Donut Falls

Donut Falls
Mill D - South Fork

Big Cottonwood Canyon
Wasatch Mountains

Hiking & Snowshoeing

          Donut Falls, shown on USGS maps as Doughnut Falls, is a fun and easy hike in summer and a spectacular snowshoe adventure in winter.

          Donut Falls was closed to public access from 2004 through 2006. The falls were purchased by Salt Lake County in 2007 and are once again open to public access.

General Information:
Click Here for Map           Donut Falls is a fun and popular hike. The trail to Donut Falls is 1 3/4 miles one-way and will require approximately 1 hour to reach the waterfall from the trailhead. This is one of the more popular hikes in the Wasatch Mountains.

          All hikers in your party should carry a minimum of one liter of water. Water is plentiful in this area, but all water taken from lakes and streams should be filtered before drinking.

          The route contains no real obstacles. This route is suitable for beginners. Donut Falls is rated 1 II using the Yosemite Decimal System. Navigation for this route is easy. A GPS is useful in identifying waypoints and verifying your location. Good map reading skills and the USGS 7.5' Map titled "Mount Aire" is helpful. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84 datum. It should be noted that due to new trail construction and trail realignment the USGS maps are not accurate in relation to trail location. The trails are correctly located on the map provided.

          Big Cottonwood Canyon is within Salt Lake City Watershed, therefore special restrictions apply and are strictly enforced. No domestic animals (dogs, cats, horses) are permitted in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Snowshoe Rentals:
          This is a perfect chance for any hiker to discover the fun of snowshoes.  Most ski rental shops in the Salt Lake valley rent snowshoes for about $10 per day.

Winter Warning:
          During the winter months the Mill D area is a popular snowshoe destination. Avalanche danger should always be a major priority and proper precautions should be taken when enjoying Utah's winter wonderland. The Donut Falls trail is not prone to avalanche, but it is always better to be safe than sorry when traveling in Utah's winter backcountry. Check with the Utah Avalanche Center for current conditions before attempting this route in winter.

Looking out from inside the falls Climbing to the waterfall.

Trailhead Information:
          From anywhere in the Salt lake Valley take I-215 East until you reach the 6200 South Exit (Exit 6). Signs are marked for the ski areas, you will be heading towards Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts. Drive east on 6200 south and the road will become Wasatch Boulevard. Follow Wasatch Boulevard south to an intersection with Fort Union Boulevard (7200 South). The intersection is located 1.7 miles after exiting I-215.

          All mileage is taken from the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and Fort Union Boulevard. This is known locally as the "Mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon". There is a large Park and Ride lot with restrooms located near the north east corner of the intersection.

          From the intersection drive east up Big Cottonwood Canyon. After driving 9.1 miles you will reach the signed "Mill D Trailhead". This is a large paved parking lot located on both the north and south side of the road. Information kiosks are located on both sides of the road. A toilet is located next to the south side parking lot. The Mill D Trailhead is the beginning of several popular hikes.

Route Information:
          From the trailhead (N40 38' 59", W111 38' 53"), begin hiking south up the gated access road and past the Jordan Pines group picnic area. You will be walking up a paved road, through summer homes. This road is known as Mill D, South Fork. The road is usually plowed in winter. Follow the paved road for 3/4 miles. 200 yards after the road turns to dirt road you will arrive at a second trailhead (N40 38' 22", W111 39' 04"). During summer months cars can be driven to this small trailhead. Parking is very limited at the second trailhead.

          From the second trailhead you leave the dirt road and follow the trail that begins between the vault toilet and information kiosk. Follow the trail for 1/2 mile as it snakes through the pine forest. Shortly you will cross a stream using a small bridge and interest an old 4 wheel drive road (N40 38' 06", W111 39' 14").

          At the 4 wheel drive road turn south (left) and follow it. After about 100 yards the road soon turns into a trail. 1/2 mile after you cross the bridge you will arrive at Donut Falls (N40 37' 47", W111 39' 17").


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