The 5 Most Unique Waterfalls in Utah

Utah has a lot of beautiful waterfalls, but how do you choose which ones to see? Here at Wanderookie, we’re a little obsessed with hiking waterfalls, and we’ve rounded up five SEVEN of the most unique waterfalls in Utah that you have to see this year!

Each waterfall on this list has something about it that makes it unique and worth it’s own hike. Start now and finish this list by the end of summer! 

Commit to Leave No Trace: Some of these locations are real gems and deserve protection. If you are grateful for this list and would like posts like this in the future, then please leave no trace when you go. It is a tricky balance telling people about these places and protecting them from vandalism (trash or graffiti) – we try to strike a good balance here by encouraging you to be extra mindful. Carry out all your trash and report vandalism to the local park ranger office. Take a picture of the vandals if possible. Thank you for helping protect our public lands! 

UPDATE: We recently added two new waterfalls to the list! Making it seven not five!

The 5 Most Unique Waterfalls in Utah!

1. Stewart Falls: Stewart Falls is the trail we choose when we have visiting family or friends that we want to impress! This 200 ft waterfall makes this one of the largest waterfall hikes in Utah, and it’s located right next to Sundance Ski Resort. More than that, though: you can always count on Stewart Falls having a large flow of water, unlike some other waterfalls in Utah that pitter out to a trickle late summer. This fall is a reliable crowd pleaser that is just easy enough for all skill levels to hike. Click here for photos and more information!

One of the best hikes in Utah! Stewart Falls should be on everyone's bucket list this summer!

2. Fifth Water Hot Springs Waterfall: This has to be one of my favorite waterfalls located near Spanish Fork! This waterfall is just plain bizarre: the waterfall is ice cold, but there is a little cave under it with a warm spring bubbling up. You read that right. There is a hot spring inside the waterfall! There is also a second hole in the falls that you can climb up and stick your head through for a photo. Just make sure your camera man is ready to capture the photo FAST, because there is no spring in that spot to keep you warm! As if this waterfall needed another reason to be awesome, it helps feed the hot spring pools with little cascades.  Click here for photos and more information!

The 5 Most Unique Waterfalls in Utah!

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A photo posted by @wanderookie on

3. Battle Creek Falls: The hike to Battle Creek Falls is short and steep. What makes this waterfall stand out, though, is the rappelling route above it. Who knew that something as exotic as rappelling a waterfall would be less than a mile up a canyon next to Pleasant Grove? Obviously, this would take some gear and practice, but if boy scouts can rappel you should be able to add it to your bucket list. There is an awesome beginner route called the Ogden 9th Street Crag you could practice on with someone that is willing to show you the ropes (no pun intended). Click here for photos and more information on Battle Creek Falls!

20 Reasons to Hike Battle Creek Falls! This hike is short and sweet for both families and outdoor enthusiasts!

4. Adam’s Waterfall: The hike to Adam’s Waterfall is what makes this place unique. Not only are the actual falls beautiful, but the trail up to the falls is absolutely gorgeous. No trekking through a barren canyon without any shade. This trail follows a swift stream through a lush canyon forest. This is the trail we choose when we want to really feel like we are out in the wilderness. Click here for photos and more information!

Adam's Waterfall trail up Adam's canyon is one of the most beautiful trails in Utah! This hike has lots of shade, a waterfall and moderately rugged terrain!

5. Donut Falls: This list just wouldn’t be complete without Donut Falls up Big Cottonwood Canyon. There is a reason this is one of the most popular hikes in Utah. I’ve never seen anything quite like Donut Falls. The falls pour through a hole in the rock before cascading down the rocky stream. Speaking of the rocky stream – you have to climb up it to actually see the Donut Falls, so be ready to get wet and scramble a bit! Click here for photos and more information!

Donut Falls hike in Utah! Grab a box of donuts and tackle this hike on a Saturday morning! Find the trail details on Wanderookie.com!

