Mill Creek Waterfall | Moab

  • Posted in Hikes
  • Updated

Mill Creek Waterfall is a small cascade that empties into a pretty little grotto near Moab, Utah. The hike to Mill Creek is fairly easy, though there is a little scrambling and a few stream crossings that are likely to get your feet wet. If you are hiking on a hot day, you can take towels and wear swimsuits and play in the small pool at the foot of the waterfall.

Hike Info:

  • Distance: 1.6 miles roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 59 feet
  • Rating: Easy
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Fee: None
  • Tips: Be prepared to get your feet wet

Directions

The Mill Creek Waterfall Trail starts just up the hill past Moab’s Rotary Park in Mill Creek Canyon. Just drive to the top of Powerhouse Lane and you’ll find a large dirt parking area. There is a trailhead map board and restrooms near the parking lot. The trail starts out heading straight east from there. We were able to use Google Maps to take us right to the trailhead.

This is where the trail begins.

Hike

The hike is flat for most of the distance. After only about 50 yards into the trail, you’ll see a waterfall, but this one is man-made as the curtain falls evenly over a small dam. Go to the right of the dam as you’ll stay to the south (right) side of the creek for most of the hike. Watch for painted arrows that show the way.

This is not the waterfall you are looking for.
Follow the arrows along the slick rock areas.

Further on, there is a bit of a scramble. As you cross a section of slick rock, it slopes steeply down to the creek. It’s a bit sandy, and very smooth, so take care as you cross this section. If people are coming in the opposite direction, someone will have to wait as it can be a bit treacherous. A fall would have you slide down into the shallow creek.

This is the trickiest part of the trail.,

Mill Creek Waterfall Trail continues along the edge of the stream for about two-thirds of the overall distance. When we hiked in the morning, the trail was quite shady as you walked through Mill Creek Canyon. The trail is easy to follow as you head toward the waterfall.

Walking along the creek most of the way makes this hike extra fun.
The trail is well marked.
We enjoyed the shady morning hike.
The canyon is lovely.

Creek Crossings

Soon you will come to a sign that says: Trail, Yes, you will get your feet wet here. In total, there are three creek crossings. We didn’t really get wet at any of them due to small rocks laid in the river and strategic dead limbs over the water. But the chances of getting wet are really high! I was super glad to have my waterproof womens hiking shoes from adidas. These shoes have been the best for hiking, especially on trails where there is water. I didn’t worry as much as the boys did when crossing, which is good since I’m not as balanced as they are. My feet stayed nice and dry, even when my hiking shoes did slip into the water.

This sign felt like a challenge to my boys to not get their feet wet!
Most of the areas have rocks to help you across.
These are my favorite adidas womens hiking shoes. Waterproof and comfortable.

Finally, the trail takes its final turn into the grotto. This is a little rocky alcove that has the waterfall pouring in at the far end. It was a beautiful little fairy place, but the water was freezing when we went over Spring Break during the first week of April. Still, this hike is definitely worth your time. We enjoyed this trail a lot. Plan about 1.5-2 hours to enjoy Mill Creek Waterfall. For other fun things to do in this area, check out our post about Things to do in Moab.

The waterfall is beautiful.
Freezing water in the spring!! Only a few of us were brave enough to wade in.

Leave a Reply