Friday, May 15, 2009

Utah Places: Timpanogos Front End

I´m sure most all resident of Utah have witnessed the awesome transformation. Mount Timpnogos is colored with the fiery blaze of sunset as the orange ball disappears behind the Oquirrh Mountains in the west. The backdrop of dramatic scenery is nearly wasted on hoardes of hurrying Wasatch Front residents, packed onto I-15, jamming up the freeway during rush hour. Instead of enjoying the beauty, too many are cultivating their hypertension and considering another road-rage incident on the public highway.

Up close and personal, the south and west slopes of Timp are not nearly as well developed as the traditional Mutual Dell or Timpanooke or Aspen Grove on the east or north. As it happens, there are roads, but they are not for the timid. Best suited for 4wd or ATV. Many trails lead out from the Pleasant Grove and Orem high bench areas. The lower down regions tend to be clogged with houses, but after you get by them, you´re on your own. If you venture out, you will discover there are many false leads, as well. Lots if rugged individualists have left their mark here. As a result, there are trails through the thick chapparal that lead everywhere and nowhere. Pick your course with some judicious care, and be prepared to backtrack.

Not that the lowland parks are bad. They serve their purpose well, and get lots of use. But to those few to whom the freedom of the hills beckons..

In several canyons on the west face of Timp, I have picked up many fossil specimens. Some of the canyons that run down the west face are apparently eroded through the layers of geological time, exposing the fossilized wonders of the past that were witnessed before the slopes were raised high. I won´t tell exactly where -- that would be giving away too much. But for the ambitious, they can be found, in great variety and profusion.

There is a mountain road that affords access to higher ground, accesible through Timpoonokie Campground. It is a long drive that wind around the shoulder of the mountain, eventually ending up in meadows above Pleasant Grove. A very nice place for a picnic, or just look at the wild flowers and enjoy the view. The view is unparalleled.


Jim Cobabe said...

I recall one occasion when the folks were living in Pleasant Grove, at the foot of Timp. One fine spring day, mom happened to notice some gold coloring along the bench area, and wondered what was causing it. Asking some of the long-time residents of the area, they were told it was just weeds, and there was no way to access that part of the mountain anyway.

So, my folks being the adventurous types, set out to explore the west face road and ended up in a meadow surrounded with countless millions of dazzling yellow flowers of several different varieties. They were amazed and gratified.

Difficult to believe that all those people had lived at the foot of the mountain all those years, and knew so little about it.

Sarah Cobabe Thomas said...

Those adventurous rides were sometimes a bit frightening. I was always sure we would fall off the face of the mountain - Dad never seemed a bit nervous. I remember once we had a picnic and Ruth included in the blessing on the food a plea that the old land crusiser's brakes wouldn't fail while we were eating.

Jim Cobabe said...


You obviously misunderstood -- Dad has never put us in jeopardy. It made enough of an impression that you still remember the occasion though. I would bet that Ruth still remembers it well, too.

Some of the best times of my life were just spending time together with family in the car. Doesn´t matter as much where we were going or what we intended to do, just that we were together. That memory is worth a lot.

Beth said...

This past Sunday, Mother's Day, I chose to invoke a ride up the canyon. My Hub, two boys and my oldest grandson came with. We just tooled up both Big and Little Cottonwood. Amazing.Still sooo much snow! One resort still had skiers and boarders out! Saw waterfalls that aren't usually there. Too cool! Driving in the car anywhere is my favorite way to spend time with my family! Must be from when we were kids.