pin_drop Map & Location
All photos by Outdoor Project Contributor, John Badila
Pros: Easy hike to a unique waterfall.
Preferable Season(s): Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required: Not Required
Dogs allowed: Yes
Total Distance: 1.50 mi (2.41 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 7,493 ft (2,284 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 337 ft (103 m)
Trail Uses: Hiking
Trail type: There-and-back
Donut Falls is a short hike with a big payoff. Just under three-quarters of a mile of easy hiking brings you to a unique waterfall that plunges through a hole in the rock and into a small cave. The trail passes through spruce forest, aspen, and open meadows before entering a narrow, rocky drainage below the falls. The stream and drainage the route follows are known as Mill D South Fork. The alphabetical naming system for the side canyons in Big Cottonwood Canyon originated in the 1850s, when sawmills were built at the mouths of each drainage. While property issues and liability fears threatened access to this area for some time, Salt Lake City purchased the falls and surrounding land in 2007 as a protected watershed.