Mount Nebo North Trail

HARD 85 reviews

Mount Nebo North Trail is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Santaquin, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3851 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

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 are easy with only about 1400 feet of elevation gain. Hike through beautiful grassy meadows accentuated by white fur and quaking aspens. The final leg of the hike is the toughest with 1300 feet gained 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 anyone 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.

hiking
11 hours ago

I completed the hike on 06/20. Although the trail is only 8.5 miles for round trip, plan around 8-hr. The trail is not always gaining elevation and it becomes very difficult towards the end. The final portion of the trail towards the summit is built on loose shale and there are multiple trails which are not always leading to the peak. I got lost in some false trails. It is better and safe to follow or ask someone in front of you. I would recommend hiking poles and tough shoes for this trail. The view is fantastic though.

hiking
17 days ago

I love this hike. The end is deceptively hard, especially when there's still patches of snow, but the views and experience of sitting on the top of the Wasatch front are well worth it. This is probably the most iron-rich soil I've seen so far in Salt Lake, and the flowers are multi-colored and pretty. There's some nice wildlife sometimes too.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike but its rated as a hard one for a reason. This is one of the harder summits Ive done, since it climbs so fast. Make sure to bring lots of water, whatever the weather. The scenery and wildlife are great though.

hiking
5 months ago

Despite not being terribly long this hike was still relatively hard due to the constant gain and loss of elevation. I went in august and it was still very cold in the morning and at the top so a light windbreaker would be recommended.

trail running
6 months ago

Favorite Peak of the year! We were grateful to have our poles and traction for the ascent and descent from the valley before going up to the peak. It was a great trail from start to finish and enjoyable to run. - Side note: do not start this trail at the paved trailhead. Be sure to head right on the jeep road about a half mile for the actual trailhead

hiking
7 months ago

great hike. definitely not as hard as some people have made it out to be. if you're used to hiking peaks this one won't be bad at all. if you go in October, take hunting orange if you go after the hunt has started as there will be hundreds of hunters there. also if there is any chance of snow take the proper gear because it will be icy.

8 months ago

Beautiful hike. Made it to the top despite the snow. Poles and microspikes were the key this time of year!

hiking
9 months ago

Incredibly beautiful with challenging dynamic terrain. Make sure to get an early start though. It gets hot.

hiking
9 months ago

Challenging, even grueling at times, but worth doing - for that very reason. It was pretty hazy in all directions for us, so the views from the top could have been better. The mountain itself isn't as pretty as other mountains, e.g. Timp with its cirques, lakes, and waterfalls - there is none of that here.
I didn't even drink 3L of water, but it was under 50 degrees for most of our hike. On hotter days you would definitely need more water - there is none on the trail for filtering. No lakes, no rivers, not a trickle.
I wouldn't describe the first three and a half miles as "easy" - there are plenty of ups and downs and some of it is quite steep. But it does get particularly steep after the saddle between North Peak and the false summit, and then it's all basically loose shale between the false and true summits. As noted by other reviewers, it is particularly important to stay on or right next to the ridge on this last part of the hike. There are often two or three trails that weave around the ridge in this last section, and for the most part it doesn't matter which one you take, but there is one spot about 2/3 of the way between the false and true summits where there is clearly a well-worn trail that dips down the west face a bit - don't go that way, even though it's obvious that plenty of people have. Someone in our group got stuck there for about 20 minutes. It's all loose rock with very little to hold on to, and there is a perfectly safe trail up on the ridge.
Trekking poles might take some strain off your knees, but you don't need them to complete the hike. Just some decent footwear.

hiking
9 months ago

Fun, challenging hike. It is steep and offers little shade but well worth the effort. Be prepared with water, snacks, sunscreen and of course a camera.

hiking
10 months ago

This was a great hike. It is very technical so a lot of my time was spent looking at where my next footstep would be. The scenery was very nice, but not quite as nice as other hikes in the area. Those two reasons combined gave it a 4 star rating. It was a very nice hike though. Plenty challenging, not too crowded, and very spectacular views at the end. I'd definitely do it again, but I still enjoy Timpanogos more because I can enjoy being in the mountains without worrying about losing my footing on every step.

