Heugh’s Canyon is located between Big Cottonwood Canyon and Mt. Olympus. It has multiple waterfalls, gorgeous views, and is mostly shaded. The trail follows a stream and the trail is very green. As you continue you see the reddish-brown-hued canyon walls start to rise for a very picturesque contrast with the blue sky and occasional city views! Rattlesnakes have been reported on this trail, so keep your eyes and ears alert, but we didn’t see any. It is consistently uphill and gets steeper just before the first waterfall. This post is just up to that point. If you want to explore farther up the canyon, click on this post.
There is parking on Wasatch Blvd. but then you have a steep 1/3 mile walk up Canyon Cove Drive, Canyon Oak Drive and Canyon Winds Lane. You can park on the first two, but not the last to be closer to the trail. The trail begins right in someone’s driveway, so please be respectful.
Google Maps is wrong and takes you to the wrong trailhead. These roads are crazy steep, so I don’t recommend parking on Wasatch Blvd unless you want an extra leg workout. Here is a map showing Google maps with my corrections in green. There is no pathway from Heugh’s Canyon Circle, so instead park on Oak Canyon Drive. Then walk up past the gate to the trailhead
This group of photos were taken on an evening hike.
This group of photos was taken on a morning hike.
Here are just a few more from a different morning hike!
The last couple years the water has been gentle in the stream, but in May 2023, there is significantly more flow.
The trail is moderately steep until just before the first waterfall. The last little part before the first waterfall is steeper and has loose gravel that makes it slippery, so watch your step. When you get to the boulder field look across and you may be able to see the waterfall if the flow is strong.
A mile and a half in you come to a rockslide with lots of large boulders. It’s hard to know which direction to go. Go straight across the boulders to the divide you can see between the canyon walls. (white arrow in photo above). You get in from the left (follow blue arrow in first photo above).
As you get closer you will see that even though it looks like there isn’t a pathway, the entrance to the larger waterfall is there.
The waterfall is beautiful and a hidden oasis!
The falls are large, probably 30 feet. In May 2023 there was a heavy flow and a lot more water at the base!
Next to the falls there is some type of mine shaft or cave. I think they may have collected water and piped it down.
I love the green rocks at the base.
To see what is farther up the canyon, click here:
Children could make it to the first waterfall and probably the second. Keep a close eye out for rattlesnakes. Unless you want the exercise of the steep climb, I probably would not recommend continuing beyond the second waterfall. If you hike to the second waterfall and back then it’s about 3.5 miles round trip. It’s a little farther if you continue on the steep part.
This hike is one I recommend taking bug spray if hiked in the evening.
Overall it is a very beautiful hike and I’d highly recommend it, at least to the first or second waterfall!
Other hikes nearby are Neff’s Canyon, Rattlesnake Gulch, and Wheeler Farm Loop. The Granite Flume Trail, Ledgemere Cave, and Lake Blanche are up Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Stats: Distance – 3.5 miles roundtrip (to second waterfall), (3.0 miles to first)
Approximate hiking time – 2 to 4 hours
Elevation gain – 1,071 feet (to first waterfall)
Difficulty – Moderate, becomes difficult near first waterfall
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks (boulder field to cross).
Bathrooms – None
Seasons to hike – April – October
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes