Family friendly Donut Falls trail up Big Cottonwood Canyon

Overview: If you want to hike Donut Falls this summer, you should know that it is one of the most popular hikes up Big Cottonwood Canyon, so you need to get there before 9am if you want to find good parking and avoid the crowds!

You will probably see a couple, quick-thinking families, scarfing down a box of donuts at the trailhead before they begin their hike. 

Zach brought his box of donuts all the way to the top to share. I think this is the first hike he got more attention than my big belly (this was our last hike before the baby arrived)! It was a nice change! Someone even asked to pose with his box!

I thought the hike was easy (just a little steep at the beginning but no switch backs). That being said… I wish someone had mentioned that to see the actual Donut Falls of the hike, you have to scramble up the stream (see photo above). 

If you don’t think you can make it up that, no worries. The rest of the hike is still worth the trip otherwise it wouldn’t be so popular.

This hike also has a plethora of adorable chipmunks that aren’t shy of going right up to you. The kids loved it. Secretly, I loved it. I will pass on panhandling squirrels, but chipmunks are another story entirely.

And thats that! The whole hike from start to finish took us about an hour. 

Tips:

  • If you are unlucky and can’t find parking in the upper lot area, then you have to park in the lower parking lot, which adds a big chunk of unshaded walking to your hike.
  • Someone said that Donut Falls collapsed but it was fine last time I was there. 

Trail Details:

Length: 3.5 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Dog-Friendly: No.

Location: Mill D Trailhead up Big Cottonwood Canyon (near Salt Lake City). There is small upper parking lot and a lower parking lot.

Trailhead Coordinates: (N) 40.629722, (W) -111.654722

Please feel free to comment and ask questions. We would love to hear how your hike went or hear suggestions of hikes we may not have heard of before!

Comments

  1. says

    My family are always looking for new hikes. We live in UT county so we stay down here most of the time, but the hubby and I used to hike all over Big Cottonwood Canyon and would enjoy taking the kids up there to see it. The pictures are amazing! What kind of camera do you have?

    • wADMIN says

      Hey Aliza! We actually live in Utah County as well! I have some upcoming posts that are in or around Utah County that I bet you will find useful! That is funny that you would ask about the camera, because it is my iphone lol. Zach just bought me a Canon T5 for the site though and I am excited to try it out! How old are your kids? I have a seven month old baby girl.

  2. says

    This is a nice hike. We just went to the base of the falls. We had younger kids with us and they made it with no issues. I remember this being a popular trail, I wish it was less crowded but it’s still a fun one to go on with pretty scenery.

  3. says

    My family and I hiked to Donut Falls for the first time yesterday and we had a blast! The recent rain meant there was a ton more water than in your photos. We definitely got our feet wet, but it was so much fun!

    • wADMIN says

      Awesome! I need to get updated photos of this hike! (We just used some old ones we had on Instagram, because we hiked it before deciding to start this blog!)

    • Robin says

      Does anyone know if there’s a back way to get to the top of the falls if you don’t want to scale the rocks?

    • wADMIN says

      Cheryl,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you – the holidays have really gotten away from me!

      During the new year, I hope to implement some updates to the site, including some CSS to make the posts more ‘print-ready.’

      Thanks for your suggestion!

      Merry Christmas, Zach

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