The upper (eastern) part of Provo Canyon was damed in 1941 to create Deer Creek Reservoir.
Robert Redford acquired the Sundance area in 1969. This was the original site of the Sundance Film Festival. However, the film festival is now mostly in Park City and around Salt Lake City.
Provo canyon is beautiful in the winter, but driving through it can become dangerous and chains are required. Check the road weather forecast.
Provo Canyon is accessible via car.
- From Orem:
- Take 800 North east, when approaching the mountains, keep left and follow the road which will merge onto Provo Canyon Road.
- Take Center Street east, turn north at University Avenue, which will become Provo Canyon Road.
- From Provo:
- Take University Avenue north. As that road enters the canyon, it will become Provo Canyon Road.
- From Heber:
- Go south on Main Street, turn left at US-189 (Provo Canyon Road).
Fees and permits
Deer Creek has two boat ramps - Deer Creek Island Resort (Rainbow Bay) and Deer Creek State Park - which can be accessed from US-189 (Provo Canyon Road). Both areas require a fee, roughly $6.
US-189 (Provo Canyon Road) is the main road. About mid-way through the canyon, you can turn north on US-92 (Alpine Scenic Highway) to get to Sundance - this road is also called "The Alpine Loop".
The Heber Creeper goes along the northern shore of Deer Creek, but they're serious about it creeping, and is not meant to be your primary transportation.
The Provo River trail goes through the canyon and is a good option if you are biking, walking or jogging.
- Alpine Loop. Scenic drive that provides stunning views. It is generally inaccessible in the winter. Free.
- Bridal Veil Falls (on the south side of the Provo Canyon Road - a few miles north of the Provo entrance to the canyon / a few miles south of the Sundance turnoff). A pretty waterfall. There is a parking lot near the base of the waterfall where you can park and take a short walk to get a closer view. Free.
- Sundance Resort (follow US-92 (Alpine Scenic Highway) north a few miles - coming from the south, the turnoff is right after you go through the tunnel. Coming from the north if you've gone through a tunnel, you just past it.). Sundance is provides some nice views and a few short hikes Free.
- Squaw Peak (near the Provo entrance to the canyon, turn south on Squaw Peak Road). There are two overlooks on this road which provide panoramic views of Utah Valley. The first, Squaw Peak Overlook, is a short distance down a side rice. The second, Little Rock Canyon Overlook, is along Squaw Peak Road. Winter weather may limit access. Free.
- Provo River Trail (800 North in Orem at the mouth of Provo Canyon (not sure how to access this via Heber/Charleston)). The southern part of this trail is paved to about halfway up the canyon, after that it is a wide dirt trail. People bike, walk, and jog this trail. People also ride horses on the unpaved northern parts.
- Hike Rock Canyon (Turn south on Squaw Peak Road, continue to the Little Rock Canyon Overlook). Most people enter Rock Canyon from Provo, however, there are some nice hikes from this side of Rock Canyon. Hiking to Squaw Peak is a fairly easy hike from here.
- Mt Timpanogos Park (About 1 mile up Provo Canyon from the Provo entrance). People swim here - not sure if it's really allowed.
- Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, Mt Timpanogos Park (1 mile up Provo Canyon) - also at SCERA Shell in Orem (699 S State St), ☏ . Hours vary. Annual event held during the late summer that features storytellers from around the nation. Tickets should be purchased in advance (online or by phone). The festival also holds a "Midwinter" conference in February. Price varies.
- Canyon Glen Park / Nunns Park (About two miles from the Provo entrance to the canyon off Provo Canyon Road). Well-developed park with a lot of benches and a baseball diamond.
- Vivian Park (Take South Fork Road - about three miles from the Provo entrance to the canyon - Vivian Park is right after you cross the river). There are picnic benches here. There is a little pond at the northern part of the park that is planted with fish each year. The fish are small, but children enjoy it.
- South Fork Park (Same as Vivian Park, but keep going up South Fork Road). South Fork Park is a large, open park which is great for playing games. Lots of picnic tables.
- Provo River (If you don't know where to go, entering the river at Vivian Park is a good option). Provo River has world-class fly fishing. Tubing down the river is a fun way to escape the heat in the summer. There is a company near Vivian Park which can provide a tube, or bring your own.
- Sundance Resort (Turn north on Alpine Scenic Highway (near Vivian Park)). Ski in the winter, mountain bike in the summer. There are some nice plays here in the summer. Nearby Stewart Falls is an easy hike.
- Mt Timpanogos (Alpine Scenic Highway). Most go up American Fork Canyon to hike Mt Timpanogos, but this route will get you there as well, and is a beautiful drive.
- Deer Creek State Park (Along Provo Canyon Road). Boat ramp, picnic tables, and camping. Boat ramp - the water is deep and cold on this side of Deer Creek.
- Deer Creek Island Resort (Rainbow Bay). Boat ramp. Water skiers prefer this ramp since the water is not as deep on this end of the lake - wear a wetsuit, because it's still quite cold.
- Deer Creek north end (turn north toward Charleston). Windsurfing.
- The Tree Room, Sundance Resort. Fancy dining with a tree growing through the middle of the room.
- The Foundry Grill, Sundance Resort. Less formal than The Tree Room.
- Deer Creek Island Resort.
- Owl Bar, Sundance Resort.
- Sundance Resort, 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, Utah 84604, toll-free: . Each of Sundance's cottages, cabins and homes is discreetly tucked into a mountainside setting above the Sundance Village.
- 1 Mountain Range Campground.
- Deer Creek State Park. RVs and tents. Around $6 cash.