Monday, March 12, 2018

Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross

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Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
The Spanish Fork Cross, as known by locals, is a very short yet rewarding hike that leads to a giant white cross on a hill that overlooks the town of Spanish Fork, Utah to the North, and has amazing views of the mountains and Spanish Fork Peak to the East and South. The Spanish Fork Cross trail is near the Spanish Fork Reservoir and Campground, and is perfect for kids and dogs. 

In Winter the trail is 3 miles RT from the first gate, and in Summer the trail is only 2 miles RT since you can drive further up. Dogs are allowed off leash once on the trail, however they do need to stay on leash in Summer as you walk through the campground and on roads. 

From SLC, head south on I-15 and take exit 257 towards Spanish Fork Canyon. Drive 4.1 miles and turn right on Powerhouse Rd (at the Chevron). Drive 0.9 miles and turn left on Spanish Oaks Dr (there's also a sign for the Spanish Fork Gun Club). Keep following this road until you reach the first gate, where there is another sign for the Gun Club. In Winter, you'll need to park here in front of the gate on the side of the road, then walk up the road. In Summer, you can keep driving past this gate and park in the main parking lot.

Here's a driving map.


Distance: 3 miles RT (from the first gate)
Elevation gain: 390 ft
Time: 1 hour
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash (once on the trail)
Kid friendly? Yes!
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
The first gate may be closed as you drive up. If so, just park on the side of the road near the gate.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
As a hiker, you will always hike on roads at some point. Didn't matter to me - it was the first sunny, warm day in the area in months!
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
In summer, this is where you would normally park. Keep walking up the road. Just an FYI - dogs are NOT allowed at the actual reservoir so swim time will have to wait for the pups.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
Walk past a 3rd gate, and you will now be hiking through the campground. 
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
You'll pass this opening and a kid's playground on your left.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
This is where the official TH starts - in between the brown post and yellow sign. From here the trail is really easy to follow - follow the signs for "Escalante Cross".
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
At the first trail split, turn left and go down some stairs.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
At the bottom of the stars the trail turns right, and you are now technically in Snell Canyon.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
Once again, turn left.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
You will gain a little elevation as you make your way to the ridge. 
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
Looking down from where we just came from, and a great view of the reservoir.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
Keep following the ridge towards the large white cross.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
You will see the large white wind turbines on your right.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
Made it with all 3 dogs! I didn't see a single person on a Sunday afternoon on this trail, yay! It took us about 35 minutes from the first gate to reach the cross.
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
Plaque on the bottom of the cross.

This cross has three name: Spanish Fork Cross (known by locals), Escalante Cross (as marked by the trails), and Dominguez Hill (as marked by this plaque).
Hiking to the Spanish Fork Cross, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Kid friendly hikes in SLC
This was a great little hike!


Trail Map





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2 comments:

  1. Glad you had a nice warm day. I love hiking with a little snow and shorts and short sleeves. Good to see you and Charlie again:)

    ReplyDelete