Mt.Wire is a small mountain that overlooks the University of Utah, Emigration Canyon, and Red Butte Canyon. It is conveniently close, and can be hiked year round. Unfortunately, Mt.Wire isn't much to look at, but what this little hill lacks in prestige, it more than makes up for with steep trails, nice views of the valley, and a spacious top to stretch out and enjoy the scenery. Plus, Mt. Wire is dog friendly! Along the way, you'll pass the famous Living Room trail, which is a great spot to take your first break. There are several ways you can summit, but I've found the easiest to be this route.
In SLC, head east on I-80 towards Park City. Take exit 129 for Foothill Drive. Drive 3.3 miles, then turn Right on Wakara Way. Drive straight, until you pass the Natural History Museum/Red Butte Gardens sign, then turn right into the museum parking lot. Park at the southern-most end, by the stairs. No restrooms are available.
Distance: 5.2 miles RT
Elevation gain: 2,000 ft
Time: 3-5 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, but it may be steep for them
*Be aware of mountain bikers along the first section of this trail if you bring your dog*
Walk South along the BST and turn left at the "174" pipeline marker.
Walk up the narrow gully. This can be really muddy in early Spring.
Around 1.2 miles turn right, following another tight gulley called George's Hollow.
This section of the trail starts out with low brush, and in springtime, can be very muddy.
When you come to the first 4 way intersection in the trail, if you go straight for about 100 ft you will have a nice overlook of Red Butte Canyon to the North, and SLC to the West. Go back to the 4 way intersection and continue East up the steep hill.
From this point, the trail gets even steeper. Follow the switchbacks up the hill. This is also where the trail became even muddier!
Making our way up the switchbacks. It probably would be better to wait to do this trail later in the year, in May, once it dries out. SLC has been getting a lot of springtime rain/snow, so we knew it would be like this. My hiking poles were really helpful the entire hike.
The trail will level out for a little bit, then will quickly climb back up the next hill.
The final push to the summit...
Interesting facts about Mt. Wire
- Mt. Wire is named after Lester Wire, an SLC policeman who, in 1912, developed the first red-green traffic light
- Mt. Wire used to identified by two large, plain white billboards, which were actually passive microwave repeaters. These structures were used to bounce microwave signals over the mountain to the northeastern parts of Utah.
- The microwave billboards were removed in 2013 due to people vandalizing them.
- Mt. Wire is an old air beacon, that has long been out of service.
- Evidence of the air beacon is still present, as old electrical wire can still be been, along with breaker boxes.
- You can still climb up to the top of the old air beacon, but be sure to have someone "spot" you in case you slip.
On the summit with Charlie, looking West. You can clearly see the Oquirrh Mountains and the SLC Valley. The summit is almost always windy. Be sure to bring a light jacket.
A perfect Spring hike!
On this day, I decided to turn this hike into a loop. Hike up the standard route, then down the South Ridge, hiking back to my car. It was only 6.3 miles RT as a loop. Not bad!
Dude Benchmark Peak (7,212 ft) is the high point in between Salt Lake City & Bountiful, Utah. The ridge extends for miles, with City Creek Canyon below to the South and views of Thurston Peak and Ben Lomond Peak to the North. There are several routes to reach Dude Peak, but the easiest is from the North side in Bountiful, starting from a neighborhood trailhead. The hike itself is easy in that there is nothing technical or super steep. It follows the rolling hills along the ridge, with several up and downs, until it reaches the small rocky outcropping overlooking the entire East side of the Salt Lake Valley. Some sections are rocky, but lasts for a short time. Because this trail has zero shade or water, you'll want to start hiking early. We were hiking by 8am and I wished we started even earlier. It was 55F but because it was a clear day the sun felt really hot, and we were both sweating a lot. Spring seems to be the best time to hike this trail when the flowers are in bloom and temperatures aren't as hot as later in the year. I loved how green it was in May! This trail is dog and kid friendly.
