Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook

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Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
The Pine Hollow Overlook is in American Fork Canyon, and provides an amazing view of the North side of the Timpanogos basin. It's a perfect hike in Fall because you pass several meadows and Aspen groves that showcase their Fall colors, plus the temperatues are cooler. There are several access points for the overlook - the official Pine Hollow Trailhead, Tibble Fork Reservoir (the longest route), the Salamander Flat Campground, the Summit Trailhead, or how I did this, was via the Alpine Loop Road.

The best starting point in Winter would be the Pine Hollow TH, since it would be the shortest route since the road closes during winter. However, I hiked this when the road was still open, so I started at mile marker 17.5 off the road. This trail is very gentle, passes several meadows, and finally reaches the Pine Hollow Overlook. If you have some extra time, you can bag Pine Hollow Peak, but the views are covered by trees. Dogs are allowed off leash but there is no water so bring enough for your pal.



Use this map, if you are driving from SLC.

Use this map, if you are driving from the south such as Provo.

The trailhead starts from mile 17.5. As soon as you see mile marker 17 (coming from the West entrance), park exactly at 17.5, at the sharp right turn along the Alpine Loop Road. There are no signs for the trail, but there is enough parking for 3-4 cars. The trail starts in the NW corner off the road. There are no restrooms. Also keep in mind that the Alpine Loop Road is only open during the summer months until October 31st or whenever the first snow arrives. In Winter months you can start this hike from the Pine Hollow TH, where the winter gate is.



Distance: 5.6 miles RT
Elevation gain: 700 ft
Time: 3-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, 10+
Fees/Permits: There is no permit, but there is a fee for accessing American Fork Canyon. $6 for a 3 day pass or FREE if you have an annual National Park Pass or annual American Fork Canyon pass. .


Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
The trail starts from mile 17.5 at the small pull out on the North side of the Alpine Loop Road.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
50 yards into the hike, turn right.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
You'll hike above the road for a little bit, through a mix of small brush and Aspens.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
In the first 10-15 minutes of the hike, if you look back, you should already have an awesome view of the North side of the Timpanogos basin.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
First trail split - stay left following Ridge Trail 157/Pine Hollow Trail.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
You'll drop down into a meadow, and pass a small campsite on your left.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Yay Fall is here!
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Next trail split - stay straight following Ridge Trail 157/Mud Springs Trail. If you hike up from the Pine Hollow TH, you'll also end up here and will turn left.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Playing around at the Pine Hollow meadow! This is one of my favorite sections of the trail.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Continue following the trail as it starts to curve West. You'll hike through several more meadows. You'll also come to another trail split - stay on the Mud Springs Trail from this point on. If you continue following Ridge Trail 157 it will take you over to Mill Canyon Peak area.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Towards the top of the Mud Springs Trail we spooked a huge Bull elk! Keep an eye & ear out for wildlife, and if you have a dog, have a leash handy. That is one of the reasons Charlie has his Ruffwear Track Jacket on - we passed several hunters on this trail bow hunting Elk. Because he blends in and looks like a Deer, this jacket provides plenty of visibility for hunters. You could also use a bandana, dog pack, or bell on your dog.
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Selfie for our solo hike!
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
You know you are close when you hike through the first "rocky" section (its a stretch to even call it that).
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Pine Hollow Overlook!

What a gorgeous view!
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Seriously, this is one of my new favorite views in the Wasatch!
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
That's a loooong drop!
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
If you have an extra 5 minutes and want to get to Pine Hollow Peak, continue following the trail past the overlook. Maps won't label it as Pine Hollow Peak, but rather "8440" for the elevation. To be honest, it's not really worth the time because this is the only view you get - a big pile of rocks LOL!
Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon
Go back the same way you hiked in. We stopped to frolic through the fields again!


Pine Hollow Overlook trail map



Hiking the Horse Flat Trail, American Fork Canyon
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Hiking to the Pine Hollow Overlook, American Fork Canyon

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