Cascade Springs is a unique geological formation, where a large spring bubbles directly out of the ground, releasing over seven million gallons of spring water per day over a series of terraced waterfalls and pools. A paved path creates three loops around the springs, offering several hiking options with varying distances. The lower loop is wheelchair accessible; however, the upper loops require the use of stairs. With plenty to see and a variety of route options, this hike is sure to be a hit for everyone in the family.
Cascade Springs is located on Cascade Scenic Drive near the Alpine Loop (40.458224, -111.548655). There are multiple options for reaching the trailhead:
- Take Exit 284 from I-15 onto Hwy 92/Timpanogos Highway.
- Drive east on the Timpanogos Highway for 18.5 miles into American Fork Canyon.
- Turn left onto Cascade Scenic Drive.
- Continue 6.7 miles to the Cascade Springs parking area.
Alternately, you can access the same junction onto Cascade Scenic Drive by starting on Highway 92 from within Provo Canyon:
- Drive south on Center Street for 1.8 miles.
- Turn right onto Tate Lane.
- Continue for 0.5 miles.
- Turn right onto Stringtown Road.
- Continue 0.3 miles.
- Turn left into Wasatch Mountain State Park, and continue 5.8 miles to Cascade Springs.
The road through Wasatch Mountain State Park is gravel, but it is passable to passenger cars in dry conditions.
Overflow parking is available just up the road from the main Cascade Springs parking area; however, this extends the overall hike by about a half-mile (40.461825, -111.551849).
From the main parking area, begin hiking on either trail heading west toward the spring. The trail to the right and the lower loop is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Cross a small bridge over the creek before arriving at the boardwalk that circles lower Cascade Springs. This loop is called the Pools Loop. There are several exhibits along the way that describe the unique ecosystem and geology of the Cascade Springs.
The boardwalk ends at another footbridge marking the end of the Pools Loop. From here, hikers can continue on two more loops. The Cascade Loop traverses each side of a narrow section of waterfalls, while the Springs Loop circles the source of Cascade Springs where it flows out of the ground. The Springs Loop is particularly nice in the late spring and summer when the wildflowers are in bloom. Excellent signage is present at each trail junction, so you can be sure you won’t miss a thing.
For hikers beginning from the overflow parking, a 0.3-mile path leads to the upper Springs Loop and on to the rest of Cascade Springs. This extends the overall hiking distance by about a half-mile. Round trip hiking distance from the main parking area through all loops is approximately 0.8 miles.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs allowed on leash.
- No dogs allowed in water.
- Clean up after pets.
- No swimming or wading.
- No littering.
- No fishing.
- No picnicking.
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.