Donut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah in 360 Degrees

Doughnut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah Salt Lake City Waterfall Through Hole into Cave
Donut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah

Donut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon in 360 Degrees

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Donut Falls is a waterfall where a river drops into a hole in the top of a cave.  In the summer time this hike can get quite crowded, so try it this winter when the ice is fabulous and the snow makes this area a winter wonderland.

360 Trail Above in Donut Falls Cave in Winter 

As we got in our car after this super cool hike, I was in a great mood.  I saw something really amazing, enjoyed blues skies and sunshine, had a great adventure, met some cool people, and my mood was definitely elevated.  The book the Nature Fix, has studies after studies all around the world finding scientific ways to record the positive effects hiking and getting out in nature can do for you.  As we drove down the canyon, we hit a wall of brown grey cloud.  Not sure how much was clouds and how much was an inversion, but my friend and I both were shocked and how it affected our high and definitely was trying to bring our good mood down.  Each and every day Satan wants us to be stuck in places where we are surrounded by grey clouds and feelings.  Find ways to get to places you feel positive feelings. Push yourself to find the happy blue skies.  The Lord wants you to have joy and happiness in this life.  You just need to be creative enough to find ways to break out and experience joy.
(The Nature Fix Book is the left one.)

This is one of those winter hikes that if you are prepared, it is really fun.  If not, it can have its challenges. Just dress warm, hot hands warmers are smart, Crampons /Spikes or Snow Shoes and poles will make a huge difference to help you enjoy the hike.

 Donut falls is about 2/3 the way up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and if you download the Google map and put directions in, it should take you right to the parking lot of the North Fork Road (which is closed for the winter).  The trail is 1.5 miles in and out in the summer, but in the winter you have to add another 0.8 miles up and back to get to the trail, which gives it a total of 4.6 miles.  As we hiked up, we met a man and he said "just follow the signs, it is very well marked".  So I got lazy and stopped checking my Gaia Trail app, so we took the LONGER trail to Donut falls marked below in red.  The turn off we should have taken for Donut falls is easy to see.  It is just the restroom on the left side of the trail about 0.8 miles from the road, but there is no sign that says Donut Falls.  We added the bottom left V shape onto the hike and got the bonus of  more awesome scenery!
Gaia App Trail to Doughnut Falls North Fork Trail Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
Gaia App Trail to Doughnut Falls with our extra North Fork Trail addition.

Video Below is from Inside the Cave Watching Waterfall Come Down through Round Hole in the Top of the Cave.

Hole the Waterfall comes through at Doughnut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah
Hole the Waterfall comes through at Donut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah

Another Video 


We went between 8-9 on a Saturday morning and we noticed that many of the people had sleds. I have broken my tailbone sledding too many times to even think about sledding, but I definitely felt like there was lots of people here that knew some secret I was not aware of.  Doing some searching, there are just lots of fun places here to sled.  Here is a fun video of Sledding around North Fork Road, or by Donut Falls.  

 As we headed up North Fork Road Road or FR019 there was lots of cross country skiers and people snowmobiling heading up the road for their adventures.  I knew this would be a popular trail, but I had no ideas that there was so much variety of activities going on here.   When we realized that we were close to Donut falls, but it was on across the gully of the canyon, we headed back and and caught the V shape trail to connect us to Donut trail. (See Gaia map above.)   As we connected with official Donut Trail route, there was more and more people with their snow shoes.  We wore spikes, and personally I think I would feel safer on this trail with Crampons/spikes more than snow shoes, but anything that can grip into slippery snowy areas and keep you from slipping is a good thing.  


Views along Trail up to Doughnut Falls
Views along Trail up to Donut Falls
Another link with info about the hike.  


Trail Up to Doughnut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon in Winter Salt Lake City Great Winter Hike Utah
Trail Up to Donut Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon in Winter 

As you drop into the canyon, the temperature drops, so make sure you have warm clothes to keep the chill away.

Frozen River in the bottom of Canyon before Doughnut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon Salt Lake City Utah
Frozen River in the bottom of Canyon before Donut Falls

Panorama of Last Part of Trail to Doughnut Falls
Panorama of Last Part of Trail to Donut Falls
In the picture above, you walk along the right side of the frozen river, then you have to make it up the steep part of the right side of the mountain in front of us.  Below is a 360 Google Earth Trail I made going up the steep part before the cave.  If you go forward just a few clicks you can see the narrow entrance to the cave to see Donut Falls.

We were glad we hit the trail between 8-9, for coming down, there was a long line of people making their way up to Donut Falls.  The morning might have been a little cold, but better a little cold than too crowded!

Doughnut Falls in the Winter Big Cottonwood Canyon Salt Lake City Utah
Donut Falls in the Winter

Below is the Cave Entrance into Donut Falls

Beautiful Ice inside Donut Falls Cave

If you want to see more of this area, there is lots more 360 trails to enjoy, just click on the link, then the little dude in the bottom corner, then any blue line or dot where you want to see more.
Google Earth Doughnut Falls


If you are exploring Big Cottonwood Canyon, here are some other hikes close by Donut Falls you would also like.

Hidden Falls and Mill B Cottonwood River Trail 

in Big Cottonwood Canyon


Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon


Lake Mary, Martha and Catherine and Twin Lakes 

in Big Cottonwood Canyon

(You can only hike this area if you have snow shoes.)


Bells Canyon Waterfall Close By 

at base of Little Cottonwood Canyon