Lower Bells Canyon Falls
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 2 miles one way
  • Travel Time: 3 hours round trip
  • Elevation: 1500 ft Gain. TH: 5250' Falls: 6750'
  • Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
  • 40 34.313N, 111 47.830W
  • Destination GPS Coordinates:
  • 40 33.683N, 111 46.211W
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Trail Pictures

Lower Bells Canyon Falls is about 2 miles from the trailhead at the corner of Wasatch Blvd and Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. There are also ways to get there by hiking up through the neighborhoods south of the main trailhead, but you have to park on Wasatch Blvd. The main trailhead has a sign and restrooms. On a weekend, get there early, parking spaces fill up fast.

The first ½ mile makes a few switch backs to get over the ridge between Little Cottonwood Canyon and Bells Canyon. This area is surrounded by scrub oak and can get hot and exposed on a summer day. But it offers some spectacular views of the Salt Lake Valley. At the top of this section of the trail it opens up to a hollow containing Lower Bells Canyon Reservoir. No Dogs or Horses are permitted past this point because of the watershed. You can fish in the reservoir, but only with artificial bait.

The trail joins up with a service road for about 1/10th of a mile before veering to the left. A small sign points the way to go. For the next ½ mile you hike through scrub oak and slowly gain in altitude. You'll head up the canyon on the north side of it then cross the canyon to the south side where you'll cross the creek on a bridge and start heading through the forest. From here the trail stays on the south side of the creek. The trail steadily gains in elevation until you can see the granite cliffs directly to your right. Then is starts to climb and you know you are getting close. This part of the trail is more like a staircase of granite. The trail is very rocky. Eventually you'll cross a small stream, about 20 feet beyond the stream make a left off of the main trail, and you'll be at the falls. The area around the falls is fairly well trampled from the multitude of hikers that come, but it is worth the experience. May and June bring massive amounts of water down as the spring runoff swells the creek, the mist is nice to cool off in. Later in the fall the falls will ice over and become spectacular.


Comments:

There have been a number of accidents on this trail in the last few weeks. Be careful near the waterfall and don't take unnecessary risks trying to cross the creek.
  -Posted by: Eric on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:22 pm

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