Donut Falls is a beautiful hike year round. It’s super cool to see it with icicles hanging down or even completely frozen. This is an easy hike except the last 100 feet, when you actually climb up to the cave, so it’s a good one to try if you haven’t done winter hiking before. The last few hundred feet of this hike is a potential avalanche area, so be sure to check the risk before going. Wait until it is green or yellow.
Right near the trailhead there are some great sledding hills! The road that heads up past Jordan Pines Campground and some private cabins is closed in the winter, so you’ll need to park on the side of the canyon road in the North Fork Mill D parking lot. The road still gets plowed, so it is an easy and beautiful walk. Keep an eye out for occasional cars from the cabin owners. Normally Donut Falls is only 1.5 miles, but it becomes 3.5 miles round trip in the winter. It’s sure pretty though.
Everything looks so beautiful and peaceful covered in snow.
You may not need them for most of the hike, but you’ll definitely want to have micro-spikes for added traction when you hike up the last little part to the falls. Many people slide back down, rather than try to find their footing, so wear snow pants if you want to do that. This is a photo of my ten year-old daughter most of the way up to the falls.
It’s hard to see where the entrance to the falls is from the bottom, but even in the winter this is popular enough that you are unlikely to be there alone. If you look in the photo above you can see some people above my daughter near the entrance. They actually just got engaged there in the cave minutes before we arrived!
Here is a photo looking down from next to the little cavern.
As you get close you can see the it.
In the winter the water level is fairly shallow, but you will still probably want to wear waterproof boots and bring spare socks just in case.
The waterfall looks so cool in every season, but there is definitely something magical about the icicles.
Here are more photos from the Donut Falls hike.
For all the details on this hike click below: