Hiking Utah: Mount Timpanogas vs Mount Nebo

If you've ever wanted to hike up a mountain, I have two stunning recommendations for you.

Hiking is a big part of the rich outdoor culture here in Utah, and everyone has there own reasons for hitting the trail. Some like the challenge of a workout in nature. Others merely do it for the social aspect or for the breathtaking views.

Feeling your heart pumping, your legs burning, and breathing deeply in the fresh mountain air is enough to make you feel so alive!

Personally, I relish the smell of pine trees and dirt, and that feeling that comes when I am encompassed by wildflowers in the mountains, especially at sunrise or sunset.

I feel so close to the earth (literally) when I am scaling steep ridges and feeling rugged rock beneath my fingers as I climb.

Then, there's that thrill that comes from standing on the edge of a rocky precipice where the world looks so peaceful from way up high.

And I appreciate that when I move my body, my mind is stilled and this works best when I am in nature.

Do you know the sense of accomplishment from summitting a mountain? Do you want to?

I hope to climb both Mount Nebo and Mount Timpanogas (affectionately nicknamed Timp by locals) again in thr future. In the meantime, I want to tell you about these two epic hikes!

These are the two tallest peaks in the Wasatch Mountain Range with Nebo coming in first (barely).

I made my way up each mountain within a few weeks and was left with a lot to compare and contrast between the two.

I can't say which one I prefer as there are a number of pros and cons to each. I recommend both, but for different reasons.

Now, this isn't a play-by-play of each hike, but  a brief comparison of the two ascents.

Read on to gain a bit of insight before attempting to summit one or both of these majestic peaks.


Height: 11,753'
Distance: 15 miles out & back (from Timpooneke Trailhead)
Elevation Gain: 4,425'

• Mostly what got to me while hiking Timp was the crowds.

• The trail is significantly longer than Nebo but not nearly as steep. 

• There are a few shaded areas along the route, whereas Nebo has almost none

• The variety of scenery along the way makes it a very beautiful hike. 

• The trail crosses a few small streamlets along the way. 

• The view from the top is more impressive but less remote than Nebo.

• There are multiple routes to the saddle. 

• Heavy traffic made for slow progress from the saddle to the peak. 

• It's very crowded at the summit, but there was enough room to sit down, eat a snack, and enjoy the view.

• When to go: start early, I mean start hiking at 2:00 AM. Hike it on a weekday when there will be less traffic.


Height: 11,933'
Distance: 9.3 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 3,800'

• The trail is shorter than Timp, but it's steep. Take your time, especially when coming down.

• Hardly any traffic. We saw less than 10 other hikers round trip.

• Virtually no shade. We started in the early morning about 5:45 am and so a lack of shade was not a problem for us. The golden light of the sunrise made the wildflowers practically glow. 

• Grazing cows made it a little less fun as they leave cow pies here and there.

• There were a lot of dead trees along the trail which dampened the overall experience a bit.

• The last stretch from the saddle to the peak is covered in loose scree. It's tricky to navigate so be patient and take your time going up, and especially coming down.

• We were alone on the peak and there were butterflies everywhere as well as some beautiful birds. Since there was no one else at the top, we felt no rush to leave and so we relaxed there in the quiet for about an hour.

• This mountain is more remote than Timp. For one thing, the drive up the canyon to the trailhead is a lot longer. I loved the views of rolling mountains to the East and the southern end of Utah lake in the West. 

Well that's that. Would you rather ascend Timp or Nebo first?

Have you hiked either of these mountains? Both? Which did you like best?


Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog. 


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