Summary: This is a very easy hike that is suitable for hikers of all ages and experience levels. The trail is an easy one to hike. However, a rocky step-down just prior to reaching the falls may prove a bit challenging for children and elderly hikers.
This is an ideal hike for anyone who just wants to get away for a brief respite, but doesn't have a lot of time to spend on a more lengthy hike. This hike is very safe. It should be noted, howerver, that the terrain immediately surrounding the falls is extremely rugged. Great care should be taken when climbing up the walls surrounding the falls. There are numerous boulders in the vicinity of the falls and caution should be exercised around them especially during spring runoff or after extreme weather. These boulders have been known to dislodge and move, with tragic results.
The waterfall, which travels THROUGH a hole in the rocks, is delightful. Some time should definitely be spent enjoying the area before returning.
Trailhead: Getting to Big Cottonwood Canyon:
Take I-215 South (freeway will become I-215 East) until you reach the 6200 South exit. Turn right onto Wasatch Boulevard, then turn left at Big Cottonwood Canyon. The intersection is clearly signed. You will see a 7-11 store to your right.
From the north or south ends of the valley, take I-15 to I-215 East and follow the directions above.
Getting to the Trailhead:
Travel up the canyon road 9.0 miles. Here, the turn-off to the right will take you to the trailhead one mile further, past the Jordan Pines picnic area and some private property. The trailhead is at the south end of the parking area. (Lat:40.63957 Lon:-111.6512)
Trail Guides for Donut Falls:
Best Easy Day Hikes - Salt Lake City
by Brian Brinkerhoff (Falcon Publishing)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Wasatch-Cache National Forest (801) 466-6411 Tu-Sa 10:30a-7:00p MT
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Troy Slater, who has posted 9 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 6 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Marissa on 6/7/2014
Went on this hike this morning. I'm not really a robust hiker, and this was still very enjoyable. There was no snow and the gate is now open. It was kinda crowded at the end, which I'm guessing is typical of a Saturday morning. Also, you have to wade through some water to get to the actual donut hole at the top, so I recommend water-friendly hiking shoes or Tevas or something. Fantastic hike for all levels and ages!
Reviewed by Nic on 5/11/2014
Hiked this today. A lot of packed snow on trail. We could only see top where water went into ground. The bottom "cave" was completely blocked by snow. Still pretty. I can't wait to try it this summer. The gate was closed and we did have to park at the lot on the road and walk up to trailhead.
Reviewed by Mylan on 7/29/2012
Donut Falls is a very easy hike. There are lot of kids, and adults of all ages that hike this trail. Parking: Because it's a short and easy hike, there are TONS of people there and very little parking. We found out the hard way and tried to park inside the park only to be stuck in "traffic" with lots of dips on the unpaved road. As soon as you turn off onto the trail, it would be best to park outside. Trail: There are lots of trees that will keep you and your family cool. No dogs are allowed. Right before you can see the Donut, you will have take extra precaution walking over wet rocks and balance yourself on logs. The most fun and difficult was climbing up boulders to see more waterfalls.
Reviewed by Jim on 7/7/2012
Took the kids up today. It was a really nice walk up. We saw some some small wildlife and lots of flowers. Next time we'll bring some better shoes and go a bit further up the waterfall. We stopped at the base because the kids shoes were too slick. Will definitely do this again.
Reviewed by Angie on 9/5/2011
So disappointed. I hiked Donut Falls many times in my younger years. The grotto was always amazing with it's steady stream of water pouring through the donut hole. I hadn't hiked it in at least 5 years so I decided to take my kids this summer. I was so disappointed to see the grotto had been completely covered by boulders. The beautiful grotto is gone and you can barely see the donut hole waterfall. We stood at the bottom of the boulders trying to describe to our children what used to be there. Decided we probably wouldn't hike this again. The loss of the grotto and lack ability see to the donut hole defeats the purpose and name of this once enchanting spot.
Reviewed by Chad on 9/6/2010
I was concerned after seeing the messages that the donut hole had collapsed. I had never made the hike before today. The donut hole is definitely still there. It looks like the area leading up to the hole has had some significant changes based on previous photos and the area directly below the falls has been filled in substantially by rock fall and siltation so it is really not possible to see the hole from the bottom. Viewing the hole requires scrambling up some large boulders. I would definitely advise caution and the scramble may not be for everyone, but for those who are willing to put in the effort, the hole and the cave are definitely worth the effort. The remainder of the hike was extremely family friendly.
Reviewed by E on 8/10/2010
I have hiked donut falls a few times in the past before the upper donut fell in. But my boyfriend had never been there. So I dragged him up to hike donut falls he does hike this was his 2nd time hiking with me int he 5 years we have dated. I was a little disappointed that We couldn't see much from the bottom but bolders. But you can still climb up the blonders and see plenty. we Crowlder in the cave and i took pics and then We went kept going up to the top and i took pic of the water going in the the cave. there is still a lot to see if you climb up the bolders. its just not the safest/ easiest hike for younger kids.
Reviewed by David on 7/28/2010
Beautiful falls!! My gf and I had a romantic moment behind the waterfall in the cave. Very easy for her to make it up there. What's with everyone saying the hole is gone? Well, maybe some would like to see less people visit.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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