Mount Nebo North Trail is a 8.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Santaquin, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Northern route to Mt. Nebo's highest peak Mt. Nebo at 11928 feet is the highest, and southernmost peak in the Wasatch Range. It is a mountain of three main peaks. The first three and a half miles of the hike was easy with only about 1400 feet of elevation gain. We hiked through beautiful grassy meadows accentuated by white fur and quaking aspens. The final leg of our hike was the toughest here we gained around 1300 feet in three quarters of a mile scrambling up loose shale and black lime stone. This hike is a steep one but it is definitely worth it the views are spectacular. Nebo is an excellent hike for any one who likes to bag high peaks and get away from the crowds of closer more frequented peaks. There are two ore more routes one can take to the summits of Nebo. From the bench trail you can climb directly to wolf pass then to the north summit or travel further south and up to the south peak. However you choose Nebo will be a hike you will never forget.
Did this hike a couple weeks ago. It was great to hike with virtually no one else on the trail, but snow and mud made the hike tough. The ground was frozen when we started, but as the day went on it became muddy. Also, there was ice in several spots. When we started ascending the first peak, we saw a herd of about 30 mountain goats. Going was tough on the peaks because there was about 3-6 inches of slippery snow. Definitely a work out getting up/down the peaks - even more so with the snow. Brought 4 liters of water and ended up using 2.5-3, although we weren't hiking in the heat.
Did this hike yesterday and it is no joke. My GPS put it at 12.27 miles from the first parking lot to the peak and back. The 8.7 may be as the crow flies, but doesn't account for the valleys you will dip into on the trail, which will give you about 4500 total ascended feet. Because of the up and down nature of the hike, and the steepness, expect the trip back to take just as long as the hike in.
There is an upper parking lot with a toilet, or you can drive straight to the trail head and park.
There are about three stages of this hike. The first will take you through the woods until you are in the valley of North Peak. Then you will hike up the valley to a short spine. The second phase will take you around the far side of North Peak until you reach the saddle. The third stage will take you from the saddle, over the peak you see from the saddle then to the final peak.
Most of this hike is extremely exposed. A storm front was moving in yesterday, making some of the faces precarious, and cold. In the summer I expect it is very hot on this trail. Bring gloves regardless of the time of year to help with the slate rocks at the end, they are sharp!
As of yesterday there was some snow on the final approach and it was sketchy/slippery. I expect it will get more snow covered from this point on and would advise spikes and poles for the top.
This is a fun hike. Expect it to take up most of your day, it took our group 5-6 hours or so for the hike. I took 3 liters of water, 4 probably would have been nice, but 3 worked. The hike has an amazing view, but it can be a bit discouraging once you hit the first peak. There is a saddle that you descend, then ascend to get to the higher peak, and by then most of our group was a bit fatigued, but it is worth it. It's a good hike overall.
I loved this hike and will definitely be doing it again next year!
We started from the parking area on Mona Pole Road and it was 8.7 miles out and back for us. The first 2 miles is nice with some short steep sections that aren't too bad and long flat areas in between. Then there is a fairly steep part that climbs up to a ridge where you can view Mona and much of the valley below. After you hike the ridge, gaining some elevation as you do, the trail is mostly downhill to wolf pass which is around the 3.5 mile mark. After that it's a steep, loose climb to the north peak. At the north peak, the trail gets a bit more serious. The ridge between the north peak and the base of Nebo peak itself can be a bit narrow and steep on both sides. It deserves some caution. The final climb to the peak is steep again and not a place you'd want to trip and fall off the trail. The view from the summit is amazing, as you'd expect, and definitely makes the hike worthwhile. Be careful as you leave the summit not to stay on the ridge too long or you'll end up missing the preferred trail down and end up coming down a scary, loose, steep section like we did.
As others have stated, bring plenty to drink. I brought 4 liters and it was about right for me. The hike is exposed without a lot of shade cover and there aren't any springs or streams to refill at (not in August, anyway). Gloves would be a good idea as the rocks near the top are sharp. I ended up cutting both of my hands on them. We saw around 75 people, so either we picked an unusually busy weekend, or the trail is getting more popular. Many of those were using walking sticks to help with the steep downhill sections which are hard on the knees. Since it was brought up in earlier reviews, I actually think this is easier than Timp, but I do better on steep hikes than I do on long hikes and Timpanogos takes me 10 to 12 hours to complete so it's a lot of time on my feet. Timp is prettier though with more meadows and flowers to enjoy.
Awesome hike. Yes, very steep during portions of the trip, but worth it.
this is a tough hike. trails climb up and down. there is a part where you are hiking a thin Trail with shell rock under your feet.
we didn't make it to the top, by choice. not worth the risk. on the day we went all the other hikers did not make it. there were ten in total hikers this day. so not busy. this is bear country so be prepared. pretty warm in june. so water is BIG!!!
wild flowers in full bloom and streams still full. nice water fall at the end of the trail. but to get to the top there is no trail.
views spectacular and worth it.
It was an amazing hike, one of the hardest I have ever done. Of the 4 of us who started, only 2 of us completed the hike. The last mile and a half or so was completely brutal with the incline and having to scramble up the rocks. This hike was completely worth it but I am not sure I will do it again.
This is a short but tough hike that is definitely worth it! The first 3.5 miles from trailhead to Wolf Pass was pretty typical, but the last mile from Wolf Pass to the tallest point (which is the middle peak, not the north peak) is where the real challenge starts! 1300’ of elevation in under a mile is a pretty aggressive incline! Depending on how you define "kid-friendly", that description of this trail is debatable. My 16yr old daughter hiked this with me and did just fine, but she's also done other peaks with me in preparation for something like this. I also think it's debatable on whether or not Nebo is easier than Timp. After doing Timp three times previously, I'd say Nebo is harder due that last mile of intense elevation gain plus the class 2 scramble with quite of bit of exposure on both sides! In comparison, the only sketchy part on Timp is passing through the short section called the Chute, otherwise it’s just a long steady trek of 7 miles to the top. Looking at our stats, it took us just as long to do 4.5 miles each way on Nebo as it did for us to do 7.2 miles each way on Timp (4 hrs up, 3 hrs down), so I’m curious to know what made Timp harder for those who say Nebo was easier? ...too bad AllTrails doesn’t provide a comment feature on trail reviews to facilitate a conversation or connection with other users!
Trailhead by 7:30, garmin 235 put it at 9.1 miles in just under 5 hours with lots of breaks. I went with my brother and 8 year old son. It's steep, and the trails diverge in many different areas the closer you approach the false peak and Mt Nebo. We had about 10 liters of water between three of us and used nearly all of it. This is an exposure hike and I would recommend going early, hats and sunscreen. The peak at Nebo had, to our dismay, no marker! There is no box with paper and pen to chronicle our adventure and we hope that summit post or Wasatch hiker can organize efforts to get this done:). The ride up from Santaquin is beautiful and the ride down thru Payson, equally nice. There were 7 other hikers that made it to peak this day, 8 year old was the youngest and a 55 year old with his sister and brother-in-law. Overall, a great hike in Utah County that is relatively unknown to many, and we certainly recommend.
so great but so hard
I'm glad to have marked this one off my bucket list...but it is NOT one I will do again! It took us about 7 hours, starting before 7:00 AM. We met several people on the trail, but only one or two who had ever hiked the peak before. It does not seem like a hike people want to repeat! The first half is beautiful, through woods and meadows. But the two peaks at the end are BRUTAL. And the descent is hard on the knees, as it is very steep.