Scout Falls is a nice little waterfall on the Timpooneke Trail to the summit of Mount Timpanogos. We didn’t venture all the way to the summit, but chose to make Scout Falls our final destination. The roundtrip distance to Scout Falls is around 3 miles depending on how you plan to do it. We’ll go over both ways in this post.
The Timpooneke Trailhead is located about 8 miles up American Fork Canyon at the Timpooneke Campground. There is a $6 fee to use this canyon, which you’ll pay at the ranger station east of Highland City. There is a trailhead restroom and a pretty good sized parking lot, too.
The trail starts out nice and shady and spends about half the time in the sun and half in the trees. It starts out mildly steep and becomes increasingly steep, though it is never what you’d call strenuous. There are plenty of rocks, roots, and even a few wet places in the trail, though, so take your time and hold hands with toddlers. There were a lot of people on this trail, too, and many had dogs. We were happy to see that the owners were pretty responsible, as we only passed one “pile” along the way.
There are two ways to approach the falls, which are about 100 yards off the main trail. One is short, steep, and dangerous, and the other is longer, but much safer. The steeper route leaves the main trail at a hairpin switchback. A large log blocks the turnoff, and you’ll have to step over it. This was at a distance of 1.1 miles from the trailhead. After you pass the log, the trail goes about 50 yards and turns right and straight up. This isn’t a good way to take little ones, and part of the danger is someone rolling a rock down on top of you. We climbed this way because we didn’t know better, but coming down would be worse. After a precipitous climb of 75 more yards, you’ll come out at the base of Scout Falls.
The safe route to the falls has you making one more switchback after the first big log. This takes you another third of a mile up the Timpanooke Trail to another hairpin turn almost identical to the first. You’ll jump over a similar log and continue over to the waterfall. This is much flatter and easier, but there is still a minor obstacle. You’ll have to climb a five foot dropoff that comes down through some tree roots. This is much safer and easier to navigate, but still a bit tricky.
Scout Falls isn’t a huge waterfall, but it’s still very beautiful. There are two little falls cascading over a very mossy mountainside. The falls were in the shade, and should be all the time, because of their location, so it was the perfect place to end a hot hike! There isn’t a great place to sit and rest here because the rocks are wet and there is a drop-off on the other side, but we loved putting our hats in the waterfall and feeling the cool spray on our face.
We’d rate this trail as moderate. The distance isn’t bad, but it’s somewhat steep and the obstacles make it a bit more difficult. It you’ve done our Easy Waterfall hikes and you’d like more, try Scout Falls in American Fork Canyon.