From SLC head north on I-15, and take exit 312 for HWY 89. Turn right on Eagle Ridge Drive. Drive around the round-a-bout, staying on Eagle Ridge drive for 2.3 miles until you reach the first and only stop sign. Turn right on Eaglewood Loop, then left on Elk Hollow Rd. Drive another 0.5 miles, then turn right on Hidden Lake Drive. Turn right again on Hidden Lake Circle. Drive to the very end, of this road, driving up the single lane road past a gate.
The San Rafael Swell is a mecca of hiking and camping, all free thanks to BLM Land. It's a great area to explore off trail, find rock art, hike through slot canyons, and traverse over red and white slick rock. The Swell offers something for everyone, so it's great for the whole family, kids, and dogs included. The best times of year to hike here are early Spring and late Fall when the temperatures are cooler. From arches to the best views, here are the 6 Best Trails in the San Rafael Swell!
Farnsworth Canyon is located in the San Rafael Swell, and offers a little something for everyone. A short slot canyon, pictographs, exploring off trail, and desert flowers in the Spring all abound. Hiking to the pictographs is only 1.5 miles one way, so even kids can enjoy this hike and "hunt" for the pictograph.
Hurst Natural Bridge is located in the San Rafael Swell, high above Ernie Canyon. There is no trail to reach Hurst Bridge, making a fun day for those who like adventuring and exploring. This hike is best during Winter, early Spring and late Fall when the temperatures have cooled off. If you like hiking to lesser known ares of The Swell, this is the trail for you!
Wild Horse Window Arch sits in the heart of the San Rafael Swell near Goblin Valley State Park. This arch is actually visible from the road leading to Goblin Valley yet very few make the trek to this cool arch. There are several nicknames such as "The Eye of the Swell" and "The Eye of Sinbad". Older maps refer to it as Skylight Arch, but whatever you call it, it's worth the hour or two it will take to see this massive area. There's no official trail, and that's partially what makes this fun.
Five Hole Arch (aka Colonnade Arch) is located south of Green River, UT off a rough 4x4 dirt road. The arch is so special it has two names - Five Hole Arch for the obvious five holes nature has created, and Colonnade Arch for the resemblance to Colonnade architecture (a row of columns supporting a roof). Some maps only show one or the other name, and some only label it as "Natural Arch". Whatever you prefer to call it, this arch is quite stunning once you find it. Dogs and kids should be able to do this hike, just make sure to bring plenty of water even though the distance is short.
Little Wild Horse Canyon is the perfect introduction to slot canyons in Utah - it was actually my first slot canyon in April 2014. This slot canyon is easy to navigate, the trail is well marked, it's usually free of standing water, the canyon walls are just wide enough for you to fit through, you can drive to the trail head in a small, compact car (most slot canyon entrances require a 4X4 car to get to the TH), you can hike this within 2 hours, and it's like a fun maze for kids and dogs.
Moonshine Wash slot canyon is tucked away in the middle of the San Rafael desert, and is now one of my favorite non-technical slot canyons in Utah. The best section of the Moonshine Wash slot canyon lasts for about 1.5 miles, and at every nook and cranny the lighting can look very different and vibrant. There are a few chock stones creating a fun obstacle for hikers, where you have to use a down climbing technique called stemming (also chimneying). Both techniques require you to push your weight up against the slot canyon walls to help maneuver down drops more than 6 ft.
The Wedge Overlook is located in the San Rafael Swell only 3 hours from Salt Lake City. Often referred to as the "Little Grand Canyon", this destination offers expansive and stunning views similar to Grand Canyon National Parkwithout the tourists, and fees, yet also allows dogs off leash. The Wedge was created from the San Rafael River carving into the terrain over millions of years. From the overlook you can see the San Rafael River, Window Blind Peak, Sid's Mountain Wilderness Study Area, and the lower Buckhorn Wash area. Camping is free.
Horsetail Falls is one of my favorite hikes to do with the dogs. I always do this hike in the spring time because I love seeing the spring run off gushing over the falls. This time, I wanted to see it frozen and in snowy conditions. To be honest, I love seeing these falls year round - the views never fail to amaze me. Horsetail Falls is roughly 100 ft high. The trail is mostly shaded, yet rocky. Be prepared for a good workout, as this trail climbs 1,700 ft in just 2.2 miles. Be advised that horses frequently use this trail, so it's a good idea to have a leash handy. There are two stream crossings which have water year round. You can hike to both the top and base of the falls.
From I-15, take exit 289 for 138th South/Bangeter, and head East past Harmon's grocery store. Stay on Bangeter up the hill as it turns into Traverse Ridge Rd. At the first stop sign near the top of the hill, turn left onto Suncrest Drive, and drive down the other side of "Point of The Mountain" as the locals call it. Turn left on W 118th N, and drive past the LDS church. Turn Right on W 200th N. At the 2nd stop sign, turn left onto Grove Drive. You will drive through a small neighborhood, and the speed limit is 25 mph, then around a corner it will be 5 mph. When you come to a T, turn right, and follow the road up, past the Rodeo Grounds sign, and you'll see the Dry Canyon TH sign. Pull into the large parking lot. I would say that 30 cars can fit here. I like driving this way better than taking Hwy 92, because it's more scenic and it's the same drive time.
Another driving option from I-15
From I-15, take exit 284 and head East towards AF Canyon (UT-92). Take the Commuter Lane to avoid all the lights, and turn left on N 6000 W, at the light. Turn left on Westfield Road, then right on 200 N. Turn left on Grove Drive. You will drive through a small neighborhood, and the speed limit is 25 mph, then around a corner it will be 5 mph. When you come to a T, turn right, and follow the road up, past the Rodeo Grounds sign, and you'll see the Dry Canyon TH sign. Pull into the large parking lot. I would say that 30 cars can fit here. Here is a driving map.
Distance: 4.5 miles RT
Elevation gain: 1700 ft
Time: 3-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid Friendly? Yes
This is what the parking area and TH look like.
The first part of the trail will be open, with no shade. You will hear the river down to the left. You can actually walk down to it, following the small trail off to the left. The area by the river is a popular backpacking spot for boyscouts and those looking for a quick, over-nighter.
15 minutes into the hike, you will now be walking through a forested area. The trail is a steady incline.
At 1.2 miles, you will reach Shingle Mill Flat, which is a nice forest meadow popular, again, for boy scouts. When it isn't populated with people, you will often see wildlife running about. Near the upper part of the meadow the trail will split, but they merge quickly. A few times I have hiked here, I have seen people put sticks blocking the right path, encouraging hikers to stay left. My guess is the forest service is trying to let that section have some time for regrowth.
This is the same meadow - May 2019
Parts of the trail were a complete ice sheet under some fresh snow. Always carry microspikes with you in winter! They have saved my life a few times from slipping and hurting myself.
Our first stream crossing. Along this hike you will pass over several dry stream beds (in fall/winter). However in spring, I have seen these streams fairly high.
Around the corner from the first stream crossing you will get a nice overlook of the canyon, and can finally see Horsetail Falls. They look small here, but wait until you get to the base of them!
Cross the 2nd stream
Just after the 2nd stream, you will come to a fork. Though both of these trails head right, you will want to turn left.
To get to the base of the falls, you actually need to do a little bush whacking and get off trail. The best point to access this is about 20 ft from the trail split sign. It will be very noticeable - there is a rock, and several bushes that have been cleared from others hiking the same way. It is steep for only 10-15 ft.
After you get down the steep part, you will then cross through a very swampy/muddy area, with low hanging branches. Watch your footing and face, as you follow the small trail. It will open up very quickly, so don't let this nasty section make you turn around. Once it opens, you will hear the rush of water as the trail turns a corner and leads you to the base of the falls.
At the base of the falls! You can actually hike up to the top of the falls from here. Be careful where you step - there are several drop offs down to the falls. A few people have even died here, and if you explore these rocks, you will find an old plaque of a boy who died here. This is one area you will want kids to stay close by. These rocks near the falls are slippery year-round, so again, be careful.
Here is what the falls looked like in April 2015. Can you find me? This shows how big the falls really are.
May 2017 was the highest level of water I have ever seen at Horsetail Falls - it was raging! The trail up was often turned into a stream as well.
May 2018 Not nearly as high as 2017!
Here is a route overview, looking East.
A closer view of where the trail comes to a T, and where you need to get off the trail and do a little bush whacking to get to the base of the falls.
Farnsworth Canyon is located in the San Rafael Swell, and offers a little something for everyone. A short slot canyon, pictographs, exploring off trail, and desert flowers in the Spring all abound. Hiking to the pictographs is only 1.5 miles one way, so even kids can enjoy this hike and "hunt" for the pictograph. Farnsworth Canyon does extend much further, to the other side of the reef, but most people turn around at 1.5 miles. There is zero shade or water, so start early to beat the heat. The slot canyon is very easy to walk through, and nothing technical is required so it's great for beginners.
Google Maps doesn't understand how to reach this spot, so using a provided map will not work. From I-70 take exit 149 heading south. Turn right for the Goblin Valley State Park sign, and drive 5.1 miles then turn right on the dirt country road at the pull off with three large brown signs. Reset your odometer, and drive 2.3 miles. You will see a dirt pull out on the left side of the road. A mini SUV or larger will make the drive easy - do not attempt to drive here with a small car. There's several dry washes and rocks to drive over.
GPS of "trailhead" parking area: 38.666370, -110.615097
Distance: 3 miles RT
Elevation gain: 120 ft
Time: 2-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Once at the "trailhead" you'll see these two wilderness posts and what looks like an old 4x4 road. This is the trail, and Farnsworth Canyon is straight ahead.
Follow the well worn path.
Then drop down into the dry wash. Continue straight.
Walking in the wash is a little hard because its super sandy making each step feel like like two. If you bring your dog, start hiking early in the morning so they don't burn their paws.
Within 15 minutes of hiking you'll enter the fun, slot canyon section.
When your dog gives you the side-eye! Charlie loves slot canyons just as much as I do!
Pure happiness in the slot canyon section! Photo by @iboyer
I was really surprised by this canyon and how pretty it was. I didn't do a ton of research ahead of time like I normally do, so going in with low exceptions worked out quite well!
Around 1 mile you will get out of the slot canyon and Farnsworth now opens up a lot more. We did some exploring before continuing on.
At exactly 1.5 miles you will see a large cairn in the middle of the dry wash. Look up to the rocks and you should be able to easily find the red pictographs. Follow the small trail up to them.
This pictograph is known as "Sunrise & Shadow Panel". I was amazed at how well preserved these were!
From there we turned around and explored a little more off-trail.
We even found several Evening Primrose flowers in bloom!
Back at camp some distant rain clouds blew in and we watched the weather sweep by. What a great day to be in the Swell!
Check out my YouTube video!
Hiking to Hurst Natural Bridge & Farnsworth Canyon - YouTube
Hurst Natural Bridge is located in the San Rafael Swell, high above Ernie Canyon. There is no trail to reach Hurst Bridge, making a fun day for those who like adventuring and exploring. Make sure you have a downloaded topo map of the area, as there is no cell service. There is no shade, nor water so be prepared to be self-reliant. This is a dog friendly hike, but the sand will burn their paws if you start too late - we started hiking at 10am and I wished we had started no later than 7-8am. This hike is best during Winter, early Spring and late Fall when the temperatures have cooled off. If you like hiking to lesser known ares of The Swell, this is the trail for you!
From I-70 heading West, take exit 149 towards Hanksville, UT. Drive South on HWY 24 for 18.6 miles, and you'll see a gate on the right side of the road in between mile marker 142 & 141. Go through the gate (make sure to close it), and drive 1 mile, where you'll reach a split in the road with a large brown sign. Keep going straight here for another 2.25 miles. The last 1/4 mile is very sandy. As long as you have an SUV or larger, you can easily make this drive. Do not attempt to take a small car, as you will not make it over some of the bigger rocks in the road, nor through the sand. Total mileage from the highway turn off is 3.2 miles.