hiking
10 months ago

I think people expect this to be harder than it is because it's the highest in the Wasatch. The steepness getting to the false summit and difficulty navigating the ridge make this challenging for sure. Poles are essential for the false summit climb but I found them burdensome on the ridge. All the advice to "stay the ridge" means, on the ascent, there are a few paths that take you away from the ridge but still toward the summit. In general, stay on the path closest to the ridge. Sometimes it was physically easier to walk on the ridge than the path as well. Overall this was a fun little hike!

hiking
10 months ago

This hike is everything that is advertised....beautiful views and a tough grinding hike with no shade to the summit. A mountain goat decided to people watch and hung out all day just below the summit. A couple of points I'd like to emphasize:
1) I carried 4L of water and used them all and had to borrow from others in my group. Remember you aren't just losing water, you are losing electrolytes. I didn't bring any electrolytes and paid the price.
2) The rocks on the scramble to the summit are SHARP. One guy in my group cut his hand badly and we saw another hiker with a gash in his leg. Gloves are a good idea. On the ridge, if you trip or even drop a knee, your chances of getting sliced are high. Go slow.
3) The trail is STEEP with loose rocks and gravel. Chances of getting all the way down without falling are low even if you are young and sure footed. I saw plenty of 20 somethings fall on their butts. Trekking poles will help a lot.
4) Don't go out onto the rockslides, even if it looks like a trail heads that direction. Stay on the ridge. The rock slides are just on the verge of sliding down the mountain. It is a quick way down (and over a cliff), but you will not be coming back up.
5) The trail is listed as 8.7 miles...actual walking distance is probably closer to 12 miles. There are lots of tight switchbacks/scramble that may not be properly accounted for.
6) Enjoy! The vast majority of hikers we talked to (I was with teen age daughters who talk to everyone) were first timers...leading me to think that there aren't a lot of people who hike it a second time. So enjoy it while you are there.

backpacking
10 months ago

7.29.2017 | 25lb backpack | Recommend: Sunscreen, Long Pants, Trekking Poles

This was our first time exploring Mt Nebo and holy smokes it's strenuous! This isn't an exceptionally long hike but due to the elevation gain and steep peaks, it's easily an all day trip. If you're carrying a light pack or hike quickly, a 1/2 day would be sufficient. I suggest long pants for the meadow portions as the trail is narrow and lined with thick (and thorny) bushes.

Once you emerge from the brush, the ridgeline is exposed and has sweeping 360 views. The majority of our packed 6L water was consumed while on the ridge. The steepest part of the trail is summiting the false and actual peak and trekking poles were a must-have for the way down. Loose shale covers the ridges making them slippery, so a lot of people climbed up using their hands and scooched down on their butts.

The most important advice I can give is *STAY ON THE RIDGE!* Stay to the high points, follow the ridge and do not be fooled into thinking the trail goes to either side (hello cliffs)! I got my GSD and I into a life threatening situation by not following the ridge. The trail loses itself quite a few times to the peak but stay high and make it alive.

Overall, a beautiful and grandiose hike that is worth doing once! Just make sure you're prepared, seriously!

hiking
10 months ago

Fun hike! Lot of wild flowers in bloom and no snow to speak of. Last mile is a real work out.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail was dry snow has melted, lots of wild flowers in bloom watch for afternoon T-showers. I would recommend early start .

trail running
11 months ago

Good trail, three small down trees on trail.

11 months ago

So beautiful- tons of wild flowers. The trail obviously gets tougher the closer to the summit as many places are narrow and on loose rock falls. Take lots of water and plan the whole day in and out. The views are amazing.

hiking
11 months ago

Fun hike, beautiful wildflowers this time of year and a good view. A steep hike and pretty strenuous but worth it!

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Great hike. No water. Limited shade. Only made it 2.5 miles towards the peak before we had to turn around due to slippery terrain. Snow run off created mud. Plenty of snow on the top of Mnt Nebo. Best to wait until mid/end of July for all snow to melt.

Nothing but beautiful view after view

backpacking
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Great for Backpacking. Summer into Early Fall is best

hiking
Friday, November 25, 2016

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.

hiking
Sunday, October 16, 2016

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.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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.

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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.

hiking
Monday, July 11, 2016

Awesome hike. Yes, very steep during portions of the trip, but worth it.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

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.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

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.

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

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!

hiking
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

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.

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