Primrose Overlook via Horse Flat Trail

Last summer I browsed through AllTrails’ most popular hikes local to me, and found a few we hadn’t done. One was the Primrose Overlook Trail via Horse Flat Trail up American Fork Canyon, sometimes called Hensky Overlook. It is definitely in my top 3 hikes now.


Where: American Fork Canyon, from the Summit Trailhead

Grown up difficulty: easy

Five year old difficulty: mostly easy, moderate at end

Length and elevation: 3.2 miles, 800 ft gain

To see: forests, meadows, amazing overlook of Timpanogos

Busyness: low



This hike! The beginning is a little tricky to find. Park on the small circular road that surrounds a vault toilet at the summit trailhead, and look for the trailhead on the south side of the road. Consider downloading the trail details from AllTrails before leaving your home, as you likely won’t have internet access on this hike.

You’ll hike through a beautiful forest first. Blue reflectors dot the trees along the path, and in the summer, gorgeous wildflowers surround you. Last summer (2017) the bugs were pretty bad, so make sure you bring some kind of repellent. A couple meadows separate the forest, giving you great views of mountainsides.

The two times I’ve hiked this, I didn’t see any big wildlife, but it is such a quiet trail that I wouldn’t be surprised to run into deer or moose. The last part of the trail is quite steep. We took turns slipping and made time for several breaks, but I promise that the steep part means you’re really really close.

The trail ends out on this amazing plateau that gives an almost 360 degree view. Mount Timpanogos and Timp Falls will be to the south, and Heber and Midway will be to the east. We took a long break here, snacking and drinking water, and existing in awe.


Faves: all of it, really. The meadows, the forests, the final overlook are fantastic.

Hardest: the bugs and the final steep climb.

Gear: bug spray, snacks and water, comfortable hiking shoes, hats for sunshade, sunscreen

4 thoughts on “Primrose Overlook via Horse Flat Trail”

    1. yes! lame horse trail connects to horse flat trail. it wouldn’t put you very far on the timp trail, but would allow you to get more distance and see more of the mountains.

  1. Hi, I have friends visiting from Mexico that live at sea level and don’t get a lot of exercise. Their 6 year old Diego is so very excited to see and hike mountains for the first time. However, I want to be sure that we don’t exhaust him right off the bat and leave him discouraged and over tired. They will be here Pioneer week/wildflower season. Does this hike go through meadows with wildflower viewing potential early on in the hike in case we need to turn around and aren’t able to do the full loop? Any suggestions for other hikes? We want to do Albion Basin and Cecret lake but I confess I dread the crowds.

    1. by august, this trail is filled with bugs. it can be overwhelming to constantly be swatting the flies out of your face. my kids and i went in july and they were kinda miserable with the never ending buzzing and tickling of the bugs. albion is excellent but absolutely, crowds are dreadful. one hike we’ve done that is a little less traveled is lake solitude. start at brighton’s silver lake (which is packed! but it should thin out) and follow the trail to the lake. it is generally not a popular destination and has lots of wildflowers.

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