Y Miss the Best Part?

The well-known ‘Y’ hike in Provo is only the start of something much more beautiful and fulfilling: the Slide Canyon Trail up to Y Mountain.

Overview: Often missed or casually disregarded, the trail leads southeast from the top of the ‘Y’ to Slide Canyon. After hiking through dense scrub oak and lovely alpine aspen, you are rewarded with excellent views of the surrounding mountains and of Utah Valley.  You owe it to yourself to try it!

After leading up from the ‘Y’ across the western face of Y mountain, the narrow but well worn trail bends eastward into the less-exposed Slide Canyon. The dense foliage can make the upper part of the trail especially dark during early-morning or late-night runs, so be mindful to bring a good headlamp if you go during either of those times. 

The dirt trail leads along the north edge of this small canyon, with occasional switchbacks for approx. 0.8 miles until you reach Bear Flat. Here, the trail splits northwest and east. Take the northwest trail. You could, however, check back for my future Slide/Slate Canyon Loop or Maple Flat posts if the east trail intrigues you!
 
Follow the northwest trail up Y mountain for about 0.6 miles. Note that after Bear Flat, this path leading up Y mountain is was covered in snow. Make sure your shoes have great traction, and bring a pair of trekking poles to make the ascent (and descent) easier. The path up this drainage leads you to a grassy, open meadow with great views of Provo Peak, Corral Mountain and Maple Mountain.
At the top, you can go west several hundred feet for an expansive view of Utah county. Head east to view Rock Canyon and actually summit!
Depending on your running pace, it can take between two and three hours. If you are feeling energetic, wake up early and run it before work like I did!
 
And, as always, be mindful of the possibility of wildlife. Although I only saw a bunny and a couple of deer, larger wildlife have also been seen. Bear Flat is named for the sightings that have occurred there.
 
Let me know what you think of it below in the comments!

Trail Details:

Length: 5.75 miles round trip.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Dog-Friendly: Yes.

Location: The trailhead sits above the neighborhoods east of BYU campus in Provo. If you are on University Avenue, drive to 800 N and turn east. Follow 800 N until it ends on 700 E. By taking a left, you will find 820 N immediately to your right. Turn east onto 820 N and follow it as it heads up the side of the mountain and turns into Oakmont Lane. Turn right onto Oak Cliff Drive, then right again onto Terrace Drive. Follow Terrace Drive until you come to the ‘Y’ Mountain parking lot.

GPS Coordinates:

Trailhead: (N) 40.244845, (W) -111.627381

The ‘Y': (N) 40.248209, (W) -111.620038

Bear Flat: (N) 40.247746,(W) -111.603721

Viewpoint: (N) 40.254630, (W) -111.611020

Summit: (N)40.256622, (W) -111.606866

 

Comments

  1. says

    I just hiked this hike over the weekend, and I didn’t realize the actual summit was to the East. Wish I read this post before I left. Thanks for the great informative post.

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