GPS location of Hurst Bridge: 38.73605, -110.57104
As you continue driving you'll see this Dead End sign. Just after this is where the road turns very sandy and you'll be in a dry wash. It would not be wise to drive through this after a recent rain.
Park at the dead end, and start by hiking behind the brown sign. Stay to the left of the wooden fence to get around it.
Hike in the dry wash for 1 mile.
Ernie Canyon begins to open up, and you'll see where you need to hike - the small saddle at the top of that ridge, just to the right of the cliff.
A trail fades in and out as you cross a grassy field just below the slick rock.
The trail was now gone, and we had some climbing to do to reach the small saddle. You can see how high we already were above Ernie Canyon.
After you reach the saddle, hike in a Westerly direction paying attention to your GPS. There's no right way, but you'll want to hike in the correct direction.
After following what we thought was a trail, it was leading us too far South. We stopped to discuss where to go.
Charlie was starting to struggle with the heat so we kept moving. He drank about 1.5 liters on this hike, though I should have probably given him closer to 2 liters.
When you start to get close to Hurst Bridge, you'll hike across this large open and flat red slick rock area. It's about the size of half a football field, and you'll want to aim for the small canyon straight ahead with those trees.
Hike down to the small wash.
Then follow it in a NE direction.
Walk under this cool "subway" rock.
And just around the corner will be Hurst Natural Bridge! Based on the photos I was expecting it to be much larger - I would say its about 30 ft tall and has a 55 ft span.
I climbed up some rocks to get above the arch - I was hoping to be right on top but wasn't sure I could get back down on my own. So I took a few photos from this angle, which was still a great view.
Under the bridge, Charlie finds shade under the boulders.
One more look before we hiked out! I thought morning was the perfect time to hike here because the sun illuminated the area around the arch making it glow. We started hiking around 10 am, and reached it in 1.5 hours.
Back at our camp, Charlie was over the heat and hiking and fell right asleep. I wished we would have hiking much earlier than when we didn't, but we didn't know the heat would affect him so much. Being 7 years old is ruff!
We opted not to use our tent because of the wind so we set up the crash pad in my car and slept in there. It worked out perfect!
Check out my YouTube video!
Hiking to Hurst Natural Bridge & Farnsworth Canyon - YouTube
The red line is the dirt road. The blue and purple lines are my hikes in and out, so you can see how much of a different route we took each time. Just want to emphasize that there is no trail, so this is why my tracks are so different.
Toquerville Falls is located near St.George in Toquerville, UT. The falls flow from La Verkin Creek over two pour offs - the first a cascade of falls, and the second a complete drop off to about 20 feet to the bottom of the creek. No hiking is required, but you better have a 4x4 car. The sign along the road says "4x4 recommended", but there's no way anything less will make it. The dirt road is only 5.3 miles, but driving it will take you around 45 minutes. We drove a Tacoma and put it in 4-wheel drive several times, all while driving very slow. The drive is worth it though, as you follow the Hurricane Cliffs to the West, and Smith Plateu to the East. Coming here during Winter or after a rain would not be an ideal time to visit, as the road could be very wet and muddy. All other seasons area great, with high run-off in Spring (what we experienced). In summer, expect hundreds of people cooling off in Toquerville Falls! This area is great for the whole family, especially if you like to ride ATVs or dirt bikes.
From I-15 take exit 27 towards Toquerville, UT, driving East on UT-17. Turn left on Spring Drive. Reset your odometer to 0, and drive 5.8 miles along this road. Once you reach the green sign, the dirt road begins and you will now need 4x4 drive. This drive will take about 45 minutes to reach the falls from the sign.
You can use this driving map, however Google doesn't understand where the falls are. Use my map provided below for an accurate drive.
Distance: There is no hiking required
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash but be careful of strong currents
Kid friendly? Yes
Ready for some off roading! Toquerville Falls are 5.3 miles from this sign.
Wow, what a pretty drive! The brown mountain to the right is the Smith Plateau. Some sections of road were completely flat and easy to drive. The road is a single lane, so you still have to go slow in case you need to share the road.
