The Horse Flat Trail in American Fork Canyon starts from the Summit Trailhead, and passes through several meadows, large Aspen groves, and shaded areas before finally reaching the Primrose Overlook. This trail is really well shaded, and is perfect during Fall when all the Aspen trees are changing colors. Temperatures are also cooler in Fall – when the valley can be in the 60s, the top of the Alpine Loop Road can be in the 40s. Keep in mind that the Alpine Loop Road is only open during from late June to the end of October, or whenever the first snow arrives. This trail is great for dogs off leash, and even kids can hike this route.
Enter American Fork Canyon from either entrance (Provo Canyon or Lehi area), and drive to the top of the Alpine Loop Road. Park at the Summit Trailhead. There is one restroom. Here is a driving map, coming from SLC.
Distance: 3 miles RT
Elevation gain: 675 ft
Time: 1-2 hours
Dog Friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
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.
The Lame Horse Trail starts from the Summit Trailhead, at the top of the Alpine Loop Road.
The trail immediately splits, stay left.
Follow the signs for Horse Flat.
You will pass several meadows.
Charlie loves it when we get to hike together as a family.
At the trail split, stay straight.
You will come to another meadow.
The third large meadow and my favorite because the views open up. This meadow would be a great place for a short, easy backpack overnighter. There is no water source.
The last 1/2 mile climbs uphill.
The views open up again, this time to the East and South.
Once you reach the ridge, this is the overlook of the Primrose Cirque and East-facing side of the Mt. Timpanogos area. You may even be able to see hikers below the ridge hiking up. From this point, you can actually see the white Timp tower.
Charlie enjoys his view!
We hiked this with our pals Misty and Max the day after a snowstorm and it was gorgeous!
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What a great day to see both Fall & Winter!
Horse Flat Trail map