Upper Falls is a hidden hike in Provo Canyon. It is just a mile past Bridal Veil Falls, but hardly anyone hikes this trail, and it ends with a 40 foot waterfall. This hike seems like it would be easy because the distance is so short (only 0.6 miles), but it is a steep uphill climb to the waterfall. So Upper Falls is rated moderate in our family-friendly opinion.
Upper Falls is just a little farther up Provo Canyon from Bridal Veil Falls. The trail starts at Upper Falls Park. Cross the river on the newly built bridge (2023), and take a look at the old bridge. We are so grateful they built a new bridge. You will see a building covered in graffiti straight ahead. Some people cut the trail to go straight for the building, but please follow the paved trail. It adds just a few more steps as you make a quick corner around some trees to the buildings.
The Upper Falls trail is behind those graffiti buildings. Leave the paved trail and walk behind them. There is a narrow trail that heads straight up the mountain. And I mean straight up! It is like climbing 30 flights of stairs even though it is only a quarter mile to the waterfall. Take it slow and be careful because the trail is also very rocky. We take lots of breaks along the way, especially when we hike this trail with young kids.
One thing we like about Provo Canyon is all the birds. This hike started out with us spotting some yellow warblers right in the parking lot. We also saw an American Dipper in the river and several robins. Later, we spotted a small snake on the path. We were glad we stopped to see him, because there were some pretty cool fossils in the rocks strewn along the trail right where the snake was hanging out.
When you reach the falls, you can climb right up to the bottom. We stood in the freezing spray for awhile and took a bunch of pictures. There was no one else to contend with for pictures which is why we loved this hike. We have only seen one other group at Upper Falls in all of the times we have hiked it.
The waterfall is also stunning. We have hiked this trail in April, June, August, and November and there is always a good amount of water coming down. We love the beautiful Upper Falls and the mountain backdrop behind it!
The drawback is that the trail is steep and rocky. Anyone in good health should be able to make it, but make sure to hang on to little one’s hands on the way down! Going down can be trickier than going up because it is easier to slip on the loose rocks. See below for specific directions to the trailhead.
Directions to the Trailhead
Upper Falls Park can be accessed from two different turnoffs. We like to exit at the Bridal Veil Falls Park turnoff. Then take the road just to the left of the parking area for Bridal Veil Falls. Follow it until you come to the Upper Falls Parking lot. Park here and begin the trail.
The other way to access Upper Falls Park is just beyond Bridal Veil Falls. Continue past the Bridal Veils Fall park turn off and the Bridal Veil Falls view point, and then take a right the next chance you see one after the Bridal Veil Falls View Point. This road leads to a parking area next to some kind of water facility. Continue driving past this facility and the next parking area is Upper Falls Park.