6. Lower Calf Creek Falls: A natural desert oasis with a brilliant waterfall! Lower Calf Creek Falls is quite possibly the most impressive waterfall in Utah! It has made multiple “Best U.S. Waterfalls” lists, and it is right in our backyard! If you are in the Bryce/Escalante area make sure you catch this hike! (While you are in the area, you should check out the Emerald Pools trail in Zion. It has a gorgeous waterfall too!) For more details click here.

Calf Creek Falls hike in Escalante is quite possibly the most impressive waterfall in Utah. If you are near Bryce or Escalante, you need to do this hike!

7. Grotto Falls: Another short trail that leads to gorgeous waterfall! My favorite time to hike Grotto Falls is in the spring when the water is roaring. The forest service laid tree trunk bridges across the river that you criss cross back and forth. The waterfall itself is unique because it is nestled in a little cave-like grotto. For more info on this hike click here! 

If you like the idea of crossing a rushing river via narrow tree trunks and a thundering waterfall finale - this trail is for you. Perfect short adventurous trail for families, dates or youth groups!

Know a unique waterfall you think should have made the list? Let us know in the comments! If you finish this entire list let us know! 

Comments

  1. says

    I am so happy that I found your blog! It’s seriously going to be my outdoor bible over the summer. The photos are awesome! Do you have any posts on swimming holes or hot springs? I’m still working my way through all of your great content.

    • wADMIN says

      Hey Kristina! Thanks so much! You just made my day! We did do a report on a hot springs hike near Spanish Fork! We did it as a guest post here: http://things2doinutah.com/fifth-water-hot-springs-in-diamond-fork-canyon/ (We’ll be able to post it on our own site in a few weeks.) If you end up doing any of these hikes, let us know how it goes and give it your own star rating! (It helps bump our content up in the search engines and give the readers a better feel for the hike.)

  2. Valerie Berger says

    Check out The Year to in Payson. Its a short 15-20 minute hike up Payson Canyon. There is a second trail that takes you to the top. Its an extremely easy home so anyone even toddlers can participate. Worth a trip.

    • wADMIN says

      Hey Valerie! We just hiked that tonight! We tried last year, but the Nebo Scenic Loop road had already been closed. It is pretty muddy right now, but definitely one of my new favorites. (Check out the photo on our Instagram page!) Zach had quite the balancing act on the tree trunk bridges, though, because Riley was strapped to his chest.

  3. Kelli says

    Toquer Falls and Kanarra Falls are gorgeous and a fun place. The hike at Kanarra is absolutely wonderful. We did it with little kids and they loved it. Wear water shoes though, half the hike is done in streams.

    • wADMIN says

      Thank you for the tip! We are headed down that way this summer, and will have to check both out (and pack our water shoes). How was the water temperature?

      • Mica Church says

        It’s always a bit cold but in the summer it feels fantastic! Kanarraville falls gets a lot of traffic, so I would avoid it on weekends if at all possible! Toquerville falls is one of my favs! A little less crowded and warmer water! :) I love Southern Utah, but you are making me want to go explore up north now too!

  4. Laura says

    There are beautiful falls in southern UT as well. You should explore them. The Kayenta falls are quite a sight to see, but we only get the opportunity when it rains.

    • wADMIN says

      Good to know! We are planning on seeing the Kanarra and Calf Creek Falls this next month, with several others hopefully later this summer. I’ll be crossing my fingers for Kayenta getting some rain!

  5. Cheryl says

    I have been to almost all of these and Calf Creek is my favorite. Beautiful scenery all the way there. A good 3 mile hike in. You can actually swim at the falls. Not wade but swim. I want to get married infront of these falls.

    • wADMIN says

      Hey Cheryl! We are actually hiking Calf Creek falls in a couple of weeks on a Southern Utah trip. Excited to try it out!

      • bill says

        be prepared, that hike in is mostly loose sand which can get really tiring, start early in the morning to be in the shade. but once you get there, wow! totally worth it!

