Donut Falls hike in Salt Lake City, Utah
Donut Falls hike in Salt Lake City, Utah

Donut Falls hike

Salt Lake City
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Kesler Peak view on Donut Falls hike from Salt Lake City, UtahWildflowers trail on Donut Falls hike from Salt Lake City, UtahStream on Donut Falls hike from Salt Lake CityDonut Falls hike from Salt Lake City leads to beautiful fallsWide path of Donut Falls hike from Salt Lake City, UtahHikers on Donut Falls hike from Salt Lake CityTrail of Donut Falls hike from Salt Lake City, UtahDonut Falls hike from Salt Lake City has great sceneryWooded canyon on Donut Falls hike from Salt Lake City

Donut Falls hike

Distance: 1.8mi
Elevation: 341ft
Time: 1h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.8 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

The classic family hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon, the short climb up to Donut Falls is quite spectacular. The large cascading waterfall is especially beautiful, as is the general scenery that surrounds you throughout the entire hike.

Donut Falls hike Map

Getting there

Drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon Road (UT-190) for just under 11.0mi, watching out for the large parking area with signs for the Jordan Pines camping area. There will be an ambiguous trailhead sign pointing to the right. Follow this sign past the Jordan Pine Group Site and onto a dirt road, which passes through private property before arriving at the small parking area for the trailhead. Park in the lot or along one side of the road leading up to it and find the trailhead behind the outhouse.

I’ve done this 49 people have done this
I want to do this 63 want to do this route

About

When to do

Spring through fall

Backcountry Campsites

Yes, in National Forest Wilderness

Toilets

At trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Donut Falls
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Donut Falls

Begin along the trail just behind the outhouse and quickly join up with the Mill D South Fork River. Approximately halfway up the trail, the path will cross over to the west side of the river as it continues to climb.

After crossing over the river, you will meet up with a double track dirt road. Make note of this crossing. On the way back it’s easy to miss. If you miss the turnoff, however, you can still make your way back to the trailhead by crossing the river along the private drive beside the trailhead (as shown on the map).

Finally, after another short bit of climbing, the trail will essential merge into the river. You will either have to wade or rock hop across this short section of river to get up to the viewpoint of the falls.

The staircase falls are a true stunner, and the steep-sided canyon that surrounds you will provide a beautiful ambiance. Sit a while and enjoy the atmosphere before making the return journey.

Insider Hints

  • There are options for scrambling up either side of the falls to get a cooler view. Only do this if you are comfortable with the exposure.

  • This is the classic family hike near Salt Lake.

  • Bring shoes you don’t mind getting wet, and wear a pair of non-cotton socks.

Comments

Melinda J. 2 years ago

A fantastic easy hike in Salt Lake City. It's pretty packed, so better go early!

10.0 Overall Rating
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benhilton 2 years ago

Absolutely stunning! Be prepared in case the paths are wet.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Adriana K. 2 years ago

Wow! This is a must see! Donut Falls is a beautiful waterfall.

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Willy G. 3 years ago

Beautiful, short hike. There is a myriad of attractions to see. Beautiful canyons, cascading waterfalls, and some river crossing.

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Washington H. 3 years ago

So beautiful. We love Donut Falls. It's so easy to get here. Wish there were fewer people though.

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Jane L. 3 years ago

Wicked views. The environment was really nice. 7 am is a good time to start. Everything is so peaceful and quiet.

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Becks Red 3 years ago

One of the must-see short walks in Salt Lake city area.

9.0 Overall Rating
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1h 15m Time Taken
Freddo 3 years ago

Nice and popular hike. Everyone was on it!

10.0 Overall Rating
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1h 30m Time Taken
Naomi W 3 years ago

I loved the Donut Falls!!!

10.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
1h 15m Time Taken
Bao X 3 years ago

Nice hike. No donuts. haha. Many people.

10.0 Overall Rating
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11 Comments Show all

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