Donut Falls and Hidden Falls

06/03/10 19:46

Dixie and I intended to hike a portion of The Great Western Trail today, but the road to the trailhead (high up in Big Cottonwood Canyon) was still closed and completely covered in snow. So, we thumbed through our guidebook (60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City) to see what else was close. We decided to give Doughnut Falls a go (and as a bonus picked up Hidden Falls as well).

Doughnut Falls

Snow and mud!!! Our guidebook suggested this hike for late Spring, but we had an unusually long Winter, so about 75% of the trail was covered in either slippery mud or snow banks that I kept plunging down into up to my knee. For a safe bet, wait til Summer is actually present for this trail. Still, we made it to the falls.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
Here's the sign from the road, the only one that mentions donut falls at all (see the guidebook for an explanation of why). Notice the open gate? This was taken when we were leaving.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
When we arrived the gate was closed. Oh well, an extra 3/4 of a mile won't kill us.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
Looking back from the trail to the parking lot we might have parked in, had the gate been open.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
The trail is marked pretty well, except near the end (stay to the left and follow the river after you cross it).

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
Crossing the river.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
Near the end you hug the river bed. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for all this blasted snow.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
I wish I had taken some video so you could see the falls better from this distance, but it is up there.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
Thank Heaven for telephoto lenses. You can see the the falls dropping into the donut.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
Can you see it up there? Supposedly you can crawl up the boulders to the top of the falls and peer down (people have died here, so be careful!). Ha! Not with all this snow around and the river all swelled up.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
One last shot of Donut Falls.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
Looking back over the river on our way to the car.

Utah Doughnut Falls Trail Photos
There she is, my fabulous wife.

My feet were completely soaked through when we got back to the car. Due to the gate closure and all that snow slowing us down, it took us an hour and a half to reach the falls. I'm guessing it would take a lot less time if you could park at the trail head and the ground conditions were summery. It was totally worth it though, the falls are way cooler in person than in a photo.

Bonus Trail : Hidden Falls

So the guidebook says you may as well visit Hidden Falls since it is on your way back Big Cottonwood Canyon. Literally, it is like ten minutes from the road. What it doesn't say is that you have to cross this log to get there.

Utah Hidden Falls Trail Photos
We stepped on the little lower log and held on to the big one.

Utah Hidden Falls Trail Photos
First view of hidden falls.

Utah Hidden Falls Trail Photos

Utah Hidden Falls Trail Photos
As always, more impressive in real life.

Utah Hidden Falls Trail Photos
I guess this is a big rock-climbing destination. We saw two seperate parties and we were there for like ten minutes.

Utah Hidden Falls Trail Photos
Dixie liked these roots.

Happy trails!

No feedback yet