Adams Falls (Adams Canyon Falls)

Layton / Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

About Adams Falls (Adams Canyon Falls)


Hiking Distance: 3.5-4 miles round trip with scrambling
Suggested Time: 2.5-3.5 hours

Date first visited: 2017-05-27
Date last visited: 2020-08-09

Waterfall Latitude: 41.06731
Waterfall Longitude: -111.88516

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Adams Falls (also known as Adams Canyon Falls) was an attractive 40ft rectangular waterfall on North Fork Holmes Creek that was a worthy reward for the adventure it took to get to it.

The underlying red cliffs also added more color to the overall scene, and its spray was refreshing after all the pretty hard hiking it took to get up here.

Adams_Falls_205_08092020 - Adams Falls with late afternoon rainbow as seen during my visit in mid-August 2020
Adams Falls with late afternoon rainbow as seen during my visit in mid-August 2020

I happened to visit this waterfall twice – once in late May 2017 and again in mid-August 2020.

During my late May 2017 visit, North Fork Holmes Creek had very high flow, and that made for a rather wet hike with quite a bit of trail erosion causing lots of rough unanticipated scrambling.

As a result, I wound up getting quite a bit more adventure than I had anticipated.

On my mid-August 2020 visit, North Fork Holmes Creek was significantly less vigorous, and I even noticed some degree of trail maintenance to rectify some of the eroded parts that I had encountered three years prior.

Adams_Falls_166_05272017 - Adams Falls or Adams Canyon Falls in high flow during my Memorial Day Weekend visit in late May 2017
Adams Falls or Adams Canyon Falls in high flow during my Memorial Day Weekend visit in late May 2017

While it was still not an easy hike overall, it was much easier than that first visit.

Both photos you see above show you the differences in Adams Falls, which illustrates how conditions can change depending on snow pack and time of year.

By the way, Adams Falls was named after Elias Adams who was an early settler of East Layton, which was the town from which this waterfall adventure began.

Nevertheless, despite some of the difficulties I had in hiking to this waterfall, it was quite obvious to me that this was seemingly Layton’s most popular hike.

Adams_Falls_078_05272017 - Lots of intermediate cascades on Holmes Creek as a result of high water conditions experienced on my late May 2017 hike to Adams Falls
Lots of intermediate cascades on Holmes Creek as a result of high water conditions experienced on my late May 2017 hike to Adams Falls

Overall, each time I’ve done this hike, my GPS logs had indicated that I had hiked about 4 miles round-trip.

This was despite a trailhead sign suggesting that it was 1.75 miles each way or 3.5 miles round-trip.

It took me 3.5 hours round-trip on my May 2017 visit (2 hours up and 90 minutes back down).

Meanwhile, it took me 3 hours total on my mid-August 2020 visit, which included brief interludes to the Lower Adams Falls.

Adams_Falls_144_08092020 - North Fork Holmes Creek was significantly lower and causing less trail erosion on the Adams Canyon Trail so I had a much easier time doing this hike on my second time around in the Summer of 2020
North Fork Holmes Creek was significantly lower and causing less trail erosion on the Adams Canyon Trail so I had a much easier time doing this hike on my second time around in the Summer of 2020

That kind of indicated how much easier the hike seemed to be the second time around as compared to the first.

Adams Falls Trail Description – from the trailhead to Adams Canyon

The hike began from a pretty spacious unpaved lot though there was also parallel parking available on Eastside Road (see directions below).

The trail initially followed some fencing preventing the public from accessing some kind of rectangular pond.

Then, the trail ascended a series of switchbacks with high wooden fences to prevent people from taking shortcuts.

Adams_Falls_014_08092020 - Looking back over one of the switchbacks on the initial climb up 10 switchbacks at the start of the Adams Canyon Trail. This climb was especially brutal in the nearly 100-degree day when I did this hike in mid-August 2020
Looking back over one of the switchbacks on the initial climb up 10 switchbacks at the start of the Adams Canyon Trail. This climb was especially brutal in the nearly 100-degree day when I did this hike in mid-August 2020

There were at least 10 of these switchbacks, including a sign talking about Elias Adams in one of the switchbacks.

After the tenth switchback, the trail climbed a little more as it approached a rest bench with a couple of unmarked spur trails heading off to the right.

