Hiking Merit Badge

Look for Merit Badge Pamplet – Google Docs.

Hikes of ten or more continuous miles in the Alpine area include Lone Peak, Mt. Timpanogos Peak, or combined hikes.



Day hikes in the Alpine, Utah, area.

  1. Hikes in Alpine City.

  2. Hikes in areas surrounding Alpine.

  • Personal hiking impressions, experiences, stories, and historical information, including guest entries.
  • A guide to hiking information already produced.
  • Updated information on popular hikes.
  • A guide for lesser known hikes.

Jay L. Beck enjoys outdoor activities with family and friends, especially in the Alpine area. He grew up in Alpine and attended the Old Red School House built in 1899, when Alpine had less than 100 families. He has been involved in Scouting for over 25 years. Professionally, he is a music teacher, pianist/accompanist, and composer, and has worked with music and young children at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah, for over 25 years. In addition to music, Mr. Beck enjoys family activities, children’s literature, biking, and hiking in the mountains. He and his wife Martha have four adult children and reside in Alpine, Utah.



Jay L. Beck, 77 East 100 South, Alpine, Utah 84004.

Telephone 801-756-0684 (home) 801-678-4839 (cell).




Lone Peak

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Lone Peak is my favorite hike because it is difficult. The extreme cliffs are breath taking. I have hiked Lone Peak almost every year of my marriage and some years before—maybe 25 times. One of the first times I hiked Lone Peak was with Elaine Southey and Niki Payne. I helped Suzanne Southey who was eight years old. On several occasions we asked Philip Bennett to take us up to First Hamongog in his Jeep. That was before the fires on North Mountain. Martha and I took our one-year-old twins, Peter and Carol to the peak. Blauer Bangerter and Mark Matthews and I trekked to the peak together. Another time, Glenn Fuller and his sons went to the peak with me. A golden eagle made a dive just over our heads. It was rainy. The clouds were low. We were on top of the south peak. A powerful surge of electricity passed over the top of my head and my hair was standing on end. That is as close as I have been except when we were canoeing on the Green River in a storm. Another time I was with a friend and we were hiking in the cliffs with no visibility. Hiking Lone Peak has made a lasting impression on me, so much that I composed a piece titled Lone Peak to be performed by the Waterford School Concert Band. I have only crossed the ridge between the north and south peaks once. I was by myself, and instead of staying on the very top boulders I got on the gravel. It shook me up a bit when I started sliding. In my early years I hiked only to the south peak because that is the Alpine peak. I have since alternated going to the north and south.

There are at least three routes to Lone Peak. From Second Hamongog, take the furthermost east trail that goes to Lake Hardy. Follow the Lake Hardy Trail until it crosses over to the east side, then continue going up straight north. The route crosses over huge boulders the size of a truck. There are a few sand pits between the areas of boulders. Continue going north up to the ridge, then go east on the ridge. One can cross on the top of huge boulders with a view of both sides. After the ridge, continue up the mountain on a terrain of dirt, rocks, and flowers.

For a route that does not go on a ridge, take the trail that goes northwest out of Second Hamongog. The trail continues through and up a steep ravine, north and west of Second Hamongog. Follow the cairns, occasionally crossing over elephant-skin, conglomerate granite. When out of the ravine, head a little east to shoot up between the cliffs.

A third way is to from Suncrest. Drive down a cul-de-sac on the south side of Suncrest.  Go east over the roads toward Jacob’s Ladder. From the top of Jacob’s Ladder, go down the ravine and then up the long, steep, extensive climb. Continue north and then to the east. Go through a meadow. Cross through an area of huge, independent trees, many of which have been struck by lightning. Go through a stream bed. Follow the cairns. For much of the time you can see the both peaks. Being at the base of the peaks is astounding. Continue on the trail, north and then follow the ridge east. Hike up and through a  chimney. The trail continues east and up, and then goes around the mountain on the west side. There is boulder climbing to the north peak.

A variant of this hike is to go from the Draper Corner Canyon Park, continuing by vehicle on the dirt road going south and then east. Leave your vehicle in the parking lot and walk east along the road and trail that eventually goes to Jacob’s Ladder.

I took another variant once that I would not recommend. I took the Jacob Ladder route but then went on the cliffs around the mountain, south and east, to get to the south peak.

John Daniel Martha Lone Peak


Access from American Fork Canyon

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

For many locals, hiking the Timpanogos Cave trail is a several-times-a-week morning workout during the summer months. Timpanogos Cave is well-known for it’s interior cave, but the hike alone is as stunningly beautiful. Regular hikers obtain an identification card on a lanyard at the park office so they may regularly go up the trail without having to hear the safety talk every time. In the early morning, we have heard humming birds and peregrine falcons. We can leave from Alpine, drive up the canyon, hike to the cave, and be back to our home in about 70 minutes. 

Canyon Nature Trail

This often overlooked walking trail goes between Swinging Bridge and the Timpanogos Cave Visitor’s Center on the north side of the canyon road.

North Fork

American Fork Divide

One afternoon, a group of us hiked to the Divide bringing a nice meal to share for the evening. I had a date. Marvin Payne was with us. We brought formal wear clothes to change into. I had previously made bacon-wrapped chicken breast. Someone else brought artichokes and dip. Another brought cherry cheesecake. We returned home that night in the moonlight.


Silver Lake
Watch for stinging nettle.

Silver Glance Lake
There is now (2014) a hiker-made trail to the lake. The lake is a little gem. Hike to the pass above the lake. Consider hiking Silver Lake to Silver Glance Lake to White Pine Lake.

Pittsburg Lake

Continue reading

East of Alpine

Five Rocks

This is a steep but short hike to the five rocks on the lower east mountain above Alpine.

