Cascade Springs

Round Trip Distance: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 8171 - 9085 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr. 15 mins.
Trailhead: Upper or Lower Cascade Springs
Fee: $6/vehicle or Interagency pass
Attractions: Waterfalls, paved nature trail

The Cascade Springs trail is located east of Provo, Utah in the Uinta National Forest. Visitors can watch as an amazing 7 million gallons of water a day, produced by a number of natural springs, cascades down the gentle slope of the mountain over limestone ledges and through pools teeming with trout. The abundance of water and cool mountain temperatures create a riparian environment of lush vegetation and wildflowers around the springs. The paved trail is mostly wheelchair accessible but assistance may be needed on some of the slopes.

Cascade Springs has an upper and lower trailhead. Google Maps does a good job of creating turn by turn directions to either trailhead. Just click on either the upper or lower trailhead icon, choose 'Get Directions', and put in your starting address. Cascade Springs is about 25 miles east of Interstate 15 on the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway or Highway 92.

Cascade Springs is an interpretive trail with kiosks that point out items of interest about the area.

Except for a stretch of boardwalk that crosses the marshy area below the cascades the entire trail is paved.

Hikers can spread out and explore several small loops while working their way around the ultimate large loop that encircles the falls.

Several quaint bridges convey hikers and strollers across the stream.

The path to the upper trailhead branches off near the top of the loop. Cascade Springs can get a little congested at times. Visitors will find much more room to park at the upper trailhead if the smaller lower one is full.

The southwest section of trail has several series of steps that can be avoided if necessary by crossing back to the east side of the creek.

The cascades are made by small steps of travertine limestone that were created from the deposition of minerals from the spring water.

Besides the columbines one of the prettiest other wildflowers around the springs is the monkshood also sometimes referred to as wolfsbane because it has the power to ward off werewolves. While very pretty is is one of the deadliest wildflowers that you can come across. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Ingestion can be deadly and contact with abrasions or membranes can cause local paralysis. Indians were well aware of this as they used it to make poison to put on arrows. Teach your children to leave this one alone when they are picking flowers for mommy.

The Cascade Springs trail is a good addition to a drive around the Alpine Scenic Byway. To help preserve the area and keep it clean you won't find any picnic tables at the location. Never fear though because there are numerous other places to picnic along the byway. With temperatures as much as 20F lower than those in the Utah Valley Cascade Springs is a great getaway. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.