Alpine Loop, Utah
Filled with dramatic views, aspen groves, glacier run offs, lakes, springs, a resort, and switchback turns
How the hell a ride totaling all ofsomething like 25 miles can be filled with dramatic views, aspen groves, glacier run offs, lakes, springs, a resort, and switchback turns is beyond me, but the Alpine Loop has it all.
The Alpine Loop is for sure one of my favorite rides. In that short distance you have access to two lakes (Tibble Fork Reservoir Paved and Silver Lake Flats Dirt), epic view of one of the most prominent mountain peaks in UT (Mt Timpanogos), access to a natural spring with walking paths zig zaggin through it (cascade springs), a mountain resort with some of the best food and drinks you’ll find in Utah (Sundance Resort), and so much more.
For many of us in Utah it's a mere 15 minute drive away with access from American Fork UT and the Orem/Provo UT area. I'm continually shocked at just how many locals have never ridden it.
There are ranger station toll booths at both entrances ( mouth of AF Canyon andjust above Sundance from Provo Canyon) for those that are planning to camp, fish, hike, or otherwise, I believe its $6 for 3 days should you choose to make an event out of it. If you simply riding through to enjoy the scenery on a bike the toll is free and no need to stop at the booth.
A few things to be aware of while riding the loop are, don't forget we’re in Utah and people drive like assholes! The roads are narrow the entire way with only a few sections with painted traffic lines. On the entry side of AF Canyon they have resorted to heavy tar lines to keep the roadway in reasonable condition. It’s only a mile or two but enough to be aware as some run length wise with road, not just across it. There are a handful of blind corners, low speed and not a big deal but for those that are unfamiliar and are speeding you may find yourself off the road.
Other than that enjoy yourself… Its an amazing little gem right in our back yard!
It would be a great time to look at the Provo Canyon Run Recommendations as you will be in the area.
Upper AF Canyon View:
Stop andsee the mouth of AF Canyon from the upper parking lot. The best time is first light or sunset but pretty all day nonetheless.
Pull over and put your feet and hands in the glacier run off from Mt. Timpanogos. Stays damn cold all year long!
A great place to get off the bike and take a walk through and natural spring filled with fish and aquatic plant life.
One of the best Mt. resorts in UT. I say this for it small and quaint feel. It's not packed and overrun with tourists! We have to stop and get chocolate chip cookies from the cafe and or eat when we’re in the area. Coffee is good with all the pasties offered and plenty of outdoor in the trees seating. Walk the grounds to see all the little outbuildings and streams that run right through the middle of the resort. With summer plays and musicals it's a perfect date night that you can take the bike to. The midnight moonlight chairlift is a great time as well.
Owl Bar Sundance Resort:
When you're looking for a unique environment to have a beer or cocktail at… look no further!
The restored 1890’s bar was moved from Thermopolis, Wyoming to Sundance. The original Rosewood Bar was once frequented by Butch Cassidy’s Hole in the Wall Gang. With live music on the weekends starting at 9:30pm. Also a great place to order starters and drink without having to do the whole dinner scene.
A great place to get breakfast, sunday brunch, lunch, or dinner. Very low key, epic environment will all the 19th century hand tools strewed throughout the dining room. Prices are reasonable for the excellent quality of food you will receive.