Lisa Falls

Little Cottonwood Canyon / Wasatch Mountains / near Salt Lake City / Salt Lake County, Utah, USA

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Lisa Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Lisa Falls was one of the shorter waterfall excursions that I did while touring the Salt Lake City area on Memorial Day Weekend in 2017. As you can see from the photo above, it appeared to have just a couple of tiers spilling somewhat sideways down a granite-like rock face. But while making the drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon, I swore that there was more to this waterfall than what that photo revealed as I might have glimpsed other parts of its overall drop from the road. Indeed, it seemed like the accessible part of the falls was merely a teaser to its overall features, but I sensed that such hidden qualities of the falls would only be revealed to people like prepared abseilers climbing or descending the adjacent granite cliff face by the falls or those who managed to hike or climb up to a higher vantage point on the opposite side of Little Cottonwood Canyon. In fact, this waterfall had more of a local feel to it because its trail was unsigned and probably could be easily missed if one were to drive by without any prior research or knowledge of this place. That said, its short trail length also made it pretty friendly for some kids as well as the odd well-dressed individuals to take time out of their day to recharge here.

From the unsigned trailhead (see directions below), I followed a somewhat obvious path through the vegetation as it climbed towards some creek overflow that ultimately came from Lisa Falls. After barely a quarter-mile or less, I then started to see the falls to my left so I crossed the stream towards the pile of boulders strewn about the base of the falls at a clearing in the vegetation. It was here that I managed to get right up to the falls as well as look back across Little Cottonwood Canyon towards the impressive peaks on the other side. In addition to the people that I shared the falls with, there were also big squirrels moving about probably looking for scraps of human food. In less than 45 minutes, I was back at the car (and a good chunk of time was spent taking pictures and just soaking in the atmosphere of the falls). So I'd imagine one could easily spend even less time here than I did.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Lisa Falls and Little Cottonwood Canyon was roughly 30 minutes drive southeast of downtown Salt Lake City, which was most known for the beautiful Temple Square in the heart of the city's downtown areaLisa Falls and Little Cottonwood Canyon was roughly 30 minutes drive southeast of downtown Salt Lake City, which was most known for the beautiful Temple Square in the heart of the city's downtown area
Little Cottonwood Canyon was only a few minutes drive from Big Cottonwood Canyon, which featured some dramatic cliffs and mountains as the Big Cottonwood Canyon Road snaked its way throughLittle Cottonwood Canyon was only a few minutes drive from Big Cottonwood Canyon, which featured some dramatic cliffs and mountains as the Big Cottonwood Canyon Road snaked its way through
Looking back across Little Cottonwood Canyon Road from the unsigned Lisa Falls TrailheadLooking back across Little Cottonwood Canyon Road from the unsigned trailhead for the falls

This was the path that I took to get up to Lisa FallsThis was the path that I took to get up to the falls

The trail climbed alongside this overflow of the creek responsible for Lisa FallsThe trail climbed alongside this overflow of the creek responsible for the falls

Looking back at a couple of well-dressed dudes who took time out of their day to enjoy Lisa FallsLooking back at a couple of well-dressed dudes who took time out of their day to enjoy the falls

My first glimpse at the lower split drop of Lisa FallsMy first glimpse at the lower split drop of the falls

Looking right up at Lisa Falls' two dropsLooking right up at the falls' two drops

Context of the size of Lisa Falls conveyed by this abseiler who was climbing on the cliff face alongside the waterfallContext of the size of the falls conveyed by this abseiler who was climbing on the cliff face alongside the waterfall

This squirrel was one of many who were around Lisa Falls probably looking for something to munch onThis squirrel was one of many who were around Lisa Falls probably looking for something to munch on

Looking back across Little Cottonwood Canyon from the base of Lisa Falls towards some peaksLooking back across Little Cottonwood Canyon from the base of the falls towards some peaks

Angled look at the pair of drops of Lisa FallsAngled look at the pair of drops of the falls

Back at the unsigned pullout by the Lisa Falls Trail where I got this look at Little Cottonwood Canyon Road continuing its uphill climbBack at the unsigned pullout by the Lisa Falls Trail where I got this look at Little Cottonwood Canyon Road continuing its uphill climb


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


360 degree sweep starting with the Lisa Falls then turning around to see other smaller cascades as well as the impressive mountain on the opposite side of the canyon before circling back


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From downtown Salt Lake City, we went west towards one of the on-ramps for the I-15 heading south. We then drove on the I-15 South for roughly 3 miles before taking the I-80 East. Next, we continued east on the I-80 for roughly 5 miles before keeping right to go south on the I-215 South. After roughly another 5.5 miles or so on the I-215 South (Belt Route), we then took exit 6 for 6200 South, then kept left to continue east on UT190. We then continued driving south on the UT190 for about 1.7 miles before keeping straight at the intersection with Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, which now put us on the UT210 (Wasatch Blvd).

We then continued following Wasatch Blvd for the next 2.2 miles before keeping left at the fork to remain on the UT210 (Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd). After about 4.3 miles from the fork along Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, we parked where there were large pullouts on both the right side of the road as well as a smaller one on the left side of the road. We pulled over onto the left side of the road as that was where the short Lisa Falls Trail began. Overall, this drive would take on the order of a little over 30 minutes or so.

To give you some overall context, Salt Lake City was about 302 miles (over 4 hours drive) north of St George, 234 miles (over 3.5 hours drive) northwest of Moab, 215 miles (3 hours drive) south of Idaho Falls, Idaho, 421 miles (over 5.5 hours drive) north of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 688 miles (over 9.5 hours drive) north of Los Angeles, California.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.


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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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