare hikes that has drinking fountains from the fresh mountain water. The first one you will pass along the way. It runs constantly so it is easy for dogs to get a drink from the overflow too.
The cave is on the north side between bridges #3 and #4. It is steeper to come from bridge #3.
Directly after bridge #3 head to the left up the little path next to the rocks.
If you continue up the path to bridge #4, right after look behind you and you will see the path next to the north side.
The path continues to be pretty clear.
Regardless of the way you get there, soon you get to the cave, which was originally a mine.
It isn’t very deep, but it’s nice and cool inside. Even though it’s shallow, make sure you have headlamps or flashlights, mostly so you don’t trip.
Stats: Distance – 2.8 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 1 to 3 hours
Elevation gain – 839 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – Year Round (micro-spikes required in winter)
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes