Heughs Canyon | Salt Lake

Canyoneering Heughs Canyon - Salt LakeHiking Heughs Canyon - Salt Lake Heughs Canyon

Salt Lake

Overview

MAPS: SUGAR HOUSE, UT

Mon

A chance of rain showers before noon, then showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. North northwest wind 2 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

62 | 48

Tue

A chance of rain showers before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 61. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

61 | 42

Wed

Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

71 | 45

Thu

A chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 66.

66 | 47

Fri

A chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 68.

68 | 46

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear / Technical Gear if rappelling the falls
RAPPELS: 1 to 28 m ( 92 ft. )
WATER: Intermittent Along the Entire Hike

Mon

A chance of rain showers before noon, then showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. North northwest wind 2 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

62 | 48

Tue

A chance of rain showers before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 61. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

61 | 42

Wed

Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

71 | 45

Thu

A chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 66.

66 | 47

Fri

A chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 68.

68 | 46

View Full Weather Details
Ryan and Ruby crossing the boulder field to the falls.

Ryan and Ruby crossing the boulder field to the falls.

One of the things I love about living in Salt Lake City is all of the easy access to hiking. From 10,000+ foot peaks in the canyons to the many trails in the foothills, it seems there is always something new to do to meet my motivation level for the day.

At about 3 miles and a bit over a 1000' of gain, the Heughs Canyon trail is, in my opinion, an excellent length for an after work or early morning hike. The trail starts nondescriptly in a neighborhood and then quickly begins ascending through scrub oak. 15 minutes up the path and you may forget you are only minutes away from a big city!

The hike is charming, with the destination for most being a waterfall that is the perfect place to visit on a hot day. Dogs are allowed in Heughs Canyon, making it a nice outing for the whole family.

Note: Canyoneers occasionally rappel the falls. The rappel (or two short rappels) are fun, but not spectacular. Recommended if you are looking for a hike and beginner friendly rappel, not recommended if you are looking for a hardcore canyoneering adventure. By mid-summer, the flow over the falls is about that of a garden hose on low....
The gate on the way to the trail. It is legal to walk past it on the right and continue up the paved road to the trail.

The gate on the way to the trail. It is legal to walk past it on the right and continue up the paved road to the trail.

Getting There

The designated trailhead is at Wasatch Blvd and Canyon Cove Drive. To reach the trailhead, take exit 5 /4500 South off of I-215 on the east side of the Salt Lake Valley. Go east, toward the mountains, then south on Wasatch Blvd. Follow Wasatch Blvd about 2.7 miles to Canyon Cove Drive. The official trailhead parking area is signed here, just south of Canyon Cove Drive on Wasatch Blvd.

The falls in Heughs Canyon

The falls in Heughs Canyon

The scenery along the way.

The scenery along the way.

Route

Warning: There is quite a bit of poison ivy along the trail, especially low down. It is generally easy to avoid, but you need to be able to recognize it. Leaves of three, let it be!

To Heughs Canyon Trail (0.4 miles / 15 minutes)
From the trailhead, walk up Canyon Cove Drive, taking the second left onto Oak Canyon Drive. Once on Oak Canyon Drive, take the next right onto Canyon Winds Lane, a private lane that has public access. There is a gate here, but pedestrains are allowed via the open spot on the right. Follow the paved road up past the gate.

At the top of Canyon Winds Lane, the road (as of 2023) turns to a dirt road, then makes a hard left not too far up from pavement. The Heughs Canyon Trail leaves at this left hand turn on the right side of the road. It can be a little hard to notice as it appears to just go to the stream. If you make the left hand curve and are still hiking on the dirt road, you have gone too far.

To Bonneville Jct (0.65 miles)
The dirt trail meanders through scrub oak as it climbs Heughs Canyon. It is about 0.7 miles from the start of the dirt trail to a major junction. Left is the relatively newly created Bonneville Shoreline connector. It goes north to the Mount Olympus trail. Stay in the canyon bottom to the right.

To The Falls (0.65 miles)
The trail crosses the creek on a primitive log bridge and continues ascending Heughs Canyon. More open views of the quartzite rock outcroppings that make up the area come into view. Keep an eye out about 0.5 miles from the Bonneville Jct for an interesting log structure/camp on the left. Just after the structure, the trail crosses the creek again and makes a quick ascent to a boulder field.

At the boulder field, stay low following cairns across the boulders to the base of a cliff face. Go right at the cliff face a short distance to the bottom of the falls and a cool paradise on a hot day!

Canyoneering Route: The trail continues above the falls by staying high across the boulder field. Follow the path through the boulder field as it crosses it directly. A minute or two after the boulder field, a side trail goes down to the right to a large flat area and campfire ring. Go down here, following a faint social path along the cliff base to the stream.

The first rappel is right below where you enter the stream. A 7 m ( 23 ft. ) rappel leads to a short walk, and second 9 m ( 30 ft. ) rappel over the falls where most visit from below. These rappels can be broken up into two, but be sure to find a solid anchor for the second drop.

I recommend doing both rappels as one, the circling around and cleaning the rope and anchor from above to avoid leaving anything behind.


Maps

Route / 3.24 miles / Elevation Range 4,867 - 6,167 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead Parking

12T 432523mE 4498754mN

N40° 38' 13" W111° 47' 53"

Heughs Canyon Access

12T 432867mE 4498919mN

N40° 38' 18" W111° 47' 38"

Bonneville Jct - Right

12T 433640mE 4499207mN

N40° 38' 28" W111° 47' 05"

Structure

12T 434019mE 4499618mN

N40° 38' 41" W111° 46' 49"

Right Across Boulder Field

12T 434060mE 4499754mN

N40° 38' 46" W111° 46' 48"

Falls

12T 434099mE 4499747mN

N40° 38' 45" W111° 46' 46"

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