Those trails happened to lead to the Adams Canyon Lower Falls, which has a separate write-up since it was an optional detour.

Nevertheless, the Adams Canyon Trail had gained some 250ft over mostly sandy surfaces up to this point.

Adams_Falls_250_05272017 - After all the switchbacks in the beginning and deviating from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, the Adams Canyon Trail then entered Adams Canyon
After all the switchbacks in the beginning and deviating from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, the Adams Canyon Trail then entered Adams Canyon

The trail would gain about another 100ft further above the switchbacks beyond the rest bench.

Eventually, after a half-mile from the trailhead, the path joined up with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

The Adams Canyon Trail continued to the right as it entered the canyon itself.

As I entered Adams Canyon, I got some nice panoramic views looking back towards Layton and the Great Salt Lake.

Adams Falls Trail Description – hiking and scrambling in Adams Canyon

Adams_Falls_247_05272017 - Looking over the northern fringes of the Great Salt Lake and parts of Layton from the Adams Canyon Trail as it was entering Adams Canyon
Looking over the northern fringes of the Great Salt Lake and parts of Layton from the Adams Canyon Trail as it was entering Adams Canyon

As the trail entered Adams Canyon, there was a bit more tree cover as the path narrowed, which provided some welcome relief from the sun.

After about another quarter-mile from the junction, I reached another fork with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, where that trail descended towards a footbridge over North Holmes Creek on the right.

The left fork continued on the Adams Canyon Trail, which was the fork that I followed to continue towards Adams Falls.

The trail now pretty much followed along the North Holmes Creek for the remainder of the hike.

Adams_Falls_059_05272017 - Context of an eroded part of my late May 2017 Adams Canyon hike where I was on the left side of this creek and needed to continue straight along the embankment while trying not to get wet in North Holmes Creek
Context of an eroded part of my late May 2017 Adams Canyon hike where I was on the left side of this creek and needed to continue straight along the embankment while trying not to get wet in North Holmes Creek

During this stretch, the path continued climbing while passing by some small intermediate cascades.

On my late May 2017 hike, parts of the trail appeared to have eroded quite a bit, which made this part of the hike seemingly more rugged.

I wasn’t sure if this was from years of wear and tear from the popularity of the trail or if a large chunk of earth got swept away from the higher water levels of Holmes Creek.

Whatever the case, there were moments where I had to quickly walk along sloped embankments with dropoffs.

Adams_Falls_140_08092020 - Approaching a footbridge during my August 2020 hike that definitely wasn't there during my late May 2017 hike
Approaching a footbridge during my August 2020 hike that definitely wasn’t there during my late May 2017 hike

I also had to figure out how to walk on the sides of Holmes Creek itself without getting wet in the spots where there was no trail between the embankments and the creek.

Under such conditions, progress on the Adams Canyon Trail was slow, and I sensed that such high water conditions weren’t really the norm here.

When I came back to do this hike again in mid-August 2020, it seemed like the eroded parts of the trail were bypassed by new bridges, which made this hike significantly easier.

It also helped that North Fork Holmes Creek did not flow into the trail itself, which further made the hike much easier than the first time around.

Adams_Falls_084_05272017 - The Adams Falls Trail crossing a slanted wooden bridge roughtly 0.8 miles from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail junction
The Adams Falls Trail crossing a slanted wooden bridge roughtly 0.8 miles from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail junction

Regardless, at about 0.8 miles from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail junction, the trail crossed North Holmes Creek over a slanted wooden footbridge.

In my mind, this bridge was kind of the landmark where the Adams Canyon Trail started to degenerate more into a rough semi-scramble as opposed to the more straightforward trail that persisted up to this point.

Indeed, the rougher upper parts of the Adams Canyon Trail started to force me to scramble hand over feet in the steepest sections.

There were also more attractive cascades that the trail meandered alongside, including one small waterfall where a large boulder formed a kind of “cave” or alcove with water running through it.

Adams_Falls_114_05272017 - Looking back over one of the attractive intermediate cascades with a large boulder forming kind of an alcove or 'cave' on the way up to Adams Falls
Looking back over one of the attractive intermediate cascades with a large boulder forming kind of an alcove or ‘cave’ on the way up to Adams Falls

Further upstream beyond this spot, the trail then went around a bend in the creek.

