North Peak Trail and Mount Nebo Trail

HARD 124 reviews

North Peak Trail and Mount Nebo 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
3,851 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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. 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
6 days ago

Beautiful trail, one of my favorite to do late summer. Challenging in some areas, and a little treacherous at the top, but also a lot of easy rolling area and gradual ascents. Takes most of a day, but easy to run a majority of the way down which makes it a lot faster :)

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Tough hike. Several steep and technical sections but overall challenging enough and very rewarding. The false summit will have you fooled but if you keep pushing, you'll make it to the top and love the views. From the the false summit to the top, the trail is a little tricky to follow. Be careful! Took me just over 3 hours roundtrip with no breaks until the top and some trail running on the way down.

hiking
5 months ago

Not for the faint of heart but once you come down from the summit and look back it is exhilarating and satisfying to know that you made it! We had to keep encouraging each other to get through the sketchy parts but finally made it and had the summit all to ourselves for lunch. Stay on the ridge near the top as described earlier. Took us 6.5 hours total. 4.5 hours up and 2 hours down (with some running). Highly recommended!

5 months ago

Literally finished this hike 3 hours ago. It’s a beast but worth it. The hardest portion is the false summit and Nebo itself as you are dealing with shell rock and scrambling up Nebo. My buddy and I finished in 5 hours and 15 minutes. 3 hours up and 2 hours and 15 minutes. Going down is just as hard as it is steep and lots of loose rock. Bring plenty of fluids and write your name in the book inside the jar on the summit!!!

hiking
5 months ago

This hike is tough with steep and sustained climbs and a fair amount of scrambling and ridgeline traverses but is also full of beautiful, even breathtaking vistas throughout. While reaching the summit is by far the hardest, this trail will work you out in both directions. Lots of big game animal sightings and more to view and take in there and back again. Plan on at least several hours for the round trip. And do take all the water you'll need -- there are no sources from which to filter along the way.

hiking
5 months ago

Very beautiful hike. easy to fallow the trail. kind of hard to hike from false peak to actual peak ( just stay on the top ridge).

hiking
6 months ago

Don't be scared away by some of the other reviews! This is a great hike. Yes, it does have some steeper, more technical sections. Parts of it are more difficult than anything you would see on Timp, but overall I would say it's less difficult than Timp and much shorter. On the other hand, it's significantly easier than Provo Peak hiked from the valley. The steep section is maybe half of Provo Peak's ascent. The view from the top is amazing and hiking along the ridge can be pretty fun!

As many people have said, stay on the ridge. There are two false peaks. The first one is after Wolf Pass (just after hiking around the side of North Peak). The ascent here is the most strenuous. The second false peak is right before Nebo. Near the top of each of these, there are many paths leading off to the left. These are especially deceiving because the actual trail can be difficult to see when looking up from below. These other paths are not the trail and are much more difficult and even dangerous. For both false peaks, you want to go straight over the top of the peak. You can see in my recording that on the ascent we went off to the left for both peaks, which didn't turn out well. Try to follow the path we took on the descent, just straight over the peaks.

We summited in just under 2.5 hours, with maybe 10 minutes of breaks included in that. After about 20 minutes on the summit, we made it down in about 1.5 hours with a bit of trail running.

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing Views! Strenous, but well worth it! The tallest mountain in the Wasatch Range! Amazing flowers in August! :-)

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome hike but very strenuous. Bring lots of snacks and protein bars. And at least a 3 or 4 liters of water. Very beautiful but has steep climbs and two false summits. It's dog friendly but don't bring older/senior dogs.

hiking
6 months ago

I cannot add anything new than what has already been said in these reviews. I will reiterate and stress these points though.

1- It is very steep when ascending the false peaks. As someone who’s hiked Timp many times I can say that this was much more difficult. Be self aware of your conditioning and be prepared for some thigh busting, lung burning action here!

2- Take LOTS of water! You will need it no joke.

3- Bring a wind jacket. The top is super windy and chills you pretty good after you’re all sweaty.

I probably won’t be doing this bad boy again anytime soon. But I don’t regret doing it either. Great views and feels awesome after your done!

