Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail

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Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
This whole past week I wasn't feeling very motivated to get out and hike. Now that winter is upon us, all of the high elevation roads (Millcreek Canyon Road, Alpine Loop Road, Mirror Lake Highway, etc) are closed so a lot of the good hikes are not accessible until next Summer. Many of the higher elevation trails are now covered with snow (or mud) as well. I couldn't think of an area I really wanted to explore this weekend, just because nothing seemed to excite me. I remember my friend, Amanda, saying she hiked Big Springs Trail with her dogs a lot, in Provo Canyon. I thought, "I rarely hike in this area - this could be fun to check out." 


There's not really a "spring" to check out, it's just an closed off and well-fed spring now. You can keep hiking all the way up the trail, and it eventually connects with the Cascade Ridge. Most people hike up about 2-3 miles then turn around, to get the best views.


Big Springs Park is located near the top of the South Fork Canyon Road. From SLC, drive south on I-15 and take exit 272 for Orem, and head East (left). Follow this until you see the split for Sundance & Provo Canyon, and veer left. From the mouth of Provo Canyon, continue east to Vivian Park (about 8 miles). Turn right onto South Fork Road and drive 3 miles. Drive past Vivian Park, past Giles  Ranch, past South Fork Park, and past the Conrad Homestead, and turn right into Big Springs Park. There are two parking areas - an upper and lower. The lower is the one you see immediately (see photo below), This is where we parked, but had to walk up the road to the actual TH. If parking is available, continue past the first gate and up to the upper parking area. The TH starts on the west side of this parking lot.

Distance: 4 miles round trip + more if you want to explore
Elevation gain: 500 ft
Time: 2-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes. There is a sign that says dogs must be leashed, but everyone we passed had theirs off leash (they should be under voice command however. 
Kid friendly? Yes.

November 2016
Big Springs trail
 Here is the entrance to Big Springs Park. This is the lower parking lot. You can park here then walk up to the TH, or if the gate is open or the upper lot is empty, you can park up further.
Big Springs trail
 This is the actual start of the trail. Apparantely, camping in the park is an issue! Lol!
Big Springs trail
 You'll immediately cross a bridge and see the Big Springs Hollow TH. Bonnie dog is ready to run!
Big Springs trail
 You'll hike through a forested area of Alpine trees then come to the first of many meadows. Off and on, the trail seems to be an old jeep road then a single track trail.
Big Springs trail
 At the first split, we went left. However, going right would take you to the same place, which is along the dirt road.
Big Springs trail
 Here is the next split, We went left again. The dogs were pretty happy!
Big Springs trail
 For a 3rd time, we came to another split, and again went left. This is how we created our loop. As you hike, you'll see lots of other trails going in all directions. You can make this hike as long or short as you are up for.
Big Springs trail
We came to another beautiful meadow with views of Cascade Mountain and the Cascade ridge in the distance, already covered in Snow.

June 2019
Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
I definitely preferred hiking here in June when everything was really green and blooming.
Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
 While the temperatures were chilly to start (55F), it quickly warmed up and I was back to just a t-shirt.
Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
 Still quite a bit of snow on Cascade Mountain!
Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
 We hiked up about 3/4 mile past Big Springs, then ran out of time for the day to continue hiking.
Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
 "Big Springs" isn't what I had imagined...just a stopped well from the looks of it.
Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
 Another picture of "Big Springs" - pretty disappointing, especially for the dogs to not have water access.
Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail
Although Big Springs itself is disappointing, the trail has amazing views. 


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Hiking the Big Springs Hollow Trail