From the summit of the narrow Alpine Loop
scenic drive, a relatively wide side road sweeps down a forested ridge and into the scrubland below, descending 1,500 feet to Cascade Springs
- a large, dispersed water source with several streams that pour down a hillside via a beautiful series of cascades and pools. The road then becomes unpaved and continues to Wasatch Mountain State Park
near Heber City
, although the main entrance to this popular park is from the east. It is open all year, offering camping, hiking, horse riding and golf plus skiing and snowboarding during winter.
Three interlinked loop paths criss-cross the pools and streams of Cascade Springs, in places on raised boardwalks above the ponds with their clear water, travertine terraces and a variety of lush plantlife. The ponds contain abundant fish, and otters may also be seen occasionally. Further up the slopes the path follows the gushing whitewater streams that feed the lower pools to a small lake that provides the main source - here the water (on average 7 million gallons per day) seeps up through a thin part of the layer of glacial debris that fills the valley at this point. The water is very good to drink, but this is not encouraged. About 30 minutes is sufficient to explore all the trails, and there are many places for quiet contemplation of the watery scenery.