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Top of the “Y”

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The “Y” on the mountain is the hillside letter for Brigham Young University and the hike offers city views and a good workout. This is a popular trail for BYU students and Provo residents. The “Y” is visible from all around Provo.

To hike the “Y”, make your way to the trailhead parking lot at the base of the mountain. There are a few parking areas. I took these photos on a weekday morning after most people were at work or school, so it wasn’t all that crowded.

Right from the parking lot the views of Provo and Utah Valley are impressive.

The hike to the “Y” has lots of encouraging and informational signs along the way.

The “Y” trail is fairly steep. Kids can do it, but you will want to plan on bringing extra snacks and taking more rest stops. Everyone should bring extra water. This is steeper than it looks without much shade and you’ll be grateful for the hydration. The first leg of the trail is the longest and then the other switchbacks are a bit closer together.

The city views is really the highlight of this trail. There are benches periodically so you can rest and take in the view.

Th trail continues uphill, with lots of switchbacks.

When you are nearly to the base of the “Y” there are free binoculars and a plaque that explains some of the landmarks of the city.

From this spot you can head to the bottom of the “Y” or keep heading up to the top. I took the little detour to the bottom of the “Y”.

Please don’t climb on the actual Y.

This is a view from near the bench at the bottom of the “Y”, looking down towards the spot where the trails to the top and bottom the “Y” merge and then one looking out as I pass the sunflowers.

Another switchback takes to nearly the top of the “Y”.

Here there are three picnic tables where you could take in the view.

As you are hiking near the top, the mountain views are very beautiful. If you have time you can keep hiking to the top of Y mountain.

Y Mountain

At the very top there are about eight benches where hikers can rest and enjoy the views!

I didn’t want to haul up my heavier zoom lens, but I brought up a smaller one. Here are a few of the sights from the top.

There are some animals that can be found along this trail if you keep your eyes open. I found this sagebrush lizard.

I also found a few wildflowers.

Stats: Distance – 2.4 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 1 to 3 hours
Elevation gain – 1092 feet
Difficulty – Moderate/Difficult
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!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2864.9257703311014!2d-111.62351654961748!3d40.24538848433013!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0%3A0xa57f4b5ac68ba8b8!2sY%20Trailhead!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1631322206135!5m2!1sen!2sus

If you like hillside letters than you can try the Pleasant Grove “G”. The University of Utah is BYU’s main rival, but their hillside letter “U” is more of a drive by than a hike.

Other trails nearby are Rock Canyon, Bridesmaid Falls, Lost Creek Falls, and Buffalo Peak.


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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