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Bells Canyon Lower Falls

Salt Lake City Metro Area, Utah

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Bells Canyon Lower Falls

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  • On the way to the Bells Reservoir below the falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Gotta take the time to smell the wildflowers!- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Benches provide an opportunity to enjoy the views.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The lower reservoir.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Panorama of Bells Canyon and the lower reservoir.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Taking the fork toward the falls, which is 1.2 miles from here.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The large meadow before the trail begins to gain elevation.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The trail to Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The trail to Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • A bridge over the creek.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The trail to Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • A small cascade along the way.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The trail to Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • A small creek crossing.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Looking west down the canyon toward Salt Lake Valley.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • You can climb down to the base of the falls, but it is slippery from the mist.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The view from the Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • A large grassy area below the falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The waterfall has a main section and a less steep continuation just below it.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Bells Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • So refreshing...- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • The area is big enough to hold a large amount of people.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Perennial rockcress along the trail.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Subalpine larkspur.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Threenerve goldenrod.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Common yarrow.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Smooth fleabane.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • California evening primrose.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Arrowleaf balsamroot.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Columbian monkshood.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Wild lupine.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • Mountain phlox.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • A wildflower species near the Bells Canyon Lower Falls.- Bells Canyon Lower Falls
  • - Bells Canyon Lower Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful and large waterfall. Wildflowers. Lake.
Cons: 
Steep. Crowded.
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Region:
Salt Lake City Metro Area, UT
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,524.00 ft (464.52 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.70 mi (7.56 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,236.00 ft (1,595.93 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

One of the most popular waterfalls in the Salt Lake area, the lower falls at Bells Canyon gets a surprising number of people considering the steep pitch in the trail's last half-mile. The close proximity to town and the beauty of the canyon and large falls keep a steady stream of people on this trail. Most people do the lake trail, but to get to the falls you will take a left at the lake and a left a quarter-mile up the hill. It is well marked the entire way.

From the fork, the waterfall is 1.2 miles away, but keep in mind that the last section is very steep. There is a beautiful meadow just after you start on the waterfall trail where you can see right up Bells Canyon as well as farther south down the Wasatch Front. Compared to the heavily exposed lower half, the trail is shaded with foliage from here on.

The creek begins to hug the trail, and there are several small flat waterfalls as you head up. After a small stream crossing you make the last ascent and take a left at the final sign pointing you in the correct direction. You pop out at the top of the falls and can descend to the base, which is steep and now slippery thanks to the crashing mist. If you continue farther downstream, there is a large grass and granite meadow with awesome views downcanyon into Salt Lake Valley. There are some steep drop-offs, so keep your eyes on the young ones. Hiking poles would be helpful at the end of the trail, but they are not really necessary before that.

The waterfall sits in a stunning canyon with jagged granite peaks on one side and sweeping vistas of Salt Lake City on the other, but you don't get to really see it without working your way below the falls. There are great wildflowers to be seen in the late spring and early summer. Moose and deer are very common here as well. No dogs are allowed on this hike. Parking can be an issue, and they are giving tickets for parking along the road outside of the lot.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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(167 within a 30 mile radius)

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