The Hurricane Cliffs ahead. If you have an ATV you can explore much more of this area.
After a beautiful drive we reached the falls! We were surprised to see ATVs and people on the other side of the creek. I wasn't aware of another route to get here, but if you do some research and want to take an ATV this way, I'm sure it would be really fun.
You can see the falls were brown from the recent rain and snow melt from up high. There was no way we were going to get wet today or try and cross it.
The large pour off that is roughly 20 ft high. Can't believe how fast the water was raging!
Charlie dipped his toes in the water, but I kept him back from going out too far. I was concerned about the strength of the current and didn't want him falling over the lower falls. I think he still had a good time!
So glad I finally got to see this place - it's been on my list forever!
I would love to come back in the Fall when the leaves have turned red and yellow yet would still be warm enough to play in the water. Until next time!
Check out my Youtube video on my 3 day trip to St. George!
Spring 2019 Trip to St.George (4 Hikes!) - YouTube
Rattlesnake Gulch in Millcreek Canyon is one of my go-to after work hikes. You don't have to drive very far up the canyon to have great access to this moderate trail, which leads to a beautiful overlook of the Salt Lake valley. I highly recommend this as sunset hike - bring a thermos of hot chocolate or tea and sit at the overlook to enjoy the view. This trail works steadily up the mountain for the first mile, then is level for the second mile, making this a great trail run. There is plenty of shade, but no water.
Millcreek Canyon is owned by the Salt Lake County Parks and is managed by the US Forest Service, and therefore charges a $3 fee per car upon exit. You can also buy an annual pass for $40. Other annual passes such as National Park Pass and Utah State Parks pass do not qualify as a pass for Millcreek.
From SLC, head East on I-80 towards Park City, then head south on I-215. Take exit 4 for 3900 S Wasatch Blvd. Veer left, then take a left at the first light (Wasatch Blvd). At the next light, turn right on Millcreek Canyon Road. Drive 1.5 miles up the canyon, and look for the Rattlesnake Gulch parking area to the left.
Distance: 3.5 miles RT
Elevation: 700 ft
Dog friendly? Yes. Dogs can be off leas on ODD days, and must be leashed on EVEN days.
Kid friendly? Yes! Fees/Permit: There is no permit required however there is a $3 upon exit of Millcreek. Free if you have an annual Millcreek Canyon pass (they do no accept any other annual passes like the State or National Park Pass)
This is what you'll see for the TH. A small sign is off to the left, and then you'll pass this information board.
I started hiking around 4:30pm, and the light on the mountains above were so pretty!
At the large rock jetting straight up, turn left. There is a small trail heading right, but it is a game trail.
Working my way up the alpenglow seemed to get even better! Half way up you should get a great view Millcreek Canyon from across the way.
Almost to the section in the trail, where it levels out.
Once you reach the leveled out section, you will be walking on the ledge of the mountain, and will have great views of Millcreek Canyon. This is my favorite section of the trail - the first time the trail really opens and you get a great view of the valley.
Just around the corner - the view! Keep working your way to the very end, so you get the best view. Those are the Oquirrh Mountains in the distance.
At the end of the trail, Charlie took a break and posed for the camera. This is looking back from where we just hiked.
New trail sign as of July 2018
The Overlook during Spring! (May 2017)
Jax enjoys exploring the trail in Spring!
Group hike with "Hiking in Utah with our Dogs!" The group is free to join and hikes every Tuesday night, hiking a different dog-friendly trail each week!
The Anasazi Trail (aka Tempi'po'op, which means "rock writing" in Southern Paiute) in St.George is a casual trail that leads to ancient Pueblo & Paiute remains, as well as petroglyphs. This is more of a walk, rather than a hike, and is great for the whole family to do since it is only 2.2 miles RT. There is zero shade nor water, and the trail gets hot quickly. If you bring your dogs make sure to start early in the day so they don't burn their paws. The path itself consists of long switchbacks, which lead you to a very small hill where the old farmstead was located, and is now fenced off. After checking that out, continue walking uphill (to the South) to see the petroglyphs.