6 months ago

Took us 4 hours to go up, 2.5 going back down. We were a young group in our mid 20s and went a steady pace with only a handful of short breaks. Try some yells at the first summit, it will echo like crazy!!!! This was a tough hike that kicked our butts by the time we got back to the car but it was challenging and fun on the way up!

hiking
6 months ago

Nebo North is a great hike. You get fantastic views almost the entire trail. The first 1.5-2 miles is fairly easy. After that there are a couple really steep sections. The first climbs up to the first false summit. From there you traverse over to the bottom of the second false summit. The climb to the top of that is steep and loose. Make sure you stay on the trail. It's much easier. The trail on the way up the second false summit tends to run straight up the middle of the mountain or maybe a bit to the right. Don't veer left. Once on top of that summit, the trail typically is on the north side of the saddle. Stay on that and you'll have the easiest final climb to the top.

hiking
6 months ago

She’s a steep one. There’s a few cute chipmunks at the top, get ready for a climb tho.

hiking
6 months ago

The steep is real, be ready for your legs to melt underneath you en route to the final “scramble” - at which point you’ll have to shift into maximum overdrive and push for the summit. Absolutely worth the hard work, the view from the top is unreal.

hiking
7 months ago

After reading all the comments, we decided to drive out to Nebo and see what all the rage was about. For reference, we are pretty experienced hikers, one of us coming from LA and the other from Providence, RI (so both at sea level with about a week of acclimation in Park City at ~7000ft).

The first part of the hike was beautiful. The hills were a little less gentle than some commenters have suggested, especially with the altitude (for all you out of towners), but it was nothing serious. The wildflowers were beautiful.

The hike began to get real when we hit the first significant climb. You walk into a big valley and see a notch extending through the center with tall trees going up either side. Here, you cross the notch from left to right and begin to climb. We estimate we gained about 700-800 feet in this section in less than a mile. It is steep and the trail is loose, dusty dirt. However, we both felt comfortable and at the top of the climb, felt like it was manageable and felt ready to keep going.

After this, you gain a ridge line and walk along a gently rolling path until you arrive at the base of the false summit. In the 1/2 mile leading up to this, you can see both Nebo and the false summit on the right and left respectively. The route to the false summit is another significant climb, perhaps gaining another 800 feet in about a mile of hiking. Once you get to the top of the false summit, it is a good time to take a little break and begin to plan your attempt at the peak.

The final stage of the hike is very different from the first part. You walk along a tight, loose, rocky ridge above tree line. The path is not clearly demarcated and it is up to you to choose the path of least resistance. The ridge line is narrow and the drop off on either side is steep. My best advice, after completing the hike today (which others also suggest), is to stay as close to the top of the ridge as possible. Paths diverging to the left and right side can look inviting, however, many of these paths begin to drift off into loose shale and scree. While it can be intimidating to walk on top of a narrow, rocky ridge, you will find the path of least resistance here over and over again.

The final push to the summit is scrappy and includes some scrambling. It's a good idea to test rocks with your hand/foot before trusting them. The things that look like paths are not always a good indicator of the best route -- we found that doing some class 4 or perhaps very easy class 5 scrambling/climbing made our lives a lot easier because we were able to feel secure with what we were holding and standing on.

The route down from the summit requires patience. As is often the case, it is slow going when you head down on a hike like this. Keep a cool head and, again, follow the ridge as much as possible. After you hit the top of the false summit, the rest of the hike flies by.

Our total time was 5 hours 50 minutes, 3:20 on the way up and 2:30 on the way down. This excludes a 20 minute pit stop we took on the peak to admire the views.

In general, I would consider this a stout hike, but nothing terribly difficult. The real difficulty in this one lies in the mental game. It is significantly exposed and requires some confident scrambling. If you haven't done something above tree line before, get nervous seeing steep drop offs/on ridge lines, or you aren't fully acclimated to the altitude, I would be cautious and think about something less intense. If, on the other hand, you are in decent shape, don't get easily intimidated by heights, and feel confident in your ability to securely place your hands and feet at ~12,000 feet, go for it! It's really not so bad and offers BEAUTIFUL 360 views of the territory below. The hike itself is also really fun, challenging, and offers a wide array of different experiences and a lot of elevation gain in an afternoon.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a beautiful trail, the views from the top are magnificent. There are a couple sections of the trail that are calf burners but most of it is a nice leisurely hike. It took me just shy of 5 hours to go up and down. I would definitely recommend it.

hiking
7 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
Sunday, December 24, 2017

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
Monday, December 11, 2017

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
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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.

Friday, October 20, 2017

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

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

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
Monday, August 28, 2017

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
Sunday, August 20, 2017

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
Saturday, August 19, 2017

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
Sunday, August 06, 2017

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
Friday, August 04, 2017

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!

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