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Canyon Nature Trail

The Canyon Nature Trail is a paved walkway suitable for hikers of all abilities. This scenic trail crosses over two picturesque bridges, offering outstanding views of American Fork Canyon along the way. The trail is located in Timpanogos Cave National Monument and features excellent interpretive signage highlighting the native flora and fauna, making this hike as informative as it is beautiful. This trail is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs with assistance.

Trailhead

The Canyon Nature Trail Trailhead is located in American Fork Canyon, just west of the Timpanogos Cave visitor center:

  1. Take Exit 284 from I-15 onto Hwy 92/Timpanogos Highway.
  2. Drive east on the Timpanogos Highway for 9.7 miles into American Fork Canyon to the signed Canyon Nature Trail trailhead on the left side of the road (40.443850, -111.707158).

There is limited parking at the trailhead. Additional parking is available at the Timpanogos Cave visitor center, 100 yards up the canyon. Alternatively, the hike may also begin at the Swinging Bridge picnic area, which is the turnaround point when hiking the trail from the top (40.443192, -111.710516).

The Hike

From the Canyon Nature Trail trailhead, begin walking over the bridge at the west end of the parking area. This bridge spans a large gap, high above the beautiful American Fork River and is one of the highlights of the hike. Continue on the paved path as it winds through the forest, offering occasional views of the towering peaks above.

Small animals and birds are common sightings along the trail, and, if you’re lucky, you might even spot mule deer, elk, and other wildlife. Bighorn sheep are commonly seen in the high cliffs above the trail.

After 0.25 miles, the trail arrives at the Swinging Bridge picnic area. This is a great, shady place to stop and take in the scenery before heading back. Return the way you came. Total hiking distance is approximately 0.5 miles round trip.

Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs allowed on leash.
  • Clean up after pets.
  • No littering.

Special Considerations

A special fee is required to park anywhere in American Fork Canyon. Passes can be purchased at the fee booth near the mouth of the canyon or at one of several self-service pay stations throughout the canyon. A one-three day pass is $6, with weekly and annual passes also available. The America the Beautiful interagency parks pass is also accepted here.

Credits

This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.