Loafer Mountain Trail

hard 50 reviews

Loafer Mountain Trail is a 18.0 kilometer 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, horses, mountain biking, and backpacking and is best used from June until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 18.0 km Elevation Gain: 1,078 m Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

snow

Trail was re-opened in August 2019 after having been closed due to burn damage from 2018 Bald Mountain fire. Trail is long and steep, but does have unique and beautiful views down onto the Payson Lakes area, Mt Nebo, and towards Mt. Pleasant/Moroni valley. It's well marked and clearly used by others. Some moderate overgrowth of trees/shrubs onto the trail through some of the lower areas that survived the fire. Moderate inclines for first couple miles with some shade cover. Then you hit a grueling incline section over dusty and gravely/shale while fully exposed to the west (afternoon sun) for about 1 to 1.5 miles. Both up and down are very exposed to mid-day sun for most of the hike beyond the first couple miles. You'll reach the first ridge in a saddle atop the mountain and have amazing views down into Utah Valley and over Payson Canyon. From this saddle there's still a few miles to reach Loafer Mtn or Santaquin Peak by following long moderate inclines across scenic grass covered alpine meadows/slopes, then further up into a very pretty alpine forest just below Loafer Mtn's peak where you can see views down towards Spanish Fork canyon. Most of this portion of trail was also burned in 2018. Then there's about one more mile across open rocky trail to the top of Santaquin Peak. Trekking poles are useful as it's hard to keep good footing on the way back down along the really steep west-facing slope below the saddle. Except right near the trail head there's no streams or springs so come prepared with lots of water.

Mon Dec 24 2018

This area was severely burned in the September 2018 Bald Mountain fire. The trail has been closed since September. From Nebo Loop road in December the entire south mountainside of Mt Loafer appears decimated by fire. Hardly any vegetation left. I'm sure views are amazing from on top, but the trail is not going to be as scenic along the way.

hiking
Tue Aug 14 2018

July 24, 2018. This hike deserves the 'hard' rating. It's long and steep, but does have unique and beautiful views down onto the Payson Lakes area, Mt Nebo, and towards Mt. Pleasant/Moroni valley. It's well marked and clearly used by others. Some moderate overgrowth of trees/shrubs onto the trail through some of the lower areas. Moderate inclines for first couple miles with decent shade cover. Then you hit a grueling incline over dusty and gravely/shale trail while fully exposed to the west (afternoon sun) for about 1 to 1.5 miles. I started this hike at 11am and regretted not getting an earlier/cooler hike. Both up and down were very exposed to sun for most of the hike beyond the first couple miles. You'll reach the first ridge in a saddle atop the mountain and have partial views down into Utah Valley. From this point there's still a few miles to reach Loafer Mtn or Santaquin Peak. That really steep portion to this saddle is followed by long moderate inclines across scenic grass covered alpine meadows/slopes, then further up into a very pretty alpine forest just below Loafer Mtn's peak where you can see views down towards Spanish Fork canyon. Then there's about one more mile across open rocky trail to the top of Santaquin Peak. Hard to keep good footing on the way back down the really steep west-facing slope. I was just over 11 miles out & back - and was completely spent. I consider myself in average shape and was exhausted by the time I got back, but do attribute some of that to the late start and hiking throughout the afternoon heat. Except right near the trail head there's no streams or springs so come prepared with lots of water. I had used all of my 64oz hydration pack by the time I got back to the trail head. Although it has beautiful views I think it will be a 'been there, done that' trail. I don't know that I'll plan to hike it again soon.

hiking
Sat Jul 28 2018

This is one of my favorite hikes, if you live in the area it’s especially fun to be able to see all the way into Nephi, Utah county Payson Lakes and even into Birdseye and Fairview. The hike is beautiful the whole way and you’re almost always in shade unless you get to an area that opens into a beautiful view. I’d highly recommend this, even to people who aren’t experienced hikers, it would be challenging but do-able.

Sun Jul 08 2018

This was a tough trail. I’ve done it twice. Not recently. It was harder than Spanish Fork Peak, Y Mountain, Squaw, but not as tough as Timp.

running
Wed Jun 20 2018

Decent trail. Hiked up to run down. Great views and lots of deer. Big fat porcupine strolling down the trail too! Very glad I read a few reviews first so I would know where to TURN! The first option about a mile in is obvious (don’t go through the fence) but the next option less than a quarter mile later isn’t so obvious and isn’t marked (at least not in the middle of June ‘18): stay RIGHT when the trail comes to a ‘T’ here. There is an old faded sign, and It actually looks like you would want to go left, but the Loafer trail will be on your RIGHT. It will begin to get steep about 2-3 miles in; this will continue for most of the remainder. Nice hike though. Still a little snow in June. Mailbox and flagpole at the top! My Garmin GPS clocked it 12 miles round trip.

hiking
Mon Jun 18 2018

My dog and I did this on Saturday and it was absolutely beautiful! We walk pretty quickly and completed this in a little under 6 hours. A lot of exposure (I got pretty sun burnt) but also some beautiful wooded sections for the first couple miles and then about a mile from the summit. Wildflowers were incredible this time of year!

Fri Sep 08 2017

Always one of my absolute favorite hikes! Not the easiest but certainly doable, even for inexperienced hikers. Well with it too.

