Animals Fishing Picnics Water activities

Tibble Fork Reservoir

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One of our favorite family adventures is going on a picnic. Packing a lunch with treats and snacks to eat in the great outdoors is a true adventure for our boys. Sometimes, we grab sandwiches and go to the park, but our favorite picnic is a drive up American Fork Canyon to Tibble Fork Reservoir.
The road up AF Canyon is now a fee area. You pay $6 to access the canyon, but we usually buy a yearly pass for $45. This is a little expensive, but the canyon offers hiking, fishing, camping, and picnicking, as well as Timpanogos Cave and Cascade Springs. We generally use the canyon 10-15 times between Spring and Fall. In a way, we appreciate the fee, because the canyon has much less traffic and the sites are less used (it keeps out the riff-raff!)
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One of the picnic areas has some fun rocks to climb on. We love trying different picnic pull outs each time we go up the canyon.

To find our favorite picnic area, go up the canyon to the Tibble Fork Reservoir turn off. Go left, and you’ll pass several picnic grounds on the right side of the road. There are plenty of spots to choose as you head up to the reservoir. Each picnic spot has tables, paved trails, bathrooms, and parking. You can also access the river, which is swift at certain times of the year, so keep an eye on little ones. Our boys love watching the river while they eat, and once they are done there is a lot of rock throwing!

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The picnic areas on the right side of the road are next to the river, so our boys love throwing rocks in the water!

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In the Fall, the canyon is beautiful!

After your picnic, be sure to continue up to the reservoir. Our kids love to toss rocks in the lake and watch for wildlife. Though we’ve seen moose here a few times, the most common sighting is the Uintah Ground squirrel, which emerge from the holes that honeycomb the hillside as you walk down to the lake. This lake is also great for fishing and rafting for the kids. Mark even caught his first fish here as detailed in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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We love playing in the water one a hot summer day!

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Our oldest as a young 3 year old on his first fishing trip!

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There are holes all over the hillside and the boys like to look for the squirrels as they pop out of their holes.

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The squirrel is watching us!

We have visited Tibble Fork in Spring, Summer, and Fall and it is always beautiful. We don’t usually put our feet in the water during Spring time, but we will walk along the edge and enjoy the lovely area. In the summer, we have gone fishing, wading, and we usually see baby ducks in the early Summer. Many people bring their small boats and row across the reservoir. In the Fall we love the beautiful leaves of the canyon!

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We always see ducks, and we love when we see the ducklings!

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We saw this moose on one trip to Tibble Fork.

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Another time we saw this moose swimming across the river! Crazy huh?

If you are looking for a beautiful picnic area, visit Tibble Fork Reservoir. You won’t be disappointed. American Fork Canyon is located east of Highland. From the 1-15, take exit 284 for the Timpanogos Highway (Alpine/Highland) and head east. In about 9 miles you will come to the entrance of the canyon.

Tibble Fork is truly beautiful!

Tibble Fork is truly beautiful!

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Our boys always enjoy walking across the bridge.

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The scenery and water make this place so beautiful!

FYI: You can hike the AF Canyon Nature trail and visit Timp Cave area for FREE because it is part of the National Monument Area. Remember: to enter Timp Cave, you must pay for a cave tour. If you are only going to do the hikes in this area, and not visit Tibble Fork, make sure to mention that to the ranger at the gate as you enter American Fork Canyon.