Do you want to see a large waterfall and old rusting cars along a pretty and mostly shaded hike? This is an odd combination, but just what you’ll see up Farmington Canyon on this shady hike.
Farmington Canyon is just east of Lagoon amusement park. The road is kind of narrow, but paved until just before the parking lot. From the parking area the trail heads up into the trees.
Most of these photos are from a day when Utah was filled with wildfire smoke from California wildfires. These are sunset photos I took that same day.
Because it was smoky, it means that the sky isn’t vibrant and visibility looking into the valley below was limited. Luckily it didn’t affect our breathing.
Right near the beginning of the trail there is a little cave. It’s so sad that it has been vandalized. Please leave no trace so others can enjoy the beauty.
The path is nice and shaded at least half the time. The canyon views are also very beautiful.
While we were hiking we saw sagebrush lizards and butterflies. There is a chance of rattlesnakes in this canyon, but we didn’t see any.
Also, be sure to look behind you at the city views. There was still some wildfire smoke when we hiked this, so visibility isn’t as great as usual.
The Farmington Canyon Road (Skyline Drive) that leads to this trailhead actually continues up and along the top of the mountainside. It is apparently pretty precarious, or at least was in the 1950s and 1960s when most of these cars fell off the road and rolled down into the canyon below.
The first few cars are a little hidden, but if you look for them, you will find some on both sides of the trail. We found at least five cars.
This trail has some awesome rocks! I love the stripes.
There are a couple stream crossings. Since we hiked in August the water was shallow and it was easy to cross, either on the rocks or logs, but perhaps in the spring it would be trickier.
**In late 2022 they added a new trail that goes directly to the base of the waterfall. This makes it much easier, especially for young children and dogs. There is still the original rope down as an option, described below.
About 1.6 miles into the hike there is a rope that helps you scale down to the waterfall. It is a bit tricky and I would not attempt it with toddlers. If you want to see the view from the path, just take an extra dozen steps or so and you can look down on the waterfall from above.
A few of my kids stayed above and the rest of us went down the rope for a better view. I wasn’t wearing my hiking shoes and my lack of tread made it a little tricky, but thanks to the rope and some study branches, I could do it just fine. Here are views from above and below.
Scaling down to the waterfall is well worth it. The waterfall is at least 20 feet and even in August during a drought it had nice flow.
Other close hikes in Davis County are Adam’s Canyon Upper Falls, Adam’s Canyon Lower Falls, Mueller Park, Elephant Rock, and Parrish Creek Pictographs and Waterfalls. For nearby bird watching check out Farmington Bay or Beus Pond.
Distance – 3.3 miles roundtrip
Approximate hiking time – 1-2 hours
Elevation gain – 889 feet
Difficulty – Moderate (Climbing down to waterfall is difficult)
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt
Bathrooms – No
Seasons to hike – April-October
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes