The Big Springs Hollow Hike in Provo Canyon is an easy hike that is open year round. The trail winds along the Big Springs Creek, with bridges that cross over it in a few places. It’s a great trail to bring little ones who can’t handle steep inclines or won’t be able to walk long distances.
Know Before You Go
Directions, Location & Weather
Location: The trailhead is located at the end of the upper parking lot of the Big Springs Park in the southwest corner.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
Directions: If coming from the Salt Lake Valley, drive up Provo Canyon until you reach Vivian Park. Turn right at Vivian Park onto South Fork Road. Continue for 3 miles until you reach Big Springs Park. The trailhead is located at the end of the upper parking lot of the park in the southwest corner.
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About the Big Springs Hollow Trail
The Big Springs Hollow Trail is a lightly trafficked, but beautiful trail up Provo Canyon. It’s open year round, making it a fun place to go during the winter. The trail is 4.2 miles out and back and is open to dogs (as longs as they’re on a leash).
There are bathrooms in the Big Springs Park parking lot near the back. Don’t expect a lot of these bathrooms, they are slightly nicer than an outhouse, but are the typical campground bathrooms without plumbing. They are usually well maintained for a campground bathroom, but they don’t always have toilet paper – especially at the beginning or tail end of the season. There’s also a good chance in the winter that they aren’t open. There are no sinks to wash your hands in the bathrooms.
Some carriers get cell reception up Provo Canyon, but most do not. You’ll likely not have service once you leave the main highway, so make sure to plan ahead if you’re meeting friends or family up the canyon.
The Big Springs Hollow trail is a great hike year round! In the spring and summer, it offers gorgeous wildflowers in a peaceful setting. In the fall, it’s a great place to see the changing leaves and get out into the crisp clean air of the mountains.
But the winter is one of my favorite times of year for this hike. We load our daughter up in a sled and pull her along the trail. She loves dragging a stick through the snow and watching the wildlife. The last 0.2 miles of the trail are the steepest, and this is where we let our daughter do some sledding before heading back.
At the base of the trail, there’s the Big Springs Hollow park. This is a cute park for kids to play at with a large open grass area and a few picnic tables.
There are tent campsites at the base of the trail if you want to spend more than one night here. There are additional trails in the area including the Cascade Saddle Trail.https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/cascade-saddle-trail
Things to Bring
- Food and Drink: There is nowhere to eat in Provo Canyon until you get to the higher parts of the canyon, so plan on packing in food for yourself and your family. If you’re going up to Big Springs Hollow, you’ll likely be in the canyon for at least an afternoon, so bring plenty of snacks and water and consider packing a lunch and eating it either on the trail or at the picnic tables in the park at the base of the trail.
- Water Access: I would highly recommend bringing plenty of drinking water for your family, especially during the warmer months.
- Tissues: If you’re going in the winter months like we did, I would recommend bringing a few tissues for runny noses.
- Camera: The scenery on the Big Springs Hollow trail is beautiful and definitely worth taking photos of, but your phone camera will do just fine if you don’t want to pack in your heavy DSLR. I brought my Sony a6500 because it’s more lightweight and compact, but still has all the features I love about my Nikon (other than my beloved Nikon lenses).
- Clothing: Bring Layers. The temperature in Provo Canyon is usually quite a bit colder than the weather in the valley. You’ll want to have plenty of layers to take on and off as you go up and down the trail. If you’re going in the winter, make sure to bring gloves, a snowsuit for your kids, and hats as well. It get’s windy and cold towards the top and in the clearings where there aren’t trees to block the wind. When going in the summer, make sure to dress appropriately for the weather that day and bring an extra layer in case it’s colder in the canyon than you anticipated.
- Sunscreen: Even when you think it’s not hot, the sun up the canyon can be blaring, so make sure to put sunscreen on any exposed skin before heading up the canyon (even in the winter).