Cascade Mountain Trail from Vivian Park in 360 Degrees

Views from Cascade Saddle
Views from Cascade Saddle 

Cascade Mountain Trail from Vivian Park 

in 360 Degrees

The saddle of the amazing Cascade Mountain in Orem Utah is spectacular from the front, but it is also magnificent from the top, or at least the saddle.  I was surprised on this hike, for it had a HUGE variety of flowers along the trail, but it was tough.  To get to the top it is about 4000 feet elevation gain in 5.5 miles.  It was a lot of up, which means a pretty steep down, but the top was so worth it.  I just wished I would have had strength to not only go to the saddle but to the top, but I had no steam left.
Trail approaching Cascade Saddle
Trail approaching snow tipped Cascade Saddle

360 Video at the Top of Cascade Saddle

Make sure you rotate it around so you can see it all.  Of course the best way to view is through VRHeadset and to be transported here using YouTubeVR- ShaunasAdventures


Indian Paintbrush on the top of the Cascade Saddle
Indian Paintbrush on the top of the Cascade Saddle

Information About the Trail to the Cascade Saddle.  
Why is Cascade Saddle Trail Hard?
I would call this a hard hike, so saying that I will tell you why it is hard so you know exactly the reasons why.  There are a few things that I think make a hike a hard hike.  Here is my list of hard things to deal with on a hike and whether or not you have to deal with it on this trail. 
  • First thing I want to know when someone tells me it is hard, is I want to know if it is life threatening in any way.  Is it dangerous.  That is a definite NO on this hike.  It is always safe.  There was a tiny spot where some of the trail was washed out, but it wasn't much and it was easy to step over. 
  • The second thing I want to know if a trail is labeled hard, is if there are loose rocks I am going to slide on.  If I am going to slide, is there a chance I could slide somewhere unsafe.  The answer is that there is loose rock.  It is not loose rock like I normally think though.  This is loose rock because the soil is so good here that it is soft in places, so you sink and sometimes the loose dirt rocks just kind of slide you down the mountain a little.  Hiking sticks help a ton to help keep you from sliding, but I do have to admit that I did slide onto my butt twice and came home with a bruise on my buttocks. It never slid me far, and I was never in danger.  I thought about this 4000 foot gain in 5.5 miles versus, Timp  that is 4400 feet in 6.5 miles, so they are similar.  Last time I came down from Timp my knees were so sore and in so much pain from all the jarring steps an distance.  Cascade saddle does not have the jarring from the boulders, just steep dirt.  My knees did NOT get sore coming down from the Cascade saddle, so I think I will take a bruise on my butt over painful knees any day!
  • The third thing I think makes a trail hard is the trail being hard to follow.  That is a definite NO for this trail.  It is easy to follow, BUT I did not take the loop like I planned.  I asked each person of the only 10 I saw on the trail, and all of them were going up to the saddle and then straight back down the same trail.   I do know that there were a few bikers and a couple that headed out in front of me, and I did not see them come back down, so they either tried the loop, or went down to the Rock Canyon Campground, for the trail does head down to there. 
  • The fourth thing that makes it hard, is distance.  This is a YES on this trail.  It is about 11 miles, and with the elevation gain it is a hard 11 miles, so that does help give this a hard rating. 
Forget Me Not Flowers on the Cascade Saddle
Forget Me Not Flowers on the Cascade Saddle


2D Video of Climb to Top of Cascade Saddle



Beautiful Shingle Mill Peak and Freedom Peak 


Beautiful Freedom Peak
Beautiful Freedom Peak

For me looking out to Freedom Peak, I thought this was the most picturesque mountain I think I have ever seen.  It is gorgeous!  But you pair it with  Shingle Mill peak on the left below with all the natural terracing, and it was jaw dropping beautiful!  


Beautiful Shingle Mill Peak on Left and Freedom Peak on the right.
Beautiful Shingle Mill Peak on Left and Freedom Peak on the right.



