“Up to the altar then through the forest with views of Orem.”
— Nathan Clark
Puts you up into the forested areas where it gets smooth and shady. Getting up to the altar, where the loop starts, will likely be the hardest and steepest part.
Need to Know
Dry and loose, exposed to the heat as it gets sun all day. Water and bathrooms available at Timpanogos Park at the start.
You'll start off at Timpanogos Park - there are a hundred ways to get up to the altar (where the loop starts). The hardest part will be navigating all the forks in the trail. Just keep pointing up as almost all trails eventually lead to the altar.
You're going to climb up through the exposed south face of Provo Canyon. This is the least interesting part of the loop and will be the steepest part of the ride. You'll start off on dirt road and climb your way up to singletrack where you'll dodge around small to mid-sized gamble oak stands. In the summer, don't expect to get any shade here. In this lower section, it is dusty and dry with limited traction where it alternates between hardpack and loose-over-hardpack.
Once you get to the altar (the intersection where the loop starts), you'll enter smooth riding forested areas with loamy, less-dry soil, and the climbing will get easier due to lower grade, better traction and shade. That is a nice change of scenery and will finally give you a bit of protection from the heat and sun. You'll likely encounter deer and turkeys in this upper section.