After this bend, the steepening trail skirted North Fork Holmes Creek, which made for some tricky scrambling in the high water conditions that I encountered in May 2017.

Under such conditions, I opted to hike into the creek itself on its far right side to avoid doing a pretty daring steep scramble further up the embankment (just to try avoiding getting wet).

Once again, when I got to this part in mid-August, the hiking was pretty straightforward given the lower flow of North Fork Holmes Creek.

Adams_Falls_138_05272017 - This was perhaps the most impressive of the intermediate cascades on North Holmes Creek on the way to Adams Falls
This was perhaps the most impressive of the intermediate cascades on North Holmes Creek on the way to Adams Falls

At about 0.2 miles from the footbridge over North Holmes Creek, I had to traverse a narrow rocky ledge before winding up in front of the most impressive intermediate cascade seen so far.

Adams Falls Trail Description – from the intermediate waterfall to the main waterfall

Aside from its photogenic quality as a legitimate standalone waterfall, I had to scramble on the trail alongside the cascade’s right side.

This eventually brought me to the top of the attractive intermediate falls and beyond.

Then, the trail continued to get rougher as it hugged the right side of North Holmes Creek while involving some more steep climbs.

Adams_Falls_175_08092020 - The same cascade as the prior photo, but this time this was under the lower mid-August flow during my visit in 2020
The same cascade as the prior photo, but this time this was under the lower mid-August flow during my visit in 2020

Eventually at about 2 miles from the trailhead, the trail then reached an unbridged crossing of North Holmes Creek.

This was pretty much before the Adams Falls, but it could not be seen without getting into the creek.

During the time that I did this hike in late May 2017, the creek was running pretty high so inevitably, I had to get my feet wet as the water was easily ankle- to shin-deep.

I’ve also seen trip reports where at lower water levels, it was possible to easily cross North Holmes Creek without getting water inside Gore-tex hiking boots or even day hiking low-top shoes.

Adams_Falls_180_05272017 - Looking back at the last crossing of North Holmes Creek before Adams Falls in late May 2017
Looking back at the last crossing of North Holmes Creek before Adams Falls in late May 2017

However, when I came back in August 2020, North Fork Holmes Creek was much lower, but it was actually still high enough to get low-top shoes miserably wet.

Nevertheless, once I made it to the other side of the creek, that was when I could finally see Adams Falls in all its glory (just like in the photo at the top of this page).

When I showed up at about 9:30am, there was still enough of a morning shadow to take decent photos.

However, this was a west-facing waterfall so afternoon provided the best lighting.

Adams_Falls_183_08092020 - Another look at the last crossing of North Fork Holmes Creek in mid-August 2020 conditions, where this crossing was a lot more trivial than it was three years prior to this
Another look at the last crossing of North Fork Holmes Creek in mid-August 2020 conditions, where this crossing was a lot more trivial than it was three years prior to this

Of course, waiting until the afternoon to do this hike would mean the initial sandy switchbacked climb from the trailhead to the Adams Canyon Trail junction would be a brutally hot stretch.

And if you’re not acclimated to the altitude, it could make an already tough hike even tougher right off the bat.

In fact, when I did do this hike on a hot Summer afternoon, I noticed quite a few people struggle with the trail, especially past the slanted bridge.

So despite the tree cover for most of the remainder of the Adams Falls Trail once it entered Adams Canyon, it was still mostly uphill, which further added to the difficulty of the hike.

Adams_Falls_243_08092020 - On the return hike from Adams Falls, I narrowly missed stepping on this small rattlesnake as it was slithering across the Adams Canyon Trail
On the return hike from Adams Falls, I narrowly missed stepping on this small rattlesnake as it was slithering across the Adams Canyon Trail

That’s something to consider when partaking on this adventure and attempting to time it for the afternoon.

Speaking of the afternoon, when I used my downhill momentum to go quickly back towards the trailhead from Adams Falls, I narrowly missed stepping on a rattlesnake that was crossing the trail!

Indeed, even though I thought I could make good time on the trail, that snake bite could have ruined the remainder of our trip.

But aside from that, I still made pretty good time making my way quickly downhill to the trailhead.

