We are doing the 52 Hike Challenge this year, and we chose one of our favorite short hikes for the middle of January. Lisa Falls Hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon has one of the most unique waterfalls in Utah, and we love it because you can get right up next to the water. The waterfall cascades down the mountain sideways and even in January, we could still see the waterfall.
There is small pullout for parking at 2.7 miles up the canyon, but it is not very busy in the middle of the winter. The Little Cottonwood Trail starts directly next to the parking lot, but Lisa Falls is across the road and a bit to the north (up the canyon) between the turning arrow signs. There are three arrow signs, and the trail begins right by the middle one.
This hike is only .3 miles each way, but it proved to be slightly difficult because the trail is narrow and a bit rocky and it has an incline up to the waterfall. In the snow this meant that we were plowing pretty hard. There are also a few places that you have to cross the creek. They weren’t tricky, but you have to be careful as there is thin ice, though the creek is only one step across, and there are plenty of rocks.
Once you get to the base of the falls, the snow is quite deep, and our boys had fun sliding off rocks and rolling around. Just make sure to keep kids away from the creek, as an icy plunge into even 6 inches of water wouldn’t be fun. The waterfall is really pretty and it is partially hidden as it has been encased in ice in the middle section. It is beautiful how the lower section of Lisa Falls comes splashing out from behind an icy shell it has created. Pictures cannot show how beautiful it is!
We spent quite a while enjoying Lisa Falls and playing in the snow. Then we headed back down to our van. The walk back was a lot quicker, and our boys ran/slid back to the road. We love when hikes end with a downhill climb.
If you’re interested in some of our other winter hikes, make sure to check our 52 Hike Challenge post or our list of Family Friendly Winter Hikes in Utah. You can also see pictures of Lisa Falls in warm weather by clicking here.