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Monday, April 25, 2016

Ferguson Canyon Hike - Waterfalls and Overlook

Near the top of Ferguson Canyon, Utah 
I had heard this name once before, but it didn't really stick.  On a Sunday evening after a long day of Spring Cleaning, I decided it was time to get out of the house and take the dog for a Sunday evening hike.  I was getting bored of doing the same close to the city spring hikes, especially here in Utah where there are so many amazing hiking options.  I did a little research on a dog friendly spring hike when I stumbled across Ferguson Canyon.  (side note: a good way to see if a trail is ready is to look it up on instagram!)

First Impressions:  One of my new favorite close to SLC hikes.  Following a creek almost the entire way, and several small waterfalls.  Shaded and green with wild flowers growing along the trail.  Amazing dog option as there is water for them the entire way.  Everything was so green, and the view from the overlook of the valley and into Big Cottonwood Canyon was an added bonus.   The trail reminded me of the Pacific Northwest and is a great workout with its steady steep climb to the overlook. 

Trail in Ferguson Canyon
Trail in Ferguson Canyon
View down Ferguson canyon
View down the canyon

Distance:  5.25 RT to the overlook 
Dogs:  Yes, allowed on leash but most dogs were off-leash
Kids:  Yes to the beginning, possibly the waterfall, no to the summit.  The trail is steep and rocky with a few stream crossings. 
Difficulty:  Moderate- steep trail with a few stream crossings. 
Elevation:  1,600' 
Trailhead:  Off Timberline Drive.  There are a few marked parking spaces at the trailhead with a garbage can (no bathrooms).  There is an overflow parking lot about .25 miles before the trailhead if there is no parking at the trail. 

Trail head in the Residential area surrounding Ferguson Canyon
Trail head to Ferguson Canyon
Trail head to Ferguson Canyon

If you are using a GPS, plug in Timberline Drive.  Located just after the entrance to Big Cottonwood Canyon.  From SLC, take I-215 East to Exit g (6200 South).  Continue straight and this road will turn into Wasatch Boulevard.  You will reach the intersection of 7-Eleven and Porcupine Grill.  Continue past it and take your next left onto Prospect Drive.  Take an immediate right and follow Timberline Drive to the Trailhead.  


View of Big Cottonwood Canyon from the overlook of Ferguson Trail
View of Big Cottonwood Canyon from the overlook of Ferguson Trail
The trail follows the creek until the last half mile. 
Ferguson Canyon is located between Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons (neither of which allow dogs).  Ferguson Canyon is just past Big Cottonwood Canyon, and DOES allow dogs on the trails (on-leash).  This is a beautiful hike in the spring, as the trail follows the creek the entire way that was flowing fast with all the rain and snowmelt.  This is also a great hike in the summer as there is water for your dog to drink the entire hike (except the last half mile to the overlook). 

I really loved this hike.  The beauty between these canyon walls, following the creek was beyond words.  Everything was so green, and the waterfalls could not have been more scenic.  Overall, the hike is steep, but beautiful, shaded in the canyon beneath a canopy of trees.  You will have to cross the stream a few times to follow the trail up the canyon.  Enjoy the sights of the few small waterfalls you will pass along the trail.  You will also see a popular rock climbing spot as you make your way up the trail.  We decided to hike all the way to the overlook which provided beautiful views of the valley, the city, and the entrance to Big Cottonwood Canyon.  At the overlook you can enjoy the views of the valley, before heading back the way you came down the trail. 

Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail  
Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Waterfall along the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Olive posing on the trail 
Overlook of the Ferguson Canyon Trail
Overlook of the Ferguson Canyon Trail 
Posing in my hiking/mountain shirt at the overlook 
Smooches for my hiking companion 


9 comments :

  1. I have to be honest - I am not a fan of this trail. I hate how steep and loose the rock is. I also hiked this in like 90F, so it was too hot. I do like the stream, but the trail just didn't have a vibe I really liked. I know people love it, but it's just not my favorite. At least you enjoyed it! - Alicia @ www.girlonahike.com

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    1. I agree it was steep and there were some loose sections (I totally took a quick dip in the creek when crossing once!). But I liked the steepness for the workout, and that it was a mix of overlook, waterfalls, and just really pretty! I also liked how shaded it was. Dog friendly water hikes can certainly be hard to come by sadly

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  2. I just discovered this trail a few weeks ago and loved the stream, my little dog was running through it the whole time. Never made it to the over look through just up that first steep loose dirt section. My friends puppy was with us and the step part was a bit overwhelming for the young one. Glad you saw the beauty in it too Katie! - Heather www.mylifestyletoyours.com

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it! My dog loved the water as well, and its so nice not having to carry extra water! I thought the trail was just so beautiful! Its a steep trek to the overlook but you will have to make it up there next time! I can see how it would be tough for a little puppy though!

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  3. I've been wanting to do this hike this spring and this was just the push I needed. We hiked here today and it was so pretty after all the rain we've had this week. We made it to the overlook by the rocks and then turned around since it didn't look more inviting farther on. Is there a nice lookout into Big Cottonwood at the end or was it similar to the views I got after leaving the stream and hiking north?

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    1. Glad you finally had a chance to do it! The lookout is the end destination, but about 100' (or so) past the lookout spot the trail ends and you can see into Big Cottonwood Canyon (my sixth picture :) Its all very similar

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  6. It's a good hike. Thanks for the information.

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