Authorities

Adams Falls resides near the city of Layton in Davis County, Utah. It is administered by the Davis County government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Adams_Falls_002_08092020 - Looking back at the trailhead for Adams Canyon Trail as I started the hike up to Adams Falls in August 2020. This photo and the next several shots were taken from this visit
Adams_Falls_004_08092020 - Sign suggesting that the hike up to Adams Falls was shorter than what my GPS logs had said during my August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_005_08092020 - Following along the sandy trail by some fencing at the start of the Adams Canyon Trail during my scorching hot hike in mid-August 2020
Adams_Falls_009_08092020 - Looking up at one of the sandy switchbacks at the start of the Adams Canyon Trail, which was even more brutal considering it was nearly triple digits on the afternoon of my visit in August 2020
Adams_Falls_018_08092020 - Looking ahead towards a rest bench after the 10th switchback on the initial climb up the Adams Canyon Trail. Note that this was the deviation point for the detour to the Adams Canyon Lower Falls
Adams_Falls_124_08092020 - Looking back towards Layton and the Great Salt Lake Basin as I continued uphill towards Adams Canyon in August 2020
Adams_Falls_126_08092020 - Looking ahead towards people coming back from the Adams Canyon Trail as I was still making my climb in August 2020
Adams_Falls_129_08092020 - The signed trail junction with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail at the end of the initial climb up the Adams Canyon Trail as seen in August 2020
Adams_Falls_133_08092020 - As I entered Adams Canyon in August 2020, the shade provided by these trees and foliage made for some welcome relief from the intense afternoon sun
Adams_Falls_138_08092020 - Ascending on the famliar Adams Canyon Trail, but at least I was getting the benefit of shade during my August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_150_08092020 - Eventually I got high enough on the Adams Canyon Trail to get into this open area, which also meant that this part of the hike was hot again
Adams_Falls_151_08092020 - Looking back downhill towards the contours of Adams Canyon on my August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_155_08092020 - With all the time I had been acclimated throughout our COVID-19 Rockies Trip in July and August 2020, I had been pretty well-acclimated by now.  So I had easy time passing by people that weren't as acclimated
Adams_Falls_156_08092020 - About to go past a family that didn't finish crossing the slanted bridge along the Adams Canyon Trail in August 2020
Adams_Falls_157_08092020 - Beyond the slanted bridge, the Adams Canyon Trail became pretty rough pretty fast
Adams_Falls_158_08092020 - Another look at the rough terrain of the Adams Canyon Trail as seen during my August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_163_08092020 - Approaching a cascade on North Fork Holmes Creek next to a giant boulder along the Adams Canyon Trail as seen in mid-August 2020
Adams_Falls_167_08092020 - Looking across a giant stacked boulder by a small intermediate cascade along the North Fork Holmes Creek as seen during my mid-August 2020 hike to Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_169_08092020 - Once eroded and overflowing sections of creek in late May 2017 were now much easier to deal with in mid-August 2020 en route to Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_173_08092020 - Looking back down at some people about to start on a fairly non-trivial climb as part of the Adams Canyon Trail during my mid-August 2020 hike
Adams_Falls_181_08092020 - Still continuing to hike along some rough rocky sections of the Adams Canyon Trail as I was getting closer to Adams Falls in mid-August 2020
Adams_Falls_186_08092020 - Finally arriving at Adams Falls with a rainbow arcing across its drop in the late afternoon of my mid-August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_195_08092020 - Broad long-exposure look at Adams Falls with rainbow as the shadows started to creep higher during my August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_196_08092020 - Partially-shadowed look at Adams Falls in mid-August 2020
Adams_Falls_203_08092020 - Late afternoon was the perfect time to take silhouette shots of people in front of the bright Adams Falls in mid-August 2020
Adams_Falls_220_08092020 - Last look at the festive atmosphere at Adams Falls during my August 2020 visit before it was time to head back
Adams_Falls_226_08092020 - Following the Adams Canyon Trail back to the trailhead after having my fill of Adams Falls on my mid-August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_228_08092020 - Descending along North Fork Holmes Creek on the way back from Adams Falls along the Adams Canyon Trail in mid-August 2020
Adams_Falls_234_08092020 - Continuing the steep and somewhat slippery descent along the Adams Canyon Trail on the way back from Adams Falls during my mid-August 2020 visit
Adams_Falls_236_08092020 - Going back across the slanted bridge so I knew that the Adams Canyon Trail was getting progressively easier as I used my downhill momentum to make good time on the return hike
