This hike has one of the best waterfall destinations of all the hikes I have posted. It is pretty impressive along with it’s amazing views of the reservoir and Salt lake City.
Length and Elevation Gain
The hike is considered difficult, but is pretty laid back until the last incline toward the falls. This incline leads to the lower falls and is very steep and rough. The hike is about 5 miles round trip with a 1,594 ft. elevation gain. Hence the difficult rating. The hike took a total of 2 hours. If hiking in the winter you will need to pack the proper essentials. Bells gets icy and you will fare better if you bring a nice pair of ice cleats. In the summer it is very hot and you will need sunscreen and lots of water.
Bells is located off Wasatch Blvd at the mouth of Little Cotton Wood Canyon in Utah. (40.5649, -111.804). Your GPS should take you to directly to the Bells Canyon Trail head with no hiccups. The trail to the waterfall is easy to follow. There will be signs and mile markers all through out the hike telling you where and how much longer you need to go.
I remember the first time I hiked Bells, the waterfall was so impressive and projected a lot of mist. You will get soaked from just walking next to it… if during the right season. In the Spring time the water is flowing and I highly recommend going then! Winter hiking is a great option as well. However, the waterfall may be completely frozen over. In our case it looked more like a frozen slope than an actual waterfall, but was interesting to see the different forms it takes during different seasons. The temperature will drop greatly as you go deeper into the canyon and by the waterfall. So bring warm clothing! I recommend this hike for anyone who wants a little more strenuous hike, although honestly it isn’t that bad until right before the falls.
Once you reach the Lower falls you can choose to keep going to the Upper Falls, if feeling ambitious. But be warned, the hike to Upper Falls is much more difficult. I will post aboutUpper Falls soon. Enjoy the lower falls. It is a sight to be seen. If interested in other hikes in Cotton wood Canyon check out my post Lake Blanche