After visiting the campus of Bringham Young University, it’s easy to see a good reason to attend. The whole campus is one postcard after another, nestled at the base of the mountains in Utah Valley. What makes it different than most parts of Denver and other cities around the Rockies is that Provo, Utah (Where BYU is located) is on the initial incline of the mountains. Going through campus can consist of some decent hiking, which may partially account for all the in-shape students.
One very familiar sight on campus is a giant “Y” on the side of the mountain closest to campus, known to many as simply “Y Mountain.” This Y is no small feat, and no minor niche thing you have to know about to find it, the Y itself is as big as some city blocks. You can see it for hundreds of miles out of the city, and even from commercial air flight. If you happen to be flying into Salt Lake City from most any place, make sure you get a seat on the right side of the plane, as most flights come into the mountain valley from the south and the Y should be easily visible out your window as you approach.
The Y is a gigantic sheet of concrete, painted white in the side of the mountain. Making it all the more impressive, it wasn’t done by any big company or with big budgets. In fact, it was originally done by a team of students at BYU and BYHS (high school) over 100 years ago. As impressive as it is, it’s also funny to note the original plan was to put BYU up into the mountain; so the group planed out to start with the Y as a centering point; but by the time they finished the Y, they were so exhausted, they quit, never going back up to put the B and U around it.
So there you have it, BYU’s common nickname over the past 100 years as “The Y” is just a result of early surrender, hehe.
Now the mountain itself has a great hiking trail that will get you up to either the bottom or top of the Y (you can see these trails on the satellite image). Don’t let the satellite image fool you, this is no easy hike, even swapping left/right as much as it does, it remains quite steep. Also bring a flashlight if you are going near or after sundown; but if you do take the climb, it is definitely well worth it for the amazing view.