Monday, September 26, 2011

Hiking the Nebo Bench Trail

Mt. Nebo, Utah

The Nebo Bench Trail is located on the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway in Utah.  It is quite a lengthy trail, and we opted to just do part of the trail as an out-and-back hike.  We visited in mid-August.  The scenery on this trail is stunning, but the trail was not well-maintained.  That may be due to the high snowpack this year, which caused many high-country areas to remain closed until late July.  I wondered if perhaps people who normally clear trails had not been able to this year.

Sign marking the trail.

My guide for this hike was Best Hikes With Children in Utah, which suggested a turnaround point about 3.4 miles in.  We opted to turn back earlier.  This hike begins at an altitude of about 9300 feet.  I felt the altitude! However, the trail has gradual ups and downs, and relatively flat sections in the early going, so it wasn't too bad.

Early in the hike, the trail crosses beautiful meadows.

One unusual thing about hiking this area was running across cows.  We didn't see anything but the piles they had left behind hiking in, but on the way out, we encountered bovines.

Beginning of the trail

ONE big tree had been cleared at the beginning of the trail, but there were places on this hike where we had to duck under branches, climb over trees, or sometimes follow a faint trail around the blockage and then return to the main trail.

Where's the trail?

Despite the small setbacks, this was a pretty hike.  Sometimes the trail goes through groves of aspen, and other times it crosses meadows of wildflowers. 

Aspen trees on the Nebo Bench Trail

Wildflowers add some color to the slopes.

We had to hike in a couple miles to get views of Mt. Nebo, but it was well worth it.  We turned back before the trail turned steadily up hill.

The trail crosses a dry stream bed.

Mt. Nebo from the Nebo Bench Trail

I love wildflowers, and there were several varieties in bloom.  We spotted bluebells, lupine, columbine, forget-me-nots, and more.




Flowers on the Nebo Bench Trail

Bumblebee checks out the lupine.

If you get a chance to drive the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway between Payson and Nephi, Utah, stop and see some of the sights.  We thoroughly enjoyed doing a small part of the Nebo Bench Trail, and also enjoyed our visit to Devil's Kitchen.

IF YOU GO:  Take I-15 to Nephi, Utah, then take exit 225 onto UT-132 (heading east).  After about 6 miles, turn left on the Nebo Loop and follow it for about 12 miles to the trailhead.  There are vault toilets at the trailhead, but no water.  There is ample parking in the lot.


  1. Love the photos of the flowers...especially the forget-me-not, because of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from the RS broadcast.

  2. Thanks! I like trying to capture the flowers on film. It was nice to hear about the forget-me-not being used in that talk!

  3. It would be fun to do the whole trail sometime. We'd have to have someone drop us at the top and then we could hike our way back to camp!