Donut Falls - Hike and Swim near Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City,Utah
40.6496804966114, -111.648108959198
14.9 miles SE of Salt Lake City, Utah
GPS: 40°38'58.8"N 111°38'53.2"W
Maps | Directions
State: Utah

Restrooms Waterfalls Streams Trails Rocks Wildflowers

Hike and Swim

Very popular beginning hike in the Salt Lake City area. Many take this as a good intro hike into the outdoors, while others go for a trip out with friends to escape the rush of daily life. The donut name comes from the waterfall that flows into a cave through a hole in the cave ceiling. If visitors want to get a good view of the waterfall they need to be prepared to get wet in the process. 

Starting at a parking lot, visitors can follow a trail that will take them to a cave where, once they climb up and into it, will be greeted by the lovely Donut Falls. The climb into the cave is not too difficult. Visitors should just be careful of slick rocks from the stream as the climb into the cave of Donut Falls. Sometimes people want to climb on top of the cave roof and try to get a picture of the donut fall from the top down. This is not advised and trying to climb on the top has caused several fatalities in recent years. 

Overall the hike is a great hike for families and friends. In the summers the parking lot and trail can get very crowded as everyone likes to visit this cave. If going, consider going in the morning and on a weekday, which will cut down on the amount of people on the trail. The trail is relatively short, about 3 miles round trip, though remember to bring water and a camera to capture the pleasant nature around you.

The forested trail is well marked. The trailhead is in Big Cottonwood Canyon near the Jordan Pines picnic area.

 

2.7K Edited by cteicheira

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From Salt Lake City, Utah

  1. Head west on 400 S/University Blvd toward Main St (0.2 mi)
  2. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto W Temple (0.2 mi)
  3. Turn right onto 500 S/Cesar E. Chavez Blvd (0.6 mi)
  4. Take the I-80 E/I-80 W ramp on the left to Cheyenne/Reno/S.L. International Airport/Las Vegas (0.2 mi)
  5. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-15 S/I-80 E/Cheyenne/Las Vegas and merge onto I-15 S/I-80 E (2.5 mi)
  6. Keep left at the fork to continue on I-15 S (5.9 mi)
  7. Take exit 298 to merge onto I-215 E/Belt Route (5.5 mi)
  8. Take exit 6 for UT-190 E toward 3000 E (0.3 mi)
  9. Keep left, follow signs for 6200 South E (341 ft)
  10. Turn right onto UT-190 E/6200 S/Big Cottonwood Rd S
    Continue to follow UT-190 E
    (1.7 mi)
  11. Turn left onto UT-190 E/Big Cottonwood Cyn Rd
    Continue to follow UT-190 E
    Destination will be on the left
    (9.0 mi)
or

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)

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Guest Review/Comments

/5

leahmia

4/12/15 5:35 pm
Beautiful, easy hike! In early April, when we hiked it, there was still snow on two thirds of the trail and the bathrooms were not open yet. The website says 1.5 miles, but since the parking lot wasn't open yet, we had to hike from the main road to the trailhead, and that made it about 2.5 miles. The snow and ice made it tricky getting up the rocks to see the waterfall, but it was still totally worth it. That final ascent will be a lot easier/safer in the summer, I think. I would recommend bringing watershoes so you can enjoy the cave and still walk back down with dry feet. We went on a Saturday so there were lots of people on the trail. We also took lots of water and ended up not needing it all (the hike is pretty short). The trees were gorgeous, the rocks majestic, and the waterfall coming through the hole is just as awesome as the picture indicates! We'd definitely take our friends there.
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