Tom’s Experience hiking to Donut Falls:
Donut Falls is one of the more popular hiking destinations in Big Cottonwood Canyon just outside of Salt Lake City. The trail is very well marked and easy to follow, and it has restrooms at the trailhead. There is a slight elevation gain but it isn’t too bad.
The trail is only about 1.5 miles round-trip to the falls and back if you are able to park in the upper parking lot. If not it is a 3.5 mile hike with the first and last mile being on paved and dirt roads. The upper parking lot has very limited parking and it fills up quickly during peak times.
The trail winds throughout the forest following a stream most of the way, until it reaches a steep rocky section right below the famous falls. This hike is really ideal for all ages, but the steep rocky section is more challenging and might be problematic for children or elderly.
We went in the spring and there was snow covering the steep rocks. Many people turned around before ever seeing the Donut Falls.
There is also a sign at the bottom of the rocks that warns about climbing the rocks. We were not able to make it up this rocky section with the baby so my wife stayed at the bottom as I climbed to see the falls.
No domestic animals are allowed in either of the Cottonwood Canyons since they are a watershed for Salt Lake City.
Trail Info: From Salt Lake, drive about 9 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the signed Mill D Trailhead on the right side of the road. If you come on a busy day you may need to park here adding about 2 miles round trip to your hike. If you are lucky, you can park further up the road at a smaller parking lot. The trail starts here right next to the information sign.
Donut Falls Trailhead = 40.639431,-111.651231
Donut Falls = 40.629633,-111.654879
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