Lake Blanche Falls, Utah

Lake Blanche Falls in May 2013

Let me start by saying that I believe there are more waterfalls that could be classified as Lake Blanche Falls. This is the easiest and closest to the start of the Lake Blanche trail head in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trail continues on for a ways, and climbs in elevation. Searches for Lake Blanche Falls indicate there might be taller falls along this trail.

This smaller waterfall is easily visited in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I visited last May, and there were still flurries at that time. Luckily, the main road wasn’t closed. One of the roads leading to Doughnut Falls, a very popular waterfall, was still closed, so I turned around. Hidden Falls, a really beautiful waterfall, is in one parking area along a S-curve in the road. In another parking area across the road is the start of the Lake Blanche trailhead. I wasn’t feeling particularly great, and didn’t wish to hike for a long time. I still wanted to see what was in the area, though, and so I hiked a short distance along this trail. I stopped once I saw some water flowing. The trail started going uphill at this point where the waterfall/cascades could be found.

I’m not sure that I’d go out of my way to see just this waterfall. As I’ve mentioned, though, Hidden Falls and Doughnut Falls are both close by. I also believe that on a warmer day, the hike along the Lake Blanche trailhead could be very enjoyable.

Directions:

  1. Head east on UT-190 (Cottonwood Canyon Road). You will enter the National Forest.
  2. Just past mile-marker 6 (which is not 6 miles along the path, but instead 4 miles or so), there is a S-shaped curve. There are two parking areas on the right side of the road. They are somewhat easy to miss at first!
  3. Park in the first parking lot. (The second leads to Hidden Falls.) From there, head east along the Lake Blanche trail, which hugs Big Cottonwood Creek. After a short distance, you should find this waterfall.

Accessibility: 10/10 (very easy hike to the falls)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Lake Blanche Falls?

Waterfall Canyon Falls, Utah

Waterfall Canyon Falls in May 2013

I’m one of those people that enjoys hiking, but at the same time, I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m going to collapse from exhaustion after (or during) hiking. That can make decisions to visit waterfalls difficult. When someone else says a trail is “Strenuous”, is it actually strenuous? Others have indicated that the hike to Waterfall Canyon Falls is strenuous, and that may be true. If I had hiked for some distance before visiting Waterfall Canyon, I might have been more worn out. Instead, at the beginning of the day, this ended up being a rather enjoyable hike.

The trail to Waterfall Canyon Falls (also known as Malan Falls) starts at the edge of Ogden, and is easy to find. There is parking for 20 or so cars. There is one confusing moment where the trail splits in a few directions. If in doubt, head south and head uphill. It will meander along the side of the mountain for a ways, and then it will veer more directly into Waterfall Canyon. The elevation gain is over 1200′ in 1.25 miles. It’s consistently uphill, which means the journey back down is much easier. It is strenuous, but it is by no means the worse I have been on. If you’re prepared, you’ll be fine.

The final stretch to the falls does require some care. I’d describe it as a slippery slope, so take it slowly! (It’s a very short distance along these rocks/slope.) At about 200′ tall, this is one impressive waterfall. It was great to be so up close and personal with this waterfall. It was relatively popular, so you probably won’t be alone. If you’re in Salt Lake City, you should definitely stop and visit Waterfall Canyon Falls.

Directions:

  1. From I-15/I-84, exit in Ogden onto UT-79, heading east.
  2. Stay on UT-79, which is also known as 30th Street. (There may be a left turn, followed by right turn involved in order to stay on UT-79, but I don’t remember since I used my GPS.)
  3. Turn left onto Polk Avenue, and then turn right onto 29th Street.
  4. Head to the end of 29th Street and turn right into the parking lot and the start of the trail head to the falls.
  5. At the trail head, start along the trail, veer left, then head uphill, finally veering right. Just keep heading uphill while heading southeast.

Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 200′
Length of Hike: 2.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Waterfall Canyon Falls?

Hidden Falls, Utah

Hidden Falls in May 2013

I planned on visiting the Salt Lake City area in late May, but due to work rescheduled to early May. I wondered whether snow at higher elevations would have any effect on finding waterfalls. Well, there is still snow, and there were flurries as I was driving to some of the higher elevations. Nothing too bad, though!

I was trying to find Donut Falls, but you’ll have to find out about that elsewhere. The road to the falls was blocked off.  I probably could have walked the extra mile to the trail head, but really had no wish to do that in the snow. Instead, I looked up some other waterfalls that were along the same road.

There are a number of waterfalls along UT-190. Hidden Falls is by far one of the easiest to find, easiest to visit, and just plain impressive. It’s a really stunning waterfall. A mine is right next to the falls, and there are also wood crates in the creek that lead to hidden coves. Hidden Falls is definitely worthwhile visiting!

Directions:

  1. Head east on UT-190 (Cottonwood Canyon Road).  You will enter the National Forest.
  2. Just past mile-marker 6 (which is not 6 miles along the path, but instead 4 miles or so), there is a S-shaped curve. There are two parking areas on the right side of the road. They are somewhat easy to miss at first! The second parking area, Mill B North Fork, is where you want to park.
  3. Follow the trail uphill and across UT-190.
  4. You will be able to see the falls, but it can be a little confusing.  Head up the obvious trail for just a few feet, and then veer left along a trail toward the creek. Don’t follow the trail that follows the road. And definitely don’t try to climb the trail that goes uphill. It’s way to complicated and steep!
  5. Follow the left trail along the creek a very short distance to the falls. If you feel like you’re exerting way too much energy, then it’s not the right path!

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Hidden Falls?