- Distance: 26.5 Miles (42.65 km)
- Rating: 5-D, Scads of blind corners. Asphalt is in fair condition but lots of debris in most corners. Ratings Explained »
- Travel: Either direction for best results
- Start: Alpine, Utah
- End: Junction UT-92 and UT-189
- Fuel: Available in Alpine, Utah
- Along the Way: Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Cascade Springs Day Use Area and Sundance Ski Resort
- Highlights: Some of the most amazing alpine scenery in the state. It looks like it could be the Alps.
- Advisories: Non-divided, two-way, narrow canyon road. Lots of Forest Service recreation in the area so the road gets lots of traffic, particularly on weekends and during autumn. Expect oversize pickups, Forest Service Fire Engines and geriatric drivers around every corner - and on your side of the road. The Alpine Loop is a Forest Service Fee Area.
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To be honest, we tend to avoid this road, but we get a lot of people asking about it, hence the review.The Alpine Loop offers some of the most amazing scenery along the Wasatch-Front. Epic vistas of towering, gray craggy mountains, and the looming Timpanogos Peak overlooking the entire scene. Leaving Alpine, a Forest Service fee both will stop you before you even begin. Once underway, the road skirts up a very narrow slot canyon between two congressionally designated Wilderness Areas. The road is moderately winding and divided at the beginning and you'll pass the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. A great day trip if you like spelunking or traversing a narrow mountain trial that climbs perilously up to the caves entrance.Continuing along, you'll pass several Forest Service Campgrounds and the requisite campers. When the road forks, the road to the north takes you to a small lake thats popular with fishermen and ATV riders. The east fork keeps you on the loop. At this point the road narrows drastically and becomes exceedingly technical. The pavement is only 12-14 feet wide in many places with dense vegetation and very low visibility. Be on the lookout for wildlife. Don't be surprised to see deer, moose, elk, coyote and even the occasional bear.Dozens of steep switchbacks carry you high up into the Wasatch mountains offering awesome views, some of the best in the state. Half-way through the loop there is a turn-off to the east that will take you down to a natural spring, where the pavement ends, but great for a short stroll over walking bridges and along boardwalks. The water is so clear you can see the fish. Cascade Springs is very popular for wedding photo's.As you continue south on the loop, however, the road drops into thick aspen tree's as it winds its way down towards Robert Redfords ski resort, Sundance, where the road will widen for a few miles before terminating at Provo Canyon. Turn east to go to Heber, Utah or west for Provo and the Wasatch Front.Because of the narrow, blind nature of this canyon, along with its relatively high traffic load, this is not a road to really go "ride". Its great for sight-seeing and meandering along - although the frequency of large-pickups crowding the entire road can take a lot of the fun out of things. Its best enjoyed mid-week during off-hours. Either direction works because its not a road to travel briskly on.
The first part of our rating describes how technical we feel that road is. Numbers one through five with five being the most technical and one being a more mellow road with few challenging corners. The second half of the rating is a letter grade. A rating of "A" would be a road that is in great condition and a grade-F would be a crumbly, slippery or degraded surface.