We found an awesome new waterfall hike today. The Lower Falls in Adam’s Canyon is beautiful. Better yet, the hike is short, pretty easy, and very accessible.
The distance on this hike is less than a mile and a half round trip, but we’ve listed it as moderate because the first third of the hike is pretty steep. The Adams’ Canyon Lower Falls trail starts just left of the fence that surrounds the pond. The trail is very clear and well-marked as it goes along a wooden fence up the hill. There are exactly 10 switchbacks, and as you gradually climb above the valley floor, the view is increasingly spectacular. We couldn’t believe how empty the Great Salt Lake looked.
After the 10th switchback the trail levels out and there is a nice bench for resting on the right hand side. At this point, the trail splits with the main trail climbing to Adam’s Canyon Waterfall, which is about 4 miles roundtrip. Most of the traffic goes that way to continue on some more switchbacks, but we split off to the right. There are two trails near the bench, one before it and one after, but they both go the same place. The one before the bench is steeper and sandier, while the one after the bench is slightly longer and more stable. We took both trails and both worked fine for our family.
The trail goes slightly down and right (south) before curving back to the east. From this point, it is only a few hundred yards to the waterfall. You’ll be able to hear it as you approach. Right as you reach the waterfall, there is a short climb down. This area is a bit tricky, and it may require you to help little ones (and even some big ones) climb down. The base of the waterfall is gorgeous, though.
Lower Falls in Adam’s Canyon cascades about 25 feet, and when we were there in April it was flowing very heavily. There is a little pool you can wade in, though the water is cold in Spring. It was difficult to cross the stream with the amount of runoff, but most of us stumbled across. It was even possible to go right behind the waterfall, though this came with a price. Both Dad and our 10 year-old got pretty soaked! Luckily, we had taken a towel along, but it didn’t help much with our clothing.
After spending a little time at the waterfall, we hiked back the same way we’d come. The hike is much easier on the way back as it is all downhill. This hike took us about an hour to complete, and it is easy, though a bit steep. If you’re in the Layton area and looking for a good hike for the kids, try Adam’s Canyon Lower Falls.
In order to get to the Adam’s Canyon trailhead, take the US-89 to Eastside Drive. Head south on Eastside Drive. It is a quarter mile to the trailhead parking. The address for the parking lot is approximately 600 Eastside Drive in Layton, UT. You will see cars parked all along the road. We drove to the parking lot and found a spot, but depending on the time of day, you might be parking roadside since this is the trailhead for Adam’s Canyon Waterfall as well.
Tips for Families
- Take a towel, flip-flops, and possibly a change of clothes. Our boys wanted to play in the water so much even though it was freezing, and I was glad that I had stuck their flip flops and a towel in our backpack. We had dry shirts in the car for those who got wet. Better yet, you could hike in swim trunks!
- Wear hats and sunscreen because there is no shade on this hike.
- Take it slow on those switchbacks. That is the toughest part, and there is no reason to ruin the hike by running up the mountainside. Once you pass the switchbacks, the hike is a breeze.
- If this hike seems too long, check out our list of Easy Waterfall Hikes in Utah.