The Tibble Fork Loop Trail (trail #041 & #040) is located in American Fork Canyon, and starts at the Tibble Fork Reservoir, hence the appropriate name. This hike can be done year round, but I find it to be the prettiest during Winter when the trees are laden with snow, the reservoir is frozen over, and the trail offers a certain quietness. The trail steadily gains elevation for the first 2 miles, cuts through an amazing aspen grove and open meadow, then connects back to the Tibble Fork stream and main parking lot.
From SLC, head south on I-15 and take exit 284 towards Timpanogos Cave and Alpine, UT. Drive past the fee booth, then follow the signs for Tibble Fork Reservoir. The fee is $6 for a 1-3 day pass, or free if you have a National Park Pass. The trail starts at the dam, so you can either park there or if it is full, park in the main lot. There are restrooms in the main lot.
Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 1100 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Start by walking across the dam, look for this TH sign, then work your way uphill. Don't go right past the other gate - that leads to a private neighborhood.
Work you way up the 4 to 5 switchbacks. The first section of the trail is the steepest, but it gradually levels out. You will have beautiful views across the reservoir.
Cut through a beautiful aspen grove. There will be a little trail split arrow pointing right (it may be covered by snow), but throughout the whole hike you will be staying left.
In the large open meadow with my Meetup.com group, "Hiking in Utah - with Our dogs!" Our group is FREE to join and we hike year round throughout the Wasatch and Uintas. From March to November we hike every Tuesday evening, ranging from 2-5 miles at a time. The only requirement to join is that your dog has a collar light for our evening hikes. You can also join without a dog, since we have an overall social goal for the group.
Join our Facebook group!
Working our way up through a deep snow bank. Thankfully the trail was mostly broken!
At the first official trail split sign, turn left.
You will cut through two smaller meadows. This is a great spot to take a snack break and let the dogs have stare off contests...
At the 2nd trail split sign, again head left.
After the 2 mile mark (at the first trail split sign), you will be hiking down the whole time. Poles are helpful in this section because of the steepness.
Keep an eye out for this sign "040", and turn right.
Another great photo our our meetup group!
Cross the bridge.
At this point you'll be back on the winter road. Head back to the main parking lot, finishing your loop.
Charlie and I had a blast in the snow!
Here is a close up of where the trail starts and the two parking areas.
Two overviews of the loop. This one is looking NE.