One of our favorite family adventures is going on a picnic. Packing a lunch with treats and snacks to eat in the great outdoors is a true adventure for our boys. Sometimes, we grab sandwiches and go to the park, but our favorite picnic spot is a drive up American Fork Canyon to Tibble Fork Reservoir.
The road up AF Canyon is a fee area. You pay $6 to access the canyon. A National Parks Pass is accepted to cover this fee. We love paying a small fee to keep canyons nice, and the canyon offers hiking, fishing, camping, and picnicking. You can also visit Timpanogos Cave and Cascade Springs.
To find our favorite picnic area, go up the canyon to the Tibble Fork Reservoir turn off. Go left, and you’ll pass several picnic grounds on the right side of the road. There are plenty of spots to choose as you head up to the reservoir. Each picnic spot has tables, paved trails, bathrooms, and parking. You can also access the river, which is swift at certain times of the year, so keep an eye on little ones. Our boys love watching the river while they eat, and once they are done there is a lot of rock throwing!
After your picnic, be sure to continue up to Tibble Fork reservoir. Our kids love to toss rocks in the lake and watch for wildlife. Though we’ve seen moose here a few times, the most common sighting is the Uintah Ground squirrel, which emerge from the holes that honeycomb the hillside as you walk down to the lake. This lake is also great for fishing and rafting for the kids. We also love taking our kayaks here to paddle around.
We have visited Tibble Fork in Spring, Summer, and Fall and it is always beautiful. We don’t usually put our feet in the water during Spring time, but we will walk along the edge and enjoy the lovely area. In the summer, we have gone fishing, wading,kayaking, and we usually see baby ducks in the early Summer. Many people bring their small boats and row across the reservoir. In the Fall we love the beautiful leaves of the canyon!
If you are looking for a beautiful picnic area, visit Tibble Fork Reservoir. You won’t be disappointed. American Fork Canyon is located east of Highland. From the 1-15, take exit 284 for the Timpanogos Highway (Alpine/Highland) and head east. In about 9 miles you will come to the entrance of the canyon.
You can hike the AF Canyon Nature trail and visit Timp Cave area for FREE because it is part of the National Monument Area. Remember: to enter Timp Cave, you must pay for a cave tour. If you are only going to do the hikes in this area, and not visit Tibble Fork, make sure to mention that to the ranger at the gate as you enter American Fork Canyon.