Spring is definitely in the air around here in Utah! That is, until it snows again like it inevitably does every year. But until then, I’m going to be soaking up the good weather and getting in as many hikes as I can!
The waterfalls around the Wasatch are always the best in the spring (hello snowmelt) so I usually make it my goal to hit as many as possible before the flow slows down again. So, in my opinion, here are the 7 best spring waterfall hikes (in no particular order) to make it to before the summer!
1. Bell Canyon Lower Falls
Distance: 4 miles round trip
Bell Canyon is one of my go-to hikes because of how easy it is to access – just at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The reservoir on the way to the falls is gorgeous in its own right, but if you’re willing to make the more difficult trek to the waterfall, you won’t regret it! Be careful though, and don’t climb around the falls or try to jump across the stream. The water runs faster than you think and it has been fatal to several people.
2. Scout Falls
Distance: 3 miles round trip
Scout Falls is one you’ll definitely want to hit in the spring because if you wait till late summer or fall, it may be just a trickle. It’s a fairly easy hike that starts at the Timpooneke trailhead in American Fork Canyon. Make sure the road is open before you head up – most years it doesn’t open until May. The trail wanders by gorgeous meadows and streams before ending in a canyon with several waterfalls cascading from the top. No matter which direction you look, the views are incredible!
3. Rocky Mouth
Distance: 1 mile round trip
When I want to head out on a hike but don’t have a lot of time, Rocky Mouth is always where I go. At just an easy half mile each way, anyone can do this hike, and the payoff is awesome: a cool, shaded cove with a thin waterfall carving its way down the cliff. This fall does run year round, but it’s much bigger in the springtime with the snow runoff! It’s located just off Wasatch Boulevard in Sandy – so easy to access and a fun little getaway (and also the perfect place to hang a hammock for an afternoon)!
4. Horsetail Falls
Distance: 4.5 miles round trip
I just barely did this hike for the first time recently, and I couldn’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! Horsetail Falls is a 100 foot tall waterfall tucked into Dry Creek Canyon in Alpine. The trail is a steady incline, but it’s not too steep and is totally worth it. Make sure to wear proper footwear if you hit this one up in early spring, as the path is likely to still be snowy, muddy, and slippery. You’ll have to do a little bit of bushwhacking to get to the base of the falls, but it’s not hard to find as long as you follow the directions (linked below). This is another one to be careful around – the rocks around the falls can be slippery and you definitely don’t want to fall in!
5. Battle Creek Falls
Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Battle Creek Falls is a true gem that’s beautiful anytime of year. It’s the perfect place to go when you feel that spring fever kicking in and you have the itch to get outside for an afternoon. The trailhead is in Pleasant Grove and you have a simple uphill climb for three-quarters of a mile to get to the falls. If you’re feeling daring, you can rappel here, or you can head to the top and set up a hammock across the stream for a relaxing nap. I love to bring little Amaya the shiba inu to play in the water at the bottom of the waterfall.
6. Adam’s Canyon Waterfall
Distance: 4 miles round trip
Adam’s Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in Utah! It’s not as busy as some of the other trails, since it’s tucked away in Layton and not as popular as the bigger canyons in Salt Lake and Utah Valleys. The hike itself is difficult in some parts and easier in others, but overall it’s one that kids could definitely do with a little time. You’ll pass several mini waterfalls on your way to the top, but you’ll know when you get to the main event. Sit down, pull out a sandwich, and enjoy for a while!
7. Heugh’s Canyon
Distance: 3.5 miles round trip
If you’re looking for a semi-secret hike in the Wasatch, Heugh’s Canyon is a good place to start. The trailhead is at the back of a fancy neighborhood off Wasatch and isn’t known by many. Once the vegetation starts coming back in the spring, this hike gives you more of a “jungle” feel than many other trails in Utah, and you’ll wonder if you stepped into another world. Once you come to the boulder field at the top, you’ll be able to see the falls, but you must scramble over the rock slide to get to the base of it. No matter what you decide to do, you won’t regret climbing up there!
Have you done any of these hikes? Which one is first on your list?