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Donut Falls

Salt Lake City, Utah

based on 45 reviews



1.53 miles

Elevation Gain

413 ft

Route Type



Added by Eric Bennett

Donut Falls is an out-and-back hike to an amazingly beautiful and picturesque waterfall. This trail, located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, is good for all seasons with easy access to the trail.

The Trail

Follow the trail for just a little bit and when it forks, stay to the left and you will arrive to Donut Falls. Once at the waterfall, climb up the rocks to get to the cave at the top, which is not visible from the bottom. To take pictures inside of the cave, you will most likely get your feet wet.

This is a really short hike, so it's great if you are short on time and want to see something amazing.

Falls Coordinates: 40.629722, -111.654722

Getting There

Coming from the I-215, turn left on Big Cottonwood Road and the parking lot will be about nine miles up the road on your right. Usually the gate is closed, so park here and follow the rest of the road on foot until you get to a trailhead with restrooms on the left hand side.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Donut Falls Reviews

This is one of the easiest and most heavily trafficked hikes in Big Cottonwood. If you're looking for an easy hike with little vertical than this is a good choice. If you're looking for quiet and solitude this is not the place for you. Don't let the easy access and heavy traffic make you let your guard down. Two have died here since 2012. A woman fell 100 feet and a man was hit by a falling boulder. Have fun but be careful. You can often see moose in the area. This weekend while there I saw a bull moose on the trail just before the falls and a cow near the creek south of the parking lot. The best time to see moose is at dusk.

Still a decent amount of snow in the month of May, but not too much to be very dangerous. Be prepared to get your feet wet from the spring run off but the waterfall and cave are worth it.

Nice mild and accessible hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Fairly heavily trafficked trail - even on a Thursday afternoon - but still worth doing. There's still a fair amount of snow and slush on the ground so it can get slippery in some sections.

This is one of the classic day hikes in Salt Lake City due to its short length and easy difficultly level. It's a fun hike to do with kids, but the falls area can be a little difficult with smaller children. The trailhead is easy to find, but be careful about when you go - the pull-out from Big Cottonwood Canyon road fills up quickly because of the popularity of this hike. The beginning of the trail passes along private property on either side of the road, so please be respectful of those who live along this very popular trail. If you're looking for a hike with solitude, this probably isn't the one, but it's definitely worth the hike in spite of the traffic you might encounter.

Great taste of adventure. The snow does make the trail tricky but all the foot steps help you know you're on the right track. Pictures make the falls/cave seem bigger than what it is. And it is VERY slick climbing up the snow at that point. But worth it! I want to go again in the summer.

I met many hikers along looking for Donut Falls and none of use knew how to get there. In late March, the trail is covered with ice and snow. Slow going even with hiking boots. We turned around after 20 minute once the trail got too slipper to navigate. GPS coordinates of the location of the falls would help. In fact GPS data should be mandatory for all of these hikes.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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