Exploring a Hidden Gem few know about & relishing Fall in all its caramel apple goodness with friends! Great for hiking, e-bikes, uphill roadbiking/strollers, camping, picnicking, exploring.
Lived in Utah County for many years and no one seems to go to Santaquin canyon or know it well. Well, time to explore. Above, Trumbolt Picnic Area bridge. Below, a sweet rope swing we discovered just 1/4 up from the road closed gate.
Directions - Google Map "Santaquin Canyon"
Then, after you have followed Google Maps, continue down the asphalt road until it ends with a barred gate across road. Park here. The canyon has been closed off to cars due to a landslide in 2018. It has since been cleaned up but the road is still not safe for cars to drive on but great for a lot of other activities away from all the crowds.
Hiking the 397 trail. (moderate) 2mi + out n back.
Great exercise hike with views. This trail is not on Alltrails and only shown on topographical maps by this road number. It starts out at the dirt parking lot by the gate of the canyon. Follow up the atv dirt road as it takes you east. Come to a cattle gate, go around it. BLM land, not private property. Continue til you see a ranger cabin. Follow road that becomes a trail to the north or left of the cabin. You will come to a fork in the trail where you can view a mine shaft then continue on up the hill. This is where we ended with great South Valley views. You can continue on this secluded trail into the foothills of Dry Creek mountain.
Hiking to Trumbolt Picnic Area (easy) 2 mi out n back.
Started at the Road Closed Gate. When you see a clearing on your right where you can see the creek and what would be a great campsite, enter in. We followed the creek crossing it here and there with no trail and shortly came upon a rope swing. Delightful. Then went back to the road for a paved hike up to Trumbolt Picnic Area with pit bathrooms. Beautiful Picnic area with large creek running through it and tall pines. You do see evidence of a landslide from a road that has spray paint and a picnic area that is missing its foundation. See below. Overall, you feel like you came upon a hidden gem of forest seclusion. Fun for a date or older kids.
Treats at Rowley's Red Barn in Santaquin
Afterwards we did ourselves a favor and took the 5 min drive to indulge in Apple Slushies, (get it with the caramel/vanilla twist ice cream), fresh Honeycrisp apples picked across the street, the best cider, over 30 flavors of ice cream that rivals BYU creamery and apple cider donuts to die for. Fantastic Fall or anytime day!
Hiking pants, synthetic T-shirt, long sleeve synthetic top, light waterproof jacket (optional), hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camelback or regular back pack with waist belt, 1 Li water, 1-2 snacks, first aid kit, hiking boots/running shoes.
Sample Itinerary -
9:30 am Trailhead or where road closed gate is at.
9:30 - 10:30 am Hike up 397 trail
10:30 - 11:30 am Hike to Trumbolt Picnic Area/do rope swing
11:30 - 12:30 Order and eat treats at the Red Barn