A moderate hike in Salt Lake Valley leads to a really nice waterfall, and we can help you find it. Heugh’s Canyon Waterfall is about 35 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The water was a slow trickle when we visited in November, but there is at least some flow year-round.
- Distance: 3.5 miles
- Rating: Moderate to difficult for kids
- Elevation Gain: 1942 feet
- Dog Friendly: Yes
- Tips: This hike is steep and requires climbing over boulders, so it is not recommend for toddlers.
- Extra Tip: This trail is famous for rattlesnakes. Since we hiked in the fall, we did not see any, but please be careful when hiking this trail, especially with kids.
Heugh’s Canyon hike is considered moderate because it is fairly steep, even though the distance isn’t that long at 3.5 miles. There is also some scrambling and a little bushwhacking right at the end to reach the base of the waterfall. This is definitely not a toddler-friendly hike.
The trailhead for Heugh’s Canyon is on Wasatch Blvd at about 6200 South. Driving south, we passed East Canyon Cove on the east side of the road, and the parking area is immediately after it. There is even a trailhead parking sign that notes it is for Heugh’s Canyon. (Note: Parking in the neighborhood will get you towed.) Leave your vehicle and walk north to East Canyon Cove. Follow it up the hill and turn left on Oak Canyon. A short walk along the sidewalk takes you to Canyon Winds. Turn right and you’ll walk right to the trailhead. Though it is steep in the neighborhoods, it is under half a mile to the trailhead from the parking area.
The trail begins right in someone’s driveway, but it is easy to follow. After you pass the house, it immediately turns in to a traditional trail. Believe it or not, the trail is actually less steep once it starts into the canyon. The trees hover close and there is some shade. The trail follows the stream on the right, which eventually becomes Heugh’s Canyon Waterfall a mile and a half up the trail.
It is rocky, and there are some steep parts, so take it slow. We came across a little mud, even in the Fall, so if you hike early in the year, don’t wear your best shoes. This trail also receives fairly heavy traffic. Most people we passed had dogs, but we didn’t see any messes along the trail, so thanks for being responsible owners!
The trail continues to climb with short level spots, and it is easy to follow. Eventually it comes to a junction with a sign pointing to the left for Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Continue to the right. After a few more minutes the trail comes to the first small bridge. When you see the first bridge, you’re getting close, so don’t give up!
Right after the second bridge there is a steep climb. It only lasts about 50 yards, but it is a real leg-burner after the nearly two miles that you’ve walked so far. When you finally reach level ground, you’ll find yourself at the bottom of a large boulder field.
The trail disappears at this point, and without help, we wouldn’t have been able to find the waterfall. Luckily, someone pointed us in the right direction. Face right looking across the boulder field. There is a cut in the canyon wall across the field, and that’s where the waterfall lies. Cross the boulder field without hiking up or down and find your way to the rock wall on the other side of the boulder field. Then follow the wall back to your right. Suddenly you turn a corner and the waterfall is right in front of you. If it’s the right time of year, you’ll be able to hear it as you approach.
The trail back to the car is all downhill, and you’ll need it after the steep climb up. But Heugh’s Canyon waterfall is beautiful and refreshing. It’s another of Utah’s hidden treasures! We can’t wait to try it in the spring. For other favorite waterfalls in Utah, check out our Easy Waterfall Hikes or our Moderate Waterfall Hikes.