Adams_Falls_240_08092020 - Passing slower hikers that I had seen on the way up. That was how quickly I was going on the return hike in August 2020 from Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_248_08092020 - Finally out of the tree cover and starting to leave Adams Canyon en route to the trailhead to end my August 2020 excursion
Adams_Falls_263_08092020 - Returning to the switchbacks at the beginning of the hike, but now I'm having a much easier time going down these switchbacks instead of up
Adams_Falls_265_08092020 - Context of the return hike down the switchbacks with residences in the background as I was ending my mid-August 2020 hike
Adams_Falls_266_08092020 - Returning to the Adams Canyon Trailhead in the early evening to end my August 2020 visit here
Adams_Falls_268_08092020 - Looking back across the Adams Canyon Trailhead Parking, which was still surprisingly busy despite it being just about dinner time at the end of my August 2020 hike to Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_001_05272017 - This was the fairly spacious unpaved parking area for the Adams Canyon Falls Hike when I got my early morning start in late May 2017.  This shot and the rest of the photos in this gallery were taken from this visit
Adams_Falls_002_05272017 - Approaching the fence opening to go onto the hike to the Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_004_05272017 - Initially, the Adams Falls Trail passed along this fence before going towards the white fences up ahead, which were the sandy switchbacks that would be a pretty brutal climb had it not been for the cool morning shade
Adams_Falls_009_05272017 - Looking back over a reflective pond as I was climbing up the sandy switchbacks on the initial part of the Adams Falls hike
Adams_Falls_011_05272017 - Looking back towards the Adams Canyon Falls Parking Area as I was ascending the switchbacks
Adams_Falls_015_05272017 - Looking back over some suburban homes on the hike up to the Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_020_05272017 - This was one of the sandy switchbacks during the initial climb up to Adams Canyon in late May 2017
Adams_Falls_022_05272017 - Continuing to ascend the sandy Adams Canyon Trail while benefitting from the morning shade
Adams_Falls_024_05272017 - I climbed high enough along the Adams Canyon Trail at this point to face the morning sun while I still had some more switchbacks to climb up ahead
Adams_Falls_029_05272017 - Ascending another switchback on the initial climb during the Adams Falls hike
Adams_Falls_036_05272017 - After having ascended most of the switchbacks, I got this loftier view over some of the suburban homes of Layton while looking towards the Great Salt Lake in the distance
Adams_Falls_039_05272017 - Looking back at some early birds who were returning from the Adams Falls hike while I had just gotten onto the Adams Canyon Trail
Adams_Falls_048_05272017 - Entering the tree-covered sections from the confines of Adams Canyon as I continued to pursue the Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_049_05272017 - This was the trail junction with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail within the tree cover of Adams Canyon. I kept left to stay on the Adams Canyon Trail
Adams_Falls_055_05272017 - At a point of the Adams Falls Trail where the Adams Canyon Trail skirted the North Holmes Creek leaving very little width of the trail along the stream's banks
Adams_Falls_060_05272017 - This was one eroded part of the Adams Falls hike where people had set up deadfall logs to help keep the feet dry while clinging to the eroded embankments
Adams_Falls_061_05272017 - Looking back at the context of the eroded embankment parts of the Adams Falls hike and some tricky sections where I had to stand on deadfall logs to keep dry
Adams_Falls_072_05272017 - At this point in the Adams Falls hike, I got high enough to start noticing the interesting cliffs
Adams_Falls_087_05272017 - The Adams Falls hike continued to scramble alongside North Holmes Creek and its intermediate cascades, which made for a much more non-trivial hike than I had anticipated
Adams_Falls_089_05272017 - Another one of the intermediate cascades on North Holmes Creek seen during the hike to Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_096_05272017 - This interesting intermediate cascade on North Holmes Creek appeared to be split by a giant boulder that fell from a neighboring cliff
Adams_Falls_099_05272017 - Climbing steeply alongside this attractive cascade on North Holmes Creek en route to Adams Falls.  Note another hiker making a descent for some context
Adams_Falls_105_05272017 - Some other attractive intermediate cascade gushing between some big boulders on North Holmes Creek en route to the Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_108_05272017 - Another look at the intermediate cascade gushing between some big boulders on North Holmes Creek en route to the Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_113_05272017 - Looking back towards a cascade next to a boulder 'alcove' on North Holmes Creek as I was probably within a quarter-mile of Adams Falls by this point
