Silver Lake and Silver Glance Lake |

American Fork Canyon

Hiking Silver Lake and Silver Glance Lake - American Fork Canyon Hiking Silver Lake and Silver Glance Lake

American Fork Canyon

Overview

RATING: Moderate Hike
MAPS: DROMEDARY PEAK, UT

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 52. South southwest wind around 10 mph.

52 | 33

Sun

Sunny, with a high near 47. South southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

47 | 31

Mon

Snow showers likely before noon, then snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

38 | 28

Tue

A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 42.

42 | 27

Wed

A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 38. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

38 | 26

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SEASON: Late Spring through Fall.
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: Filterable along most of the trail.
NOTES: Reaching the trailhead requires a few miles of graded dirt road. The road is washboard and a bit rough in spots. Though there were sedans and low clearance vehicles at the trailhead, a medium clearance vehicle would be my recommendation.

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 52. South southwest wind around 10 mph.

52 | 33

Sun

Sunny, with a high near 47. South southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

47 | 31

Mon

Snow showers likely before noon, then snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

38 | 28

Tue

A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 42.

42 | 27

Wed

A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 38. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

38 | 26

View Full Weather Details
Silver Glance Lake

Silver Glance Lake

Silver Lake, near Tibble Fork in American Fork Canyon, is not to be confused with the Silver Lake in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This Silver Lake is a popular and stunning lake in the shadow of some of the most dramatic and rugged peaks in the Wasatch that requires a bit of a hike to reach. The lake, situated at 9000', is surrounded by towering, rugged granite cliffs and alpine beauty. The 2-mile hike one way gains about 1500', making it a moderate outing that is popular with fisherman, hikers, and those looking for a close and scenic overnight backpack. It requires effort to reach, but not too much effort...

My first trip to Silver Lake, I was short on time, so just visited the lake proper. I couldn't resist the alpine scenery though, and was back 2 days later to hike to Silver Lake then continue on to Silver Glance Lake higher in the drainage. I was not disappointed! Silver Lake is beautiful, but Silver Glance Lake, to my eye, was even more so. Because it is 800' more elevation gain, and much smaller than Silver Lake, Silver Glance Lake doesn't see nearly as much traffic. If you seek solitude, visit Silver Lake, but then continue up the drainage to Silver Glance Lake.

History Note: Not long after mining began in Little Cottonwood Canyon to the north in the late 1860s, mining began in American Fork Canyon. The canyon, especially around what is now the Tibble Fork reservoir, was bustling with mining activity from about 1870 to the early 1880s, when easy to mine veins began to dwindle. That mining era left its mark on the canyon by leaving roads, tunnels, lore, and names. There are many tailings piles visible along the hike, and the lake was named by these early miners.
Morning light on Silver Lake while heading up to Silver Glance Lake

Morning light on Silver Lake while heading up to Silver Glance Lake

Getting There

From the fee both at the bottom of American Fork Canyon, head up the canyon on UT-92 for 4.7 miles to the signed junction for Tibble Fork on the left. Turn left and drive 2.5 miles on UT-144 to Tibble Fork Reservoir.

At the reservoir, turn left toward Granite Flat Campground/Silver Flats. About 0.7 miles from Tibble Fork Reservoir, just before Granite Flat Campground, turn right signed Silver Flat. This is where the road turns to dirt.

Follow the dirt road 3.1 miles to Silver Flat where there is a lake and signed Silver Lake Trailhead on the left. The trailhead at Silver Flat has a large parking area and pit toilet. There is no camping at the trailhead.

Note: The area is a fee area. As of 2023, the fee is $6 for a 3 day pass. America the Beautiful - Interagency Recreation Passes are honored.
Mount Timpanogos in the distance when looking back on the way to Silver Lake

Mount Timpanogos in the distance when looking back on the way to Silver Lake

Route

To Silver Lake (2.25 miles / 1-2 hours)
From the trailhead, follow the trail as it heads north up the Silver Creek drainage. The main trail is well-defined, well-travelled, and easy to follow. A few small side trails go off the main trail, but always stay on the main trail. About a mile from the trailhead, the trail crosses Silver Creek and heads east up the slope, starting a section of climbing and switchbacks that work up to Silver Lake a little over 2 miles from the trailhead.

To Silver Glance Lake (just under a mile from Silver Lake / 30-60 minutes)
From the east side of Silver Lake, find a social trail heading north. The social trail is steep, and well-defined. It climbs more steeply than the trail to Silver Lake, but the perseverance is worth it. At just about a mile, the social trail reaches Silver Glance Lake, nestled up against the base of Red Baldy peak. There are a few excellent primitive campsites around the lake. I would assume, give its small size, there aren't fish in the lake.


Maps

Silver Lake / 4.44 miles / Elevation Range 7,548 - 8,968 ft.
Silver Glance Lake / 6.09 miles / Elevation Range 7,548 - 9,892 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12T 444387mE 4484254mN

N40° 30' 26" W111° 39' 23"

Main Silver Creek Crossing

12T 443663mE 4485310mN

N40° 30' 60" W111° 39' 54"

Silver Lake

12T 443168mE 4485896mN

N40° 31' 19" W111° 40' 15"

Silver Glance Lake

12T 443230mE 4486945mN

N40° 31' 53" W111° 40' 13"

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