Cascade Springs is a large artesian spring north of the Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness Area and along the Alpine Loop Scenic Backway. Seven million gallons of water a day flow down a series of limestone terraces and pools among lush vegetation. The short half-mile nature trail wraps around the natural springs and streams with bridges, boardwalks, and paved pathways. Crystal clear waters make it easy to spot trout that inhabit the pools. Interpretive signs along the pathways explain the geology of this small natural wonder. This is an enjoyable destination for families and hikers of all ages. Ample parking is available and public vault restrooms are onsite.
The springs are located within the Uinta National Forest in the Wasatch Range and a day-use fee is required when visiting or stopping at the springs. The route to the springs is very attractive during the spring, summer, or fall. This drive meanders through a mostly deciduous forest area which loops back to Heber Valley through Provo Canyon. The paved access road S.R. 92 to Cascade Springs is generally open between May to late-October and is closed during the winter months. Road closure information is available here: UDOT. For more information about Cascade Springs or the Alpine Loop Scenic Backway, contact the Pleasant Grove Ranger District at 801-785-3563.
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WALKING DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy
DISTANCE: Round trip hiking distance from the main parking area through all loops is approximately 0.8 miles.
AVERAGE HIKE TIME: The loop takes about 30 minutes to wander through and return. Additional time can be expected to stop and read the signs along the path.
TRAIL USERS: Hikers (handicap accessible) and dogs (on a leash)
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO HIKE: The best time to see wildflowers is June through September. The fall leaves are also magnificent in this area and along the drive to the springs. The road is closed during the winter season.
COST: A minimal day-use fee is charged by the National Forest Service to stop along the Alpine Loop Scenic Backway. Please plan for exact cash as some pay stations are self-serve and change is not provided. Annual passes must be prominently displayed when stopping or parking at any time. The fee includes use of area facilities, including access to Cascade Springs.
TRAIL CONDITIONS: Paved with boardwalks. Stroller and wheelchair accessible.
SUN EXPOSURE: A few trees provide shade but expect to be in full sun the majority of the hike.
WATER: Yes, but do not get into the natural springs as this is a protected area. No people or dogs are allowed in the water. No potable water available onsite, so plan to bring your own drinking water.
RESTROOMS: Yes, vault restrooms are available at the beginning of the trailhead.