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Once you get on the loop, the road becomes 11/2 lane blacktop through an aspen forest, with spectacular views of mountains and canyons. From Sundance to U.S. 189. the road follows a nice stream. There are lots of places to picnic or even camp along the loop. There are gates at both ends of the loop where the Forest Service, during the peak usage months, will try to get a fee from you. If you are just riding through, they will give you a free pass, but then you can't stop anywhere along the way.
There are, of course, two directions to every loop, so there are two ways to ride this one.
From I-15 take exit 287 and go East on UT 92 through Highland and up American Fork Canyon. If you are coming from North Utah County you can instead go North on UT 146 (Pleasant Grove 1st East) through Pleasant Grove until it hits UT 92 at the mouth of the canyon.
You can stop along the way and visit Timpanogos Cave if it is open. After passing lots of campsites along the stream, you will come to a fork in the road where a sign tells you to stay to the right for the Alpine Loop, continuing UT 92. So do! Keep following the signs. The road will get twistier as you go, then eventually start back down, passing Robert Redford's house and Sundance, until it deposits you onto U.S. 189. Turn right to proceed to the mouth of Provo Canyon where you can exit to 8th North in Orem, which will take you to I-15, or keep going to University Avenue, which will take you to Provo.
From I-15, take the Orem 8th North exit (exit 275) and go East. Once you cross State Street, migrate over to the left hand lane until you get to the mouth of Provo Canyon. There the road will split, and you want to take the left fork up the canyon. From Provo or Orem, take University Avenue North until it goes up the canyon. Watch for the turn for state route 92 on the left, marked for Sundance, etc. Ride up the canyon past Sundance and Robert Redford's house, and the road will start getting steep and twisty. It will take you back down the other side, then past a bunch of campsites to the mouth of American Fork canyon. There you can take UT 146 towards Pleasant Grove and State Street, or keep going straight past Highland to I-15.
Cascade Springs Option
The springs are on a turnoff about 6.3 miles from the fork in American Fork Canyon, or 8.7 miles from the turnoff onto UT 92 from U.S. 189. The access road is 7 miles long.
These springs have trails running around and over them, with pools of crystal-clear water and fish to watch. The sound is very nice. Nice hiking for the whole family.
Fri, 31 Dec, 2004