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Gloria Falls

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Gloria Falls is a beautiful waterfall that can be reached by only a 2.3 mile moderate/easy hike. 

It’s a fun one in all seasons, except once the snow gets too deep it gets buried.  The first mile is accessible year-round for a two mile winter hike. 

Gloria Falls begins at the Red Pine/White Pine Trailhead about 3/4 of the way up Little Cottonwood Canyon. It is also the trailhead for Maybird Gulch to Maybird Lakes.  Gloria Falls is a beautiful mostly shaded hike that even young children can do if they take breaks and get help near the waterfall. Right near the beginning is a very picturesque bridge.

The views of Mount Superior throughout the hike are outstanding!

This trail does have quite a bit of rocks, so watch your step so you don’t trip like my five year old did. The trail is mostly dry, but there are a few muddy patches in the spring and early summer because of the melting snow and shade. The trees make this trail so beautiful and shade is amazing, especially on a hot day!

In the fall the leaves are so colorful!

In the summer there are lots of wildflowers along the trail!

You might see some wildlife along the trail.

About 0.9 miles in you come to the stream.

At the stream turn around and you will see three paths. The trail to the left is where we came from, the middle trail heads to White Pine Lake and the right trail heads up to Gloria Falls and Red Pine Lake.

Take that Red Pine trail for one more switchback. You will return to the stream and there will be two consecutive bridges to cross it.

Go across the first one and immediately after, between the two, head up the hill through the bushes. It isn’t clearly marked, but there is a trail when you look for it.

Head straight up the hill and walk with the stream to your left. There are two paths, one immediately next to the steam and one about ten feet further to the right.

Both are good options, although you may want to keep toddlers further from the water. The trail closest to the stream has good views of the water and only one step like area when you are forced to head to the right steeply up the hill.

The other trail heads up a minute or two and then you will come to where it’s harder to continue. Look to your right and you should see the photo below.


The trail heads up that hill that has a fallen tree at the top. The right side of this hill is slightly easier.

In the winter this part definitely requires microspikes or snowshoes for grip.

When you get to the top of either of these hills, head left and soon you will see the waterfall through the trees.

Gloria Falls is spectacular!

In the fall the water slows, but it is still so lovely with all the tiers!

In the winter Gloria Falls gets completely buried, but if you go early in winter, you can catch it frozen, but still accessible.

This is a great hike for most, including families!

Stats: Distance – 2.3 miles roundtrip
Approximate hiking time – 2-3 hours
Elevation gain – 636 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – April – October (snowshoe in winter)
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – No

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Other family-friendly trails nearby are Cecret Lake, Albion Meadows, and Lisa Falls.


If you want to extend your hike significantly, you can return to the bridge and continue up to Red Pine Lake, Pfeifferhorn Peak or Maybird Gulch to Maybird Lakes. You can also return to the junction and head to White Pine Lake.



utahhikingbeauty

We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

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