Mysterious Fork of Provo Canyon

Provo Canyon View of Cascade Mountain

Yesterday morning, having the day off from work, I finally got out of bed at a decent time and got myself on a little hike. It is intolerable how few times I have gone hiking since I moved into Provo Canyon. (It’s also intolerable that, although I live yards away from the Provo River, I’ve never been fly fishing, but that’s another story. Somebody help me, please!)

I went to explore a nice little side fork into the cliffs on the North side of the canyon.

A Side Fork of Provo Canyon

There is a mysterious parking lot on the north side of the canyon, across from what may or may not be called Upper Falls. I have never seen more than one car at a time parked in this lot, and for the most part it is a ghost lot. At some point I noticed a little trail running up the hillside through the grasses and into the cliffs, and I have always wanted to try it. I have no idea if the parking lot is designed as a trailhead for this trail, or as a viewing area for Upper Falls, and I have no idea if this fork or trail has a name. I know I could look at a USGS map and research the trail, but that would ruin much of the allure of my random morning excursion. Even having been there I’m not sure if I’m ready to let go of its unnamed status. I may not be living in this canyon forever, so I chose this as my first of (hopefully) many hikes since it is kind of a wild card excursion. It seemed the place I would be least likely to plan and drive back to hike if I no longer lived close to it, so it was an appropriate and easy place to start.

As it turned out, my hike didn’t last all that long. The canyon soon narrows into a creek bed surrounded by steep rock faces, and the creek still has a respectable amount of water rushing down it. Some of the rock walls were mossy and weeping. I’m no rock climber, and I hadn’t come prepared for going through much water, so eventually I chose to turn around. I didn’t really want to risk ruining my camera. That’s a good excuse, isn’t it? The shot at the top of this article is the view down the canyon from the point that I turned around. It would be fun to splash up the rest of this hike, and I might try it again in a month or two if we haven’t gotten snow yet, and see if the water flow has reduced, or maybe sooner were I to get some fancy hiking sandals. At any rate, I did take some pictures, as I am often wont to do, and a few of them will be popping up here on the Freez in the next couple of days.

I have a a whole list of hikes that I feel it would be unconscionable if I did not attempt while living in this beautiful area. The list includes a possible climb to Cascade Mountain and/or Provo Peak, but culminates with ascending Mt. Timpanogos, something I have never done. I mainly posted all of this for selfish reasons; I want to provide myself some accountability for these hikes. So, I hereby announce my plan to hike Timp sometime in the next month or two, before the snow arrives. So let it be written, so let it be done.

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