Sorry for all the inactivity lately. I've been on trips so often that I hardly had time to relax and write about them at home. Whether from being busy or from being lazy, I mean to change that now, starting with a report on my hike to Donut Falls a few weeks ago.
Donut Falls is a short and easy hike to a nice waterfall nestled between the alpine forests and mountains that surround it in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Like any place in the Wasatch Mountains, you get spectacular mountain views while hiking, along with a good mix of wildlife.
For my hike, we started in the afternoon, but the higher altitude meant it wasn't too hot. Along the short half-mile trail, we found plenty of nice flowers and cute little ground squirrels that were quite tame. At some point I brushed along some plant that caused a temporary itchy rash, so if you're wearing shorts, watch out!
Luckily the itching went away and gave me plenty of time to enjoy the mountain scenery, forests, and stream that the trail winds through on the way to the waterfall. I was happy that I brought sandals because wading through the stream was easier than trying to stay dry once we got to the base of the waterfall.
There are some signs warning against climbing the rocks around the waterfall but the only way to get to the most picturesque part is by doing a little bit of careful climbing. It’s not dangerous as long as you stick to climbing the easier and less steep parts where there’s not a chance of slipping and falling. And after a short climb, you get the wonderful finale: a waterfall falling through a small hole into a small cave.
Inside the cave was chilly but made for some great photos. The cold water was very refreshing after hiking on a warm summer day.
Since the hike is so short, it’s a popular place for many Utah residents. I can't say that there’s any time it would be less crowded during any of the summer months. On a normal Tuesday evening, it wasn't bad as long as waited a little bit for other groups to make there way through and leave us space for climbing and photos.
If you ever want a short, easy hike, then Donut falls would be great. I’d recommend avoiding it on weekends or holidays when it might get too crowded. For a hiker like me, it gave me a good taste of what I could find in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and I’m sure I'll return to the area for longer hikes later.