This morning I embarked on an “easy” route. Starting at the Timpooneke Campground (after being driven up there by Chris, THANKS!) I took the Great Western all the way around the West side of the Mt. Timpanogos ridge-line, back and behind Big and Little Baldy and down to Orem. It was fantastic.
First, you climb a fairly rocky trail for a mile, placing you at the affectionately named “Julie Andrews Meadow.”
Then, the trail parallels the Timpooneke Rd., crossing it various times, diving down and climbing up hills and ridges full of aspen and conifers. Just gorgeous.
Besides some GI distress, these were great miles. At this point, the GW also doubles as the Timpooneke-Chris Flats Trail Nr. 151. It eventually took me all the way to Grove Creek Springs – where I refilled my water – and then to Chris Flats.
On my way down to the Battle Creek Trail junction, 2 ladies with 2 boxers came around the corner and the unleashed dogs got very aggressive. It was scary and I had some choice words for them. Sheesh. If your dogs are trained to stay back, keep them on a leash.
From there, the GW climbs up to the Big Baldy Saddle, back behind Little Baldy, and then down to the rock-pile Altar I have frequented a few times recently. Instead of taking my normal descent route, I kept on the GW, which popped me out on the Aqueduct Rd. about 1 mile east of where I normally come out. By this point it was hot and I was beat. It was a long few miles to my car, which was parked at the Orem Gun Range.
When I got to my car, I had hit 18.7 miles. I decided to add the extra mile and a half for an even 20. It may have not been worth it. It was not a fun 1.5 miles.
Overall, it was a fantastic route. The only real problem was that for much of it the tall grass and wildflowers and other vegetation was so tall and thick that it was leaning over and covering the trail. This made it hard to see your footing and led to a few stumbles.
Perhaps it would be best undertaken in the Spring, before it all grows too high.