Fri Sep 01 2017

the last 2 miles was scary with a 6 and 8 year old but they did it

Fri Jul 07 2017

Has two or three step sections the rest is really flat. Beautiful flowers when you are above the tree line. It took us 7 hours to complete with a 30 minute break at the top

Tue Jul 04 2017

Very scenic and beautiful! It is a difficult hike but most anyone could do it if they work up to it and are in decent shape. Bring lots of water!

Mon Jul 03 2017

steep!! but gorgeous!

Mon Jun 19 2017

Beautiful fun hike, but we were unable to reach the summit. At mile 5.25 we encountered a snow drift that covered the trail. We tried crossing but decided it would be too dangerous to do without the proper equipment. We are excited to try this hike again when the snow melts.

Sun Oct 09 2016

I enjoyed the views. I hiked up the trail, and ran down. I will definitely do this one again.

hiking
Sun Aug 21 2016

Fun hike with some good views. Took me about 3.5 hours round trip. Pretty flat till the peak.

hiking
Thu Aug 11 2016

This hike is difficult in a few areas, one had an increase in elevation over a mile long, then the rest was quite manageable. There is a great view of South Utah county along the way, and again at the top. Take plenty of water!! I carried a 72 oz. water jug plus my insulated camelback. I had some water left over. The hike downhill was almost as difficult as going up. I only shaved off 15 minutes on the descent. The entire hike took me 6 hrs and 20 minutes. There are lots of wildflowers along the route but no wildlife other than a horny toad. I didn't see a single person going up or coming down.

Mon Jul 18 2016

A bit overgrown in the early parts of the trail. Very steep in places, overall a great trail!

Sun Jul 17 2016

Lots of wildflowers and beautiful views in all directions. One of the best views from a summit that I've seen from the 3 other Peaks I've visited in the area. There are some steep and rocky parts of the trail but they're mixed in with a lot easy going soft dirt trails that the rocky steep parts didn't bother me much. There is a view of the summit from the first saddle that makes reaching it look daunting but most of the trail from that point on is easy to moderate. It mainly walks the ridge line and is flat and has excellent views of Nebo, Payson Lakes, Timp, Utah valley, as well as many more. My Garmin Fenix tracked 14 miles round trip starting at the Loafer Mt. trailhead at hwy FR15. I think the real distance is somewhere in-between there and what All Trails has, 11.4 RT miles.

hiking
Sun Jul 10 2016

One of my favorite peak hikes on the Wasatch front. I agree with the others regarding water. I rarely run out on hikes and I ran out a mile away from reaching my car. My favorite way to enjoy this home is to leave late at night, sleep under the stars in the area you can view the city lights, and summit and exit the next morning.

hiking
Wed Jun 22 2016

Did this three days ago. There was still a little snow but it wasn't bad. We did Santaquin peak as it seems to be the more interesting of the two with a better view. The view along the ridge with wild flowers and sweeping views to the south had me tripping on the trail because I couldn't pay attention to my walking. I would definitely recommend this. Make sure you look up the trail so that you stay on it. Also, it's super hot when you get back down in the forest and I ran out of water cooling my dog off. Be ready for heat and no water sources. I will definitely do this one again.

hiking
Tue Dec 08 2015

Was only able to complete part of the trail. Took a wrong turn because the trail wasn't marked. Make sure you have a good map

hiking
Sun Jul 26 2015

First of all, whomever rated this as "Moderate" probably hasn't actually done this trail. Although the average slope is somewhere in the neighborhood of 11-12%, it is widely variable and has many areas exceeding 20%. This should be on the easy side of "Difficult", rather than moderate. That being said, this trail is a hidden gem in the area. If you want solitude, this trail is for you! Not only were there impressive views, fields of colorful wildflowers, and wildlife, but we only saw one other pair of people along this trail all day long. Staring the trail, you'll find parking right at the trailhead. The trail is easily identified and well marked. Your first fork in the trail will come at the corral w/ a wooden fence. Stay to the left (Trail 98). This is just under a mile up the trail. Less than a quarter mile further, you'll encounter your next (and last) crossroads. Take a right (NOT along Bennie Creek/Nebo Loop) to stay on Trail 98. This should start your ascent up the mountain. this travels about another mile or so until you reach the ridge. Once you reach the ridge, the trail turns east, and the grade suddenly increases and pretty much stays at that slope for about a mile. From there, you have a steady gain and loss along the ridgeline, with plenty of areas to stride out. It's manageable until the last 1/2 mile at the approach to Santaquin Summit. All in all, this summit was much easier than others in Utah County, and had equally brilliant views and scenery. Be aware, there isn't ANY water along this trail (except for a small creek about 200 feet from the trailhead). Pack enough water for your day, and if you have dogs, bring even more. My black lab was struggling by the end due to the heat and sunshine. She used about all 3L I brought.

hiking
Mon Jul 14 2014

Great views and easy access, the trail is super steep in spots but the lack of switchbacks make it a fast out and back.

hiking
Tue Sep 11 2012

Beautiful trail, there's fields on fields of wildflowers and only a bit of snow in July. Steep climbs and some tricky loose rock ledges later on in the trail if you head on to Santaquin Peak (past Loafer), but the view from the top is incredible. Could take it in two days, or as a full-day hike, people here do either way.

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