This great family-friendly summit trail offers hikers the kind of scenery you might expect from a more difficult hike, but with the effort of an easy, one mile out and back. There are a few steep, rocky sections, but they are quite short. Depending on when you visit, expect to see wildlife and wildflowers with the picturesque backdrop of the rugged Wasatch Mountains.
The Buffalo Peak trailhead is located on the Squaw Peak Road, east of Orem, Utah:
- Take Exit 272 on I-15 for 800 North in Orem.
- Drive east on 800 North for 3.7 miles to the mouth of Provo Canyon.
- Bear left onto US-189 into Provo Canyon, and continue 1.9 miles.
- Turn right at the signed junction for the Squaw Peak Road.
- Continue 7.4 miles to the unmarked trailhead on the right side of the road (40.282598, -111.605314).
The trailhead is located on a mountain pass, just as the Squaw Creek Road leaves Pole Canyon and begins descending into Rock Canyon. The trailhead has no formal parking area or signage, so a GPS device can be helpful. A wood fence and hiker gate mark the beginning of the trail.
The Squaw Peak Road is a narrow, winding road and is only paved for the first few miles. The remaining distance to the trailhead is on a dirt and gravel road suitable for passenger cars in dry conditions.
From the trailhead, begin hiking through the hiker gate located at the south end of the fence along the road. The trail climbs slowly, passing by scrub oak and even a few aspens before opening up to grand views of Mount Timpanogos and the Wasatch Mountains.
Continue hiking through a large field of yellow flowers known as Mule’s Ear. These typically flower in early summer and can be quite the sight. A few short, steep sections are encountered along the way. A few hundred feet from the top, the trail arrives at a cliff edge with an incredible view into Rock Canyon. The last section is the steepest and most difficult as the trail climbs the final distance to the top of Buffalo Peak at just over 8,000 feet above sea level.
From the top of the peak, take in the panoramic views of Utah Valley nearly 3,500 feet below. The pale green waters of Utah Lake are quite the sight from this high vantage point. Return the way you came. Round trip hiking distance is 1.0 mile.
Rules and Regulations
- Clean up after pets.
- No littering.
- No camping within 200 feet of trails or water sources.
This is a great family-friendly hike, but watch children closely near cliff edges and steep slopes.