Explore the most popular hiking trails near Santaquin with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

10 hours ago

The trail on its own is a great introduction for inexperienced hikers. My 5 year old son could accomplish the trail without needing any assistance or requiring a break. It has a few log bridges that cross the waterfall's stream that kids enjoy. The stream's size fluctuates depending on the run-off, but I have never seen it go above ankle deep.

This trail seems to attract a big crowd. plan accordingly around peak times or you maybe disappointed.

The easiest hike I’ve done it is short and so pretty with all the pine trees around. The water fall is small but a really nice place to go . I recommend it to go really early in the morning so you can enjoy the place to yourself.

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.

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.

8 days ago

Overcrowded and unsafe.

It was packed with people and little kids. Someone above the grotto dislodged a bolder that came crashing down into the area below. It was a miracle no one was killed or seriously injured. It was a hot day so everyone was in the shade around the edges around the edge of the grotto. If a kid was in the sun or crossing from one side to the other they could have easily been crushed.

My sister in law's ankle was hit by rock fragments. We did some quick first aid, packed up and left.

There are dozens of other great hikes in Payson Canyon. If you do go to the grotto, I would suggest avoiding crowded Saturdays during peak summer. In any case, keep your kids close and be hyper aware of who and what's above you.

9 days ago

Super easy and lots of fun for kids and our puppy. My 2 1/2 year old did it with no problems. I did have to help him on a few areas but otherwise very family friendly. Bring water shoes to walk in the water at the end.

11 days ago

If this was closer to the highway it would be the perfect place to get out and get some fresh air. We did not see anyone when we went in October but it did have lots of trash. Fun little falls for the girls.

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.

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.

Perfect trail for smaller kids, beautiful waterfall. Plenty of space for kids to play but super crowded. I rated 4 stars for that reason. if it were less crowded it would be 5 no question. The trail is really pretty but short.

trail running
25 days ago

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.

27 days ago

There is no doubt this is a very heavily trafficked trail. The trail is quite leveled out by all the foot traffic as well as some trail sides. Finding loose stones or gravel is almost impossible on most of this trail due to the heavy foot traffic. That being said, there are times this trail is very quiet. When we went in, we saw only one couple at the falls, then exiting we saw a few people entering, which meant we had the whole trail virtually to ourselves for the hour we were here. While the trail is easy, and they have made it easy to get to the falls, there are places there are wooden boards, bridges and logs that go over the stream. Once you get to what seems like the end of the trail, there will be a rock face to your left, a very smooth tree stump ahead of you, and a place to step down into the creek to the right. Go down into the creek and cross through the water or over the log bridge, and around that rock face you will see the falls. You have to go down into the ravine to see the falls or you could see it from above if you climb/scramble up the rock.

Note on the distance: Alltrails mentions .6 miles, the trailhead says .5. I have tallied .9. Actually it would be closer to .8 (.1 from car parking to trailhead).

27 days ago

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!

Loved this trail. Dry, no traffic on a Wednesday. Wear mosquito repellent! The first .5 is thick with them! Plenty of shade on this trail. Can't wait to go again soon.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Great trail for mountain biking, mostly downhill, difficulty is intermediate

We visited in the fall and the colors were gorgeous. The trail and grotto were a little busy since it was a Saturday morning. A fairly easy hike with lots of crisscrossing over the creek.

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.

Super fun! Very quick, would be great for any age. Bring the baby! Beautiful hike, and the falls make for a satisfying destination. Good one for a hot day, as the trial is mostly shaded and the falls provide a nice cool-off at the end of the trail. Would do again! Great for a last minute outing or before or after work.

Fun for families and short.

1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful! Short, easy trail, but busy.

on Grotto Falls Trail

1 month ago

Love this hike! We take our kids and dogs and it is very easy! Our favorite and our “go to hike”.

Was really easy...even took a stroller, had to lift it a few times, but the trail is super easy and beautiful! Water is super cold, would recommend going on a hot day so you can enjoy the cool off!

Worth a visit

Pretty and enjoyable. I definitely do it again, and our two year old managed it quite well. But super crowded. There were so many people in The Grotto that was didn’t spend a lot of time there. So avoid on holidays/weekends!

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.

2 months ago

Small little hike up to the waterfall. It was a little muddy from the rain but it was great and fun

Gate is open. There's lots of water and around The Grotto it's muddy. No dinosaurs were found!

3 months ago

Gates are still closed, but most hikers park at the Red Lake trailhead and work their way up. Trail can get muddy and slick with melting snow the closer you get to the falls, but isn't difficult to navigate. Bridge at the very end right before the grotto is no longer there — we had to get our feet wet to actually explore the cove. Google Maps has a good GPS marker for the trailhead if you're worried about getting lost on the way there.

I would do this hike again, it's very easy. short and sweet, the actual falls are tiny but pretty.

Beautiful trail but avoid it on holidays!!! Seems like the whole state decides to hike the grotto when they’re out of school!

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