Hike Little Deer Creek to Cataract Gorge

Utah Little Deer Creek Canyon

Added by Michael Johnston

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.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Camera
  • Swimming Suit
  • Climbing Equipment
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Camping, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Scenic
Swimming Hole
Waterfall

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

Added by Michael Johnston

Instagram: @michaeljamie Photographer from Springville, UT. Lover of kayaking, hiking, backpacking, camping, and mountain biking.

More Adventures Nearby

Rappel the Red Ledges

Utah / Red Ledges Day Use Area

This is a sweet spot to go rappelling near Spanish Fork, UT.  It's located at the Red Ledges in Diamond Fork Canyon.  There is a picnic area, grill and restrooms near the base.

Amber Nelson
4 Saves

Hike the Arizona Trail: Buckskin Mountain Passage from Stateline Campground

Utah / Stateline Campground, Utah

Depending how you approach this 800 mile trail, I did the first 4 miles or last 4 miles as an out and back from Stateline Campground on the Utah/Arizona state line and the border of Vermil.

John Maurizi
3 Saves

Hike to the Klondike Bluff Dinosaur Track

Utah / Klondike Bluff Road, Moab

I think these tracks are the best in Moab. Take route 191 north out of Moab for about 13 miles (mile post 142). Klondike Bluff road is on the right. If you pass the airport, you went too far.

John Maurizi
8 Saves