Information about the Cascade Saddle Trail

  • Trail is about 50 minutes Southeast of Salt Lake City, and 13 min drive east of Orem Utah.  
  • The trail is up Provo canyon.  After Bridal Veil Falls and Upper Falls, you are going to turn right at Vivian Park.  There is a little park at the entrance, and then there is a large park about 5 miles in, but you are continuing on this road to the Last Vivian Park when the road ends.  at the very end of the road you will see a large bathroom area and a parking lot.  There are many trails to the Cascade Saddle, but an easy one, is starting on this dirt road that is blocked off but continues up the canyon to the water facility.  Once you get past that water facility and this dirt road the trail will get prettier.   Here is my Gaia trail I made.  The pink was my planned route, but after talking to different hikers, I felt safer starting on the purple, and then going along the pink to the top where it has a hard right turn, and then I came back on the same trail. (Map courtesy of Gaia Maps)
  • Trail is hard because of length, steepness, and rocks that slide under your feet. All were not that difficult to deal with if you 1.  Take hiking sticks to help you not slip.  2.  Be willing to take breaks as needed.  There is no reason you have to hurry, you are in in nature to try and relax, so relax and get a breath when you need it. 
  • Take plenty of water and food. There is a spring if you can find it along the trail, but it is not marked on Gaia maps, but other than that, there was no water access. 
Here is a link to some great hiking sticks, and my favorite hiking boots.  Grab them today, and they both will be so helpful on your next hike! 



Cascade Mountain 

So many of us have seen Cascade mountain from the front, but just in case you need a visual, below is the Cascade Mountain you can see from the Orem area.  It is a magnificent mountain with cool fault lines that are very unique on the north side in Provo canyon by Bridal Veil falls.    

Below is that top of Cascade mountain looking from the right side of the peak to the left. 
Cascade Mountain from behind looking northward.
Cascade Mountain from behind looking northward.

Indian Paintbrush on the top of the Cascade Saddle
Indian Paintbrush on the top of the Cascade Saddle

Below is that right side that is covered in snow to the first peak to its left. 


Views of Utah Lake and Provo Peak from Cascade Saddle

The views of Utah Lake from way up over 10,000 feet are always amazing, but I had a fondness for this view in between all these canyons.  You can see Utah Lake in the distance, and the mountain on the left is the north side of Provo Mountain Peak. 


Utah Lake and North side of Provo Mountain from Cascade saddle.
Red Paint brush and Utah Lake with North side of Provo Mountain from Cascade saddle.


Utah Lake with North side of Provo Mountain from Cascade saddle
Utah Lake with North side of Provo Mountain from Cascade saddle


Panorama of Freedom Peak and Provo Mountain from Cascade Saddle
Panorama of Freedom Peak and Provo Mountain from Cascade Saddle

Wildflowers on the Cascade Saddle Trail


When you first start this trail, you are in the southern section of Vivian Park, so there are cute bridges, and streams that make it cute.  Then you hit a section that goes for at least a mile that is just grasses and trees, and I got worried that this was going to be a very long 11 miles.  Then you start seeing wildflowers.  There was not par say a field of wildflowers per say, but there was plenty of wildflowers to enjoy.  The thing I notice the most, it that on most trails I have hiked, you usually see the same 5-10 wildflowers on that trail.   I am not sure what makes this trail so unique, but I can't think of a wildflower I have seen on a trail in Northern Utah that I didn't find on this trail.  I found AT LEAST 20 different types of wildflowers.   The variety was so amazing. If you have any desire to learn wildflower names, this hike is one you should definitely do, for it will give you lots of variety to figure out.  For that reason, I have created a wildflower scavenger hunt for you.  It will make this 11 miles more fun for your kids or you, for they will be distracted with trying to find the flowers they are missing, plus help you learn names of some of our great Utah Wildflowers.  Here is the link to the Scavenger Hunt.  No pencil needed, just rip into each square when you find that flower.

Cascade Mountain Trail Scavenger Hunt

Cascade Wildflower Scavenger Hunt




Blue Penstemons on Cascade Trail
Blue Penstemons on Cascade Trail


White Columbine
White Columbine


Jacob's Ladder
Ninebark

Aspen Fleabane
Aspen Fleabane

White Indian Paintbrush
White Indian Paintbrush

Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop
Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop

Blue Lupine
Blue Lupine

Beautiful Mountain Views looking to the East while hiking Cascade. 

Bluebells

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