Hike Little Deer Creek to Cataract Gorge

Hike Little Deer Creek to Cataract Gorge

Little Deer Creek Canyon

Distance

4 Miles

Activities

Camping, Photography, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

There is some climbing involved on this hike since there isn’t an official trail, it allows you to get to base of the waterfall. You may get to cool off from the waterfall spray depending on how much run off there is when you choose to hike it.

Little Deer Creek Canyon can be accessed from the Emerald Lake Highway (150) in the Uinta National Forest east of Kamas, Utah. Turn right onto Murdoch Basin Road (Forest Service Road 137) until it splits off to the road to Cataract Gorge (Forest Service Road 027). It is recommended you park here and hike down the Forest Service Road about a quarter mile until you turn right into the gorge. Parking is located at the junction of Forest Service Roads 137 and 027. The Mirror Lake area requires a $6 charge for recreational opportunities in the area. The pass must be visible in your car when you park at the junction.

From this point you follow the river down to Cataract Gorge. A plethora of waterfalls is located in the gorge and climbing is optional among the steep canyon walls.

This hike is very remote and the canyon is secluded. You might not meet anyone along the hike down the gorge. The road is sometimes full with ATV’s headed for Cataract Gorge, but the more difficult trail down the canyon is hidden and quiet. There are dozens of waterfalls located in the canyon, and the trees are ablaze with color in the fall. The view overlooking the valley along the gorge is very scenic.

Uinta Drive In at the mouth of the canyon (235 Center Street, Kamas, Utah) offers amazing burgers, fries, and shakes. It’s definitely recommended after descending the gorge for an amazing day amongst waterfalls and breathtaking scenery.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $300/night

The Cliff Lodge

Sandy, Utah

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Nice remote area for camping, swimming (cold)

Once you start down Forest Service Road 027, the road gets extremely rocky (we listened to rock and roll music during this portion to help us feel better), driving a Chevy Colorado (high-clearance vehicle needed. There was an Expediton and Highlander that did it). This rocky portion of the road is 3 miles long to get to Duchene River. You feel like you'll never get there, just keep driving! This road aparently travels alongside a lot of the gorge and we didn't see this part. But, at the end of the 3 miles, there are a couple of beautiful waterfalls and a small lake with fish. Very nice place to camp. Not many people, but plenty of camp sites (12-15 fire rings around the lake area). I will go again!

Dont do without 4 wheel drive

Had to walk 2 miles down rocky road. Not able to do in Honda CRV. Then hike back up again. Otherwise it wouldve been awesome

Distance

4 Miles

Activities

Camping, Photography, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Camp up Murdock Basin Road

Adventure

Camp at Pyramid Lake in Murdock Basin of Utah's Uinta Mountains

Adventure

Camp at Shallow Lake Meadow

Adventure

Camp and Climb at Cliff Lake

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

skiing

An Introduction To Ski Touring

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the backcountry and untracked powder.

backpacking

Marmot 4-season Thor 3p Tent Review

Marmot recently gave me the opportunity to test out their 4-season tent during my latest travel t...

More Stories