From St.George, head North on HWY 18, then turn left on Bluff St (HWY 8), which turns into Sunset Drive. Once you see Pioneer Parkway intersect from the right, and continue straight 1.6 miles until you see the brown sign for the Anasazi Trail and turn left. Drive another 1/3 mile until you see the parking lot on the left. A port-a-potty is available.
The Farmington Canyon Trail and waterfall is one of my new favorite trails in Davis County. I was surprised at how big this canyon felt, how green it is in Spring, and I loved the 40 ft waterfall. Our dogs had a blast on this trail since there were plenty of stream crossings for them to drink from and play in. The Farmington Canyon Trail is really well shaded, not too steep, and parallels the Farmington Canyon Road. Since this trail is on a south facing slope, this would be a great trail to snowshoe in winter. Be advised that the winter gate is only open from mid-May to mid-October, depending on snow. If the winter gate is closed, you'll need to add on another 1.5 miles before you get to the trailhead. Farmington Creek is the largest stream in Davis County, which leads to a primitive US Forest Service Campground, called Sunset Campground. Along the way you'll pass about three old cars that fell off the road back in the 1950s-60s. The expansive views and waterfall make this a worthy hike. Grab some snacks, water, and your dogs, and hit this trail early in the morning before the trail gets too hot and crowded.
From SLC head north on I-15 and take exit 324 and turn right at the light. Follow it as it turns in to Main Street, then turn left onto 600 North. Turn left on Farmington Canyon Rd. Drive 1.6 miles along Farmington Canyon Road. This road is narrow, so drive slow and watch out for runners, bikers, and ATVs also using this road. Right where the pavement ends is a pullout on the right side of the road. This is the trailhead parking. The trail starts to the NW of the parking lot. There are no restrooms and no fees to use this trail.
The trailhead has no signs, but starts in the NW corner of the dirt parking area. As of April 2019 there is now a brown trail sign here.
The trail immediately starts to gain elevation, but is very moderate. Most of the hike you will have a view of the creek below.
Beautiful mini flowers along the trail.
Star shaped flowers were everywhere!
1st stream crossing. Mutt Butts in the stream!
The trail is about half well shaded and very green in Spring.
2nd stream crossing. Thankfully the water was low enough we could rock hop to the other side.
Pass the first old car about 3/4 of the way up the trail, which will be on your right.
A few feet along the trail you'll pass the 2nd car, this time on your left.
Cross the 3rd stream. If you go left, you'll see a 3rd old car in the middle of the stream, however the trail goes right.
We first went left to check out the last old car we found. Charlie inspects the car for us.
After the 3rd stream crossing, continue following the trail to the right, and hike under or around this old tree. As of April 2019 this large tree has been cut down and no longer there.
About 5 minutes past the 3rd stream you'll see the cutoff to get down to the base of the waterfall on your right. Only hike down this if you are a very experienced hiker, and/or are ok with a steep drop off and using the rope that is provided. I wouldn't recommend hiking down this during rain or winter. It rained the day before and this drop off was still pretty slick and muddy.
Hiking down we went really slow so as to not slip on the wet rocks and mud.
At the base of Farmington Canyon Waterfall. Because the waterfall was running really high, there was mist in the air and we got cold fairly quickly.
Charlie turned around to make sure I was hiking back up behind him. He's a very considerate furry child! You can see that there is a rope to help hikers up and down the drop off.
Working my way back up the steep drop off.
Continuing along the trail, we got to the top of the falls.
After the waterfall, the trail gets very steep the last 0.3 miles to the campground. The trail seems less traveled beyond the falls, but there it's still easy to follow, and there's even a sweet backpacking campsite on the right along the trail.
Arriving at the campground, we found a picnic table and had a snack. Thankfully the port-a-potty in the campground was open. The Sunset Campground has 10 campsites which you can reserve here. January 28th, 2018
Cold and snowy!
It was fun to see the waterfall frozen!
We had an amazing winter so the falls were raging!!!
Trail map to the waterfall. To get to the campground just keep hiking past the waterfall on the main trail.