Three Mines

Follow the visible switch-backs on the lower east mountain.

Phelps Canyon

Devil’s Eye Arch

The described rock slide has been overgrown.
This hike is generally steep and can involve scrambling. Fires in 2000 and 2012 destroyed 500-year-old trees on the mountain, according to Sheldon Wimmer. The hole of the arch is large enough for a car to drive through. It faces American Fork Canyon but cannot be seen from Alpine. The dark shadow of the arch can be seen at morning time from the Timpanogos Cave Trail. From Alpine, look for a nob on the ridge south of Dharma (Willow) Peak. My first time hiking this was with a group of young men with Conrad Teichert. We started in the afternoon about 4:00 p.m. and hiked to the arch and back before dark. At another time on a morning hike, we crossed a rattlesnake at the top of the slide.

Willow (Dharma) Peak

This is a steep climb with scrambling.

Access from Dry Creek

Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls: Alpine’s Cascading Beauty

About ten years ago, several men including Phillip Bennett and LaMar Drew rebuilt the original trail that is on the north side of the wider Dry Creek Trail. At the Wilderness sign, go left down the steep embankment and continue on the trail that crosses the stream via logs. After about an hour of hiking, the trail will have a great view of the entire falls. At the place where the falls are in view, there is a trail to the left that continues for another hour and leads to the top of the falls and connects to the wider Dry Creek Trail.


Box Elder Peak

See Mark Smith’s comments of September 22, 2013, about the Sleigh Runner and the Intake.

I enjoyed riding with Ern Peddler around Box Elder. He was on his Morgan horse Adios, and I was on Spider. We rode past McDaniel’s Cabin. It has since burned down. He told me of a horse falling down the steep side of the mountain; it had to be put down.

One time we were dropped off at the Granite Flat trail head to hike the American Fork Divide. We hiked to the Divide. I left to go home because of another engagement. The group continued to the top of the peak. Laura Hobbs stepped onto the Sleigh Runner and unintentionally slipped. She went down the icy snow trough, clawing and grabbing, trying to stop. She thought she was sliding to the end of her life. Where the Sleigh Runner bends, she kept going straight into the rocks. Luckily she was only scrapped instead of being mortally injured.

Access from the Cove

First Hamongog

When I was a Scout, this was a favorite camping spot.  At that time, School House Springs was in the boonies.

Second Hamongog

East Hamongog

My favorite way down from Lake Hardy is through East Hamongog. When going that direction, the trail goes through a fern meadow and crosses a lower stream after the descending Chute.

Lake Hardy

I have many happy memories of hiking Lake Hardy. For several years, we had a ward Lake Hardy hike. We had T-shirts printed, designed by two local artists. One year, Wanita Whitby and Ester Batemen were determined to make the hike. Ester was 70 years old. Her son told he he would pay for a helicopter to take her if she didn’t go. We made it, but got back about 9:00 p.m. Ester had black toenails from the adventure on the Sunday after.

I went with Gary Dollar, Keith Wilson, and their Scouts, and we camped below the lake at Grassy Flat—holding out in rain and lightning for several days.

Mayor Hunt Willoughby made his first hike to Lake Hardy on one of our ward hikes before he was mayor. I have tried to join with him on his annual hike in August. For the past few years, 70-year-old-plus, Arnold Griffiths and I stuck together on the hikes.

My favorite route to go to Lake Hardy is through First and Second Hamongog, continuing above Grassy Flat to the Lake, then down to Grassy Flat, through the forest, down the granites, around the cliff point, and down the Chute to First Hamongog.

There are tales about how deep the lake is. In our younger days, Casey Christian and I thought about bringing scuba gear up to the lake. Instead, we brought wet suits and masks. There was still ice on the lake, but we got in. I have been in the lake other times too. Once wearing Levis. I shivered for hours after that venture.

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 Airplane Crash, Lake Hardy

On August 12, 2011, my journal entry reads: “The three of us [Carol Beck, Kayla Burgess, and myself] went to the inlet for the lake. There was snow. We followed the directions to the flat ridge. [Go to the tallest last pine above the lake where the water comes into the lake. Look up to the north where there is a flat section in the ridge, about 20 feet across. Keep that area in your sights as you hike up towards it.] I was hoping that we would fine some sign of the crash. It took a while. I kept going east on the ridge and finally found some glass, then Carol found several pieces of metal. We found a rivet, a screw, and a blue piece of glass. We came back to the lake.” I have been up before after receiving directions from Rulon McDaniel who wrote a book about it. He owns one of the found letters that dropped from the plane. I found several pieces of aluminum and glass. Donald Beck retrieved part of the carburetor, but during the war, turned it in for metal.

Chipman Peak

Chipman Canyon was a popular spot for our Scout troop when Dennis Smith was my Scoutmaster.

Access from Little Cottonwood

White Pine Lake
My first time hiking to White Pine was with my young nephew Mark Matthews. He was wearing Tevas and cut his foot. We enjoyed hearing the picas chirp in the rocks.

Red Pine Lakes

Red Pine Lake – Hike of the Week

My most memorable time hiking past the Red Pine Lakes was with a group of Scouts. We camped by the west lake, climbed Pfeifferhorn, and went down the south side to Alpine. Unfortunately we went through the stream area and had to bushwhack.

Pfeifferhorn (The Ant Hill)

Several years ago, a couple of young friends hiked with me to the saddle below Pfeifferhorn. To one of them, the steepness of the peak looked too dangerous, and he declined to go up. Coming back, I reminded him that it was pretty much like climbing stairs. Another time, my wife Martha and children Peter and Carol enjoyed the exhilaration of being on top, noticing the waves of rock below, formed by eons of snow and glacier.