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Hiking the Y: A Utah County Classic

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

The Y hike in Provo Utah is a Utah County classic hike that traverses the steep hillside to the iconic Y on the mountain. It is short and steep with beautiful views of Utah County and Utah Lake.


Fun: ⭐⭐⭐ (out of 5)

Difficulty: Very Easy Easy Moderate HARD Very Hard


Distance: 2.2 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft

Terrain: Dirt, rocks, switchbacks, steep, exposed trail

Time: 1.5 to 2 hours

When to Go: spring, summer, fall




  • Bathrooms at trailhead.

  • Gas stations and grocery stores nearby in Provo


  • Sunscreen, trail exposed

  • Water

  • Snacks

  • Hiking shoes with good grips

  • Dogs allowed


The Y on the mountain was originally built by Brigham Young University High School in 1907 and is made of rock, sand and cement. It is an iconic college symbol that is 380 ft tall and 130 ft wide which makes it bigger than the Hollywood letters in Los Angeles.

When a BYU athletic team wins a competition, the perimeter of the Y is lite up. We were lucky enough to hike the Y during a winning night.

The Y hike begins on the mountainside east of Brigham Young University. There are three separate asphalt parking lots at the base of the hike. We hiked this in November just before sunset and there were plenty of parking spots. This is a popular hike so I imagine the parking is crowded during summer and early fall months when the leaves are changing.

This hike gains just over 1000 feet in 1.1 miles! Steep! This is why I rated this hike as hard for kids. It took us just over an hour and a half to complete with a few stops to rest and a snack break at the top.

The majority of the hike is a serious of switchbacks on a wide well marked trail with a total of 11 turns. There is a sign at each turn identifying which turn you are on in case you lose track.

There are also signs with fun facts about the local wildlife and habitat. My kids loved all the nature facts. We did find a live tarantula along the way.

There are also binoculars to look down at the valley.

You will first arrive to the lower portion of Y. Continue upward to get to the top. There are benches at the top to sit on for snack and break time. There are trails that continue into the mountain beyond the Y if you want a longer hike.

Despite the steepness the hike was still enjoyable. It has gorgeous views and the kids loved getting close to the huge Y on the mountain side.

The kids did great on this hike. I think it helped a lot to have friends with us. The hike was steep but short so it was very doable. We had a beautiful sunset to watch as we hiked down.



  • Beautiful Views

  • Fun Destination


  • Steep

  • Can get crowded


The Y hike trailhead is located on the east bench of the mountains behind Brigham Young University. The address is Slide Canyon Trail 062, Provo, UT 84604 or you can search Y trailhead on your GPS device.



Top of the Y hike on All Trails

History of Y Mountain


Bridal Veil Falls (20 minutes)

Squaw Peak (30 minutes)

Upper Falls (25 minutes)

Stewart Falls (30 minutes)

Battlecreek Falls (30 minutes)

Utah Lake State Park (20 minutes)

#outdoorfamfun #hikingthey #utah #utahvalley #BYU #ymountain #beautahful #hikingfamily


Hi, I'm Corrine! I'm an outdoor enthusiast, mother of four, wife, nurse and runner. I believe God gave us this beautiful earth to explore, enjoy and protect.

My goal is to inspire you to get outside and create your own amazing memories as a family. Life is precious and there are too many adventures to be had to spend life on the couch or in front of a screen.

Join me and my family for "Adventures off the couch!" Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest @outdoorfamfun.


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