        • wADMIN says

          Thanks for the info Bill. (I saw your comment right before we hiked it this weekend!) There was a lot of sand, but it made for a good workout!

    • wADMIN says

      We actually did that on Monday – great hike! We especially liked the wooden bridges crossing the river on the way up.

  6. Becka says

    Water Canyon in southern Utah, in the mountain north of Hildale, south of Zion canyon, has many beautiful waterfalls along the hike up the stream to “The Narrows” as the locals call it. (It’s not The Narrows of Zion, but looks very similar, hence the name.) If you are not up to the notoriously treacherous hike of Zion Narrows, this hike is a good substitute, and much less risky. For more info and pics

    • wADMIN says

      That sounds amazing Becka! I’ll have to add it to our Southern Utah wish list of hikes. We have a couple of Southern Utah trips planned this summer.

  7. Bo Kweet says

    Accept no substitutes! Lower Calf Creek Falls is without doubt the most unique waterfall in Utah. It is breathtaking. Well worth any amount of driving required to get there.

    • wADMIN says

      Hey Bo! We mentioned Lower Calf Creek at the bottom of the post as an honorable mention. We haven’t hiked it yet, but have a trip planned in May! Excited to see it!

  8. Craig says

    Adams was great a few years ago, now cars are parked for a mile and the hike is way too crowded.

    • wADMIN says

      Hey Craig! I think spring is one of the best times to hike Adams, because there are a lot less people than in the summer. (I have family that prefers to hike it in the winter to avoid the crowds!)

  9. Shawn says

    You missed waterfall canyon in Ogden, it’s an easy 25 minute hike with …. Sun, shade, great views of the Ogden valley and a perfect waterfall. Pretty crowded on the weekends. Best time to go is early morning before 8am or evening after 7pm

    • wADMIN says

      Hey Shawn! Zach is actually from Ogden, so we’ve done that hike a couple of years ago. Definitely need to revisit it and add it to the site!

  10. Kira says

    Toqervile falls is one of our favorite falls to go too. You can jump of the the lip into a pool on the lower level or go sit in the upper falls and stay cool with out having to swim. Plus its a fun trip out there in the jeep

  11. Aubrey says

    I love Lisa Falls in little cottonwood canyon. It’s a really unique waterfall, and my kids love playing in the stream. It’s more of a stroll than a hike, so not great if you’re looking for excercise but awesome for little kids.

  12. says

    These are fantastic! I haven’t yet done much exploring in Utah – just been to Zion and only then for the day, so love these travel and hiking ideas. Especially the cold waterfall with the hot springs, that’s pretty cool!

  13. says

    I guess I should also state that my adventures are primarily in southern Utah as we are in St. George, UT. But we find ourselves in the Salt Lake area often enough. 😀

  14. wADMIN says

    That is awesome Debbie :). The outdoor community is pretty expansive in Utah! We hike with our baby girl and have a family friendly category on the site if you want to take a look at it. We also have a group pinterest board for Utah outdoor bloggers. Good luck!

  15. Chris Kilian says

    I didn’t see any mention of Upper Calf Creek falls. There are actually three levels. You have to go just a little further up stream past the small hole above the main falls. There you will find a wonderful swimming hole with a small fall coming off about a 16′ cliff which provides a lot of jumping opportunities. Both lower and upper falls are not worth visiting if you don’t swim. Plan ahead and bring your swim trunks. The hike in is about 20% of the experience, while the swimming and jumping is 80%. FYI – doing both lower and upper falls in a day is a bit much. If you still want some sun on lower calf creek falls hike early so you can swim in the sun. If you wait until the afternoon you will swim in the shade.

  16. wADMIN says

    Thanks for the info Chris! Zach actually got in, but it was waaaaaaay too cold for me lol. Maybe a visit later in the summer would have helped. 😉 I’ve heard of the upper falls, but with a babe it was a bit out of our reach. Next time though…

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