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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Donut Falls Hike, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Donut Falls

Trail head:  Mill D up Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Bathroom at the trail head. 

Details:  3 miles round trip 

Dogs:  No dogs-  Cottonwood Canyons are protected watershed

Skill Level: Easy to moderate-  short but some rock scrambling at end. 

Parking:  There are two lots.  Upper and Lower lot.  If you cannot find parking in the upper lot (right by the trail head) you have to park in the lower lot and do some extra walking.  I have seen a lot of people get tickets parking in the no parking areas by upper lot- don't be one of them!


Donut falls is a really fun place to bring people visiting the beautiful state of Utah.  Or a really fun quick evening hike.  The hike out to the falls is pretty, and the water fall at the end is quite unique.

It is one of the most popular Utah hikes, so make sure you go on a week night, or early on the weekend.  The first time I did this hike, it was in the winter.  A moonlit hike in snowshoes to donut falls where we went into the cave and drank hot chocolate by moonlight and watched the falls.  It was pretty awesome.  I highly recommend doing this at some point. 

It was fun to go again in the summer, and see the hike in a different season.   We went on a Saturday, and of course there were a lot of people, and the river was running.  

After some rock scrambling in the final section, and a river crossing if you want to get to the other side, you can get a glimpse of this really cool waterfall.  

 The waterfall shoots through this hole on the top of a "cave", and then pours down the river bed.  

Prepare to get your feet wet when if you want to cross the river, or if you are brave enough to climb up the river bed to the actual waterfall.  You have to climb up the river bed to go into the cave to see the waterfall, which is quite slippery and dangerous.  Someone always gets hurt so there is a sign now warning of the dangers.  Because of all the water and the people, I did not go into the cave this time.  

Whether you climb into donut falls or not, this is a gorgeous family friendly hike.  

Below- the fall entering the donut hole in the cave.

If you are in the cave, this is what the fall will look like (picture from, I did not go in the cave this hike).

A great family hike to a very unique waterfall.  Be prepared for some rock scrambling at the end and I recommend viewing the falls from the bottom, instead of trying to climb your way up.  I want to try again in the fall with hopes there is less water in the fall, and an easier ascent into the fall. 

Oh the many waterfalls of Utah 

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