By Darryl Alder
May 13, 2017

Where to Go Camping: Johnson’s Hole

New Scout leaders in Utah Valley often ask this question, so I want to help.  Obvious options include one of the many Council or Forest Service campgrounds in the area, but I have a few nearby favorites I’m mentioning in this series.

First, a family and troop favorite, try Johnson’s Hole.

You access Johnson’s Hole through Provo Canyon’s Canyon Glen Park; park cars in Canyon Glen and the take the Great Western Trail, but you only stay on that trail for a quarter of a mile (see map). The trail into the hole is not well worn, so this may take a bit of navigation on your part. 

You hike into the hole between Great Western and Bonneville Shoreline trails at either end of the 0.3 trails shown near the 5248 contour.  

That fork in the trail can be pretty tricky, but both the Shoreline and Great Western Trails circle Johnson’s Hole, so if you have to, you can bushwack your way to camp.

Some weekends, there are folks near the east end. However, if you travel as far west as the trees, you should be left alone.

Leaves on trees at West end of the Hole are just budding for spring campers

Steve Frisby, an 11-yr old Scout leader, reports: “Don’t tell anyone about petroglyphs or we will have another hoodoo incident!” So be kind, and follow leave no trace principles. Steve continues:

There is a great 5 mile hike up around the top of the bowl and the Great Western Trail. However it doesn’t climb a thousand feet [for First Class Hike]. There is the possibility of going further up the trail and looping around to the Bowl but they wouldn’t want to do that prior to the camp because it would probably be about a 10 mile backpack.

Besides the petroglyphs there was a guard stationed up there from 1856 or whatever when Johnson’s Army came. And there is a really cool little waterfall opposite bridal veil Falls canyon. There are quite a few geocaches all around Johnson’s bowl and that waterfall and further up. 

I told all the folks at roundtable about this, so I hope it is still the secluded, private but nearby camp I have always loved.

Darryl Thumbnail
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. 

 

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