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 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 Provo Canyon

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.

Cross the bridge.
Look for the small building across the paved trail.
Walk behind the building.
Follow this narrow trail up the mountainside.
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 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 trail looks like this the whole way. Be prepared for a climb!
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 in the summer.
Such a beautiful place!

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. This trail is listed as dog friendly, but it might be tough for a dog to make this climb. See below for specific directions to the Upper Falls 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.

The spray feels so good on a hot summer day.
Upper Falls is worth the climb!

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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!