Most people think of waterfall hikes as a summer activity but in my opinion fall is the best! Hiking temps are practically perfect with the cooler weather and old familiar trails become new again with the changing season. Here are some of our favorite waterfalls to visit any time of year in Utah County- but especially in the fall because of the bright red and yellow leaves changing on the trees along the trails.

Salt Creek Falls (Nephi Canyon) 2.6 miles round trip. This trail begins at the Bear Canyon Campground at the south end of the Nebo Loop. It’s a steady incline most of the way up and you’ll be able to hear the waterfall when you cross the creek bed (it’s a short .25 mile walk from the point you turn left on the trail!) The creek flowing next to the trail is usually dry this time of year but the falls are still flowing and the leaves in this canyon are poppin’ – Plus you’ll have great views of Nebo Mountain. Even better, after your hike take a drive up and over the Nebo Loop to the Payson side of the canyon for a peep at the changing leaves right from the car. This is probably my favorite loop to drive in all of Utah for a look at the leaves! While the Payson side of the mountain still has some burn scars from a fire a few years ago the the Nephi side of the mountain is spectacular and will be even better in about a week!

Salt Creek Falls

Grotto falls (Payson Canyon) .7 miles- An easy hike for my kiddos and is usually a repeat hike for us in each season because it’s short and sweet and my kids love how the waterfall is enclosed with a little pool of water to play in. This trail can get super busy so we go early in the mornings or on a week day to try and beat most of the crowds. (Bonus it’s mostly shaded too!) Definitely drive the Nebo Loop after this hike too just start on the Payson side of the mountain and drive up and over to end in Nephi.

Grotto Falls

Stewart Falls (Provo Canyon, Sundance, Mount Timpanogos) 3.7 Miles and we always access this trailhead through Aspen Grove (but you can ride the trail lift up from Sundance and start the hike that way too – but there is a fee.) My four year old did this (mostly) by himself he just needed a little extra help on some of the steeper sections and was definitely worn out at the end – but he did it! Definitely the most strenuous hike on this list if you are taking kids with you but the views you get are worth it. This is a gorgeous hike in the fall with lots of yellows and reds encompassing the trail and this waterfall is massive! My favorite of the bunch!

Stewart Falls

Battle Creek falls (American Fork Canyon) 1.4 miles
When you park in the parking lot make sure to stay to the right of the pavilions and bridge and you’ll see the trailhead sign. (Just don’t cross over the bridge this takes you to another trail!) This trail goes up a steady incline with lots of loose gravel but is a fun hike for kids with great views of the changing fall leaves and plenty of water to splash around in at the waterfall.

Bridal Veil Falls (Provo Canyon) .5 mile walk from the lower parking lot. These falls are large and majestic and accessible for all abilities as it’s a paved trail the whole way. To get a closer look at the falls you can even choose to take the upper dirt trail to the Upper Falls (Just be careful as there are steep sections and loose rock to cross.) I love Provo Canyon this time of year!

Bonus fun waterfall fact – Negative ions are released into the air by waterfalls and scientists say when negative ions enter the body they increase serotonin production. The happy hormone! So maybe this is why people can’t help but feel happy when they see a waterfall 😉 Plus just the sight and sound of one can’t help but bring a smile to your face! So plan a hike to a waterfall this weekend (or in the next week or so for these canyons when the leaves are at peak) and see the changing leaves at the same time! Happy hiking!

12 thoughts on “Favorite Fall Waterfalls

  1. These look awesome! I’m hoping Lightning McQueen made it on all of these hikes as well. I’ve gotta make a blog for all the Salt Lake County waterfalls – there are so many!

  2. I love Provo canyon. I think it’s got the best views out of all the canyons in northern Utah. I’ll have to make my down there once I get my car fixed.

  3. You’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, fab photos. Love reading about your hikes, and seeing those gorgeous boys of yours growing up.

      1. I know, we’ve been following each other for years now. I love seeing/reading all about your hikes and trips out. I follow you on Instagram too now.

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