Upper Falls in Provo Canyon

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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 used to be listed on our easy waterfall hikes list, but the trail has changed, so the Upper Falls hike is now moderate.

Upper Falls Provo Canyon
Upper Falls Provo Canyon

Upper Falls is just a little farther up Provo Canyon from Bridal Veil Falls. It begins on the paved Provo Canyon trail, and then branches off to climb to the waterfall. This section of the hike is steep and rocky at the end, but just for 1/4 mile. We held the hands of our 5 and under crowd on the way down, and they made it just fine. The trail is also very shady and beautiful.

The trail is very steep and rocky the entire way.
The trail is very steep and rocky the entire way.
We love that the trail is so shady!

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.

The snake was fun to watch.
The snake was fun to watch.
We saw fossils in a few rocks along the trail.
We saw fossils in a few rocks along the trail.
We also spotted a ton of snails in the Spring one year!

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 never seen anyone at Upper Falls in all of the times we have hiked 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! See below for specific directions to the trailhead.

At the end of the hike, there is a lot of debris to navigate as you finish your climb to the falls. Be careful!
We love getting up close to this amazing waterfall.
We loved that we were all alone on the trail and that we could climb right up by the waterfall.
We loved that we were all alone on the trail, too!


Upper Falls Park was closed when we last visited Upper Falls, so you will access the trail from a little further up the canyon. Drive past the Bridal Veil Falls turnoff, and the 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. This road would take you down to Upper Falls Park, but park here by the buildings.

After you park, walk east along the cement wall, and cross the pretty bridge over the river. You’ll join the Provo River Parkway Trail and head right. Walk 1/4 mile down to the cement buildings and begin the trail up to Upper Falls behind the buildings. There are no signs or markings, so keep an eye out for these old buildings on the left. This makes the trail about 1.2 miles round trip.

The spray feels so good on a hot summer day.
Park here, and enjoy this beautiful view.
Walk next to this cement wall over toward the bridge that crosses the river.
This bridge is very safe to cross.
Then you hop on the Provo River Parkway for 1/4 mile.
Watch for these buildings...the trail is behind them.
Watch for these buildings and then walk around to the back.
The trail begins behind the cement buildings.
Upper Falls in Provo Canyon is definitely a beautiful spot.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Michael

    This is a beautiful place. I remember discovering it for the first time. My friends didn’t believe me I heard running water. 3 years later I proposed to my wife up there. When we went back there a year later there was graffiti all over the place. This is an amazing secret treasure of Provo Canyon.

  2. Daniel Krommenhoek

    Hey man. This is my favorite hike. You can actually go up to the upper waterfall without a rope by just going to the left, although watch your kids as it does get a bit edgy. You can go higher than that although that does require ropes, but they are already there. Above that part tho is absolute paradisaical beauty. Hardly anybody knows about it either. You won’t find anything other than those two waterfalls even on Google, so the beauty up higher is available only to those who go that high. There are literally dozens of other waterfalls up there as you go higher. Hit me up on Facebook or reply with your email and I’ll tell you more about it and I’ll even show you the glorious pictures I took. Going back and going all the way is something I would definitely recommend.

    1. Suzanne

      Sorry I know your comment is 5 years old now, but I am really interested to know more about what’s above the upper falls and how to go about getting above the falls. Hope you see this and get a chance to answer. Thanks so much!!

  3. Alma

    I’m not seeing anything about Big Baldy on here… It’s a great hike. Check out a few facts at utahcountyoutdoors.com and I’ll bet you’d love it.

  4. Richard Curle

    What a fantastic blog and site.

    I would sure appreciate your thoughts, knowledge and expertise. I will in SLC in mid January (up from FL) and will have two days to play. I would like to try to see as many of your beautiful waterfalls and scenic vistas as I can. Short (1hr each way probably) max hikes so I can see as much as I can. The big question I have is what trails are open/accessible to a rental car/SUV and I guess which trails would be open to hiking and last would I need showshoes (or would they slow me down too much since I have never used them). I’m an experienced hiker and hike in Western NC twice a year.

    What waterfalls or really scenic vista’s would you suggest I visit and/or whom would you suggest I contact for more information? Thank you!!!

    1. Natalie Ockey

      Thank you for finding our blog. I feel that I am not equipped to answer your question. We hike with our young children and so we have never attempted hiking in the winter. I’m sure there are many hikes that you could do with or without snowshoes, but as I said, I don’t know what ones to tell you. We love the site Wasatch hiker and maybe it would help you: http://www.wasatchhiker.com. Good luck and sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

  5. Amy

    We just did this one this morning; thanks for the recommendation! Just a heads up that the bridge now has a no trespassing sign on it. We went down and parked across from the base of bridal veil and walked up the Provo river trail to the buildings and it added nicely to the length of our hike. 🙂

    1. Daniel Krommenhoek

      There’s a hold in the fence you can squeeze thru to get across the bridge. It would not make sense for it to be illegal, because you can literally get to the other side if the gate just by walking up the bike trail and going into the bridge from the other side. Trust me, you would be fine 🙂

  6. angee

    Now this is one I didn’t know about! How fun for the summer! Thanx!

  7. Jaren Hinckley

    We went to Upper Falls today! Me and my four kids (6 to 13) really enjoyed it. We have gone along the bike trail countless times and never knew the trail was behind those buildings. We never even noticed the bridge before! Thanks so much for your blog. I have a feeling we’ll be doing as many of your adventures this summer as time allows.

  8. Jamie Solomon

    Thank you so much for your blog! We use it all the time to plan adventures to take our family on. I appreciate the time you take to document what you have found and how you like it!