Adams_Falls_119_05272017 - As the Adams Canyon Falls hike continued to climb, it also got rougher alongside North Holmes Creek.  Here, I decided to hike in the right side of the cascade while others were willing to slide down the steep and dicey embankment on the topright to avoid getting wet
Adams_Falls_121_05272017 - More stream scrambling on North Holmes Creek as I continued to make my way up to Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_130_05272017 - This was another section of steep hand-over-feet scrambling on the Adams Canyon Trail
Adams_Falls_140_05272017 - Checking out perhaps the most scenic of the intermediate cascades on North Holmes Creek on the way up to Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_141_05272017 - A pair of hikers scrambling above this cascade as part of the Adams Canyon Falls pursuit
Adams_Falls_147_05272017 - Context of some cliffs opposite the North Holmes Creek en route to the Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_149_05272017 - Continuing up the Adams Canyon Trail alongside North Holmes Creek
Adams_Falls_153_05272017 - Looking up at another cascade on North Holmes Creek as I was very close to the Adams Falls itself
Adams_Falls_154_05272017 - This was the crossing of North Holmes Creek that required getting wet, but it was also required to get a good look at Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_156_05272017 - Finally arriving at Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_161_05272017 - Looking back at someone else trying to get across the really wet crossing of North Holmes Creek right in front of Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_164_05272017 - Direct look up at the Adams Falls and its surrounding cliffs
Adams_Falls_167_05272017 - Looking back at some other people struggling with the crossing of a swollen Holmes Creek right in front of Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_173_05272017 - Another look at Adams Falls backed by attractive reddish brownish rocks before I started to make my move back to the trailhead
Adams_Falls_185_05272017 - This person thought he could find a different way across North Holmes Creek without getting wet around Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_190_05272017 - These folks made their return hike without much hesitation after having had their fill of Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_201_05272017 - This was a look at some of the rock scrambling that I had to make to get up to Adams Falls, but now I'm heading back
Adams_Falls_203_05272017 - Looking back at a couple checking out the real attractive intermediate cascade well downstream of Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_208_05272017 - Most of the return hike involved downwards scrambling though for a good chunk of the trail, I was able to use my downward momentum to do a little trail running on the way back from Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_211_05272017 - A steep descent on the scramble of North Holmes Creek on the return hike from Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_213_05272017 - After having my fill of the Adams Falls in late May 2017, I still had to go back the way I came up and that meant having to deal with the eroded sections and creek scrambles like this again
Adams_Falls_224_05272017 - Looking back at some other people continuing towards Adams Falls on a non-creek-scramble part of the Adams Falls hike
Adams_Falls_225_05272017 - On the way back down, I encountered many other hikers dealing with the steep and eroded part of the Adams Falls hike
Adams_Falls_227_05272017 - Looking back at some people also making their way back along the eroded parts of the Adams Falls hike within Adams Canyon
Adams_Falls_229_05272017 - Looking back at some folks trying to avoid getting wet at another one of the eroded sections of the Adams Canyon Trail
Adams_Falls_232_05272017 - Looking back at the tree cover within Adams Canyon, which provided some partial shade and temporary relief from the sun though it was now doing me no good on the return hike to the trailhead
Adams_Falls_238_05272017 - When I left Adams Canyon on the return hike from Adams Falls, I managed to get very attractive views in the direction of Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake
Adams_Falls_239_05272017 - Looking back at a pair of ladies starting their hike into Adams Canyon en route to Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_241_05272017 - Context of the Adams Canyon Trail and the views on the return hike
Adams_Falls_249_05272017 - Looking back at other hikers making their way into Adams Canyon while I was heading back from Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_255_05272017 - Starting the final descent to the trailhead parking for Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_256_05272017 - One of the spur paths not far from this bench branched to the left towards the Lower Adams Canyon Falls
Adams_Falls_261_05272017 - Descending along the fenced switchbacks en route to the trailhead for Adams Falls
Adams_Falls_262_05272017 - The end of the hike was near as I could see the parking area, Eastside Drive, and the US89 along with the Great Salt Lake way in the distance
Adams_Falls_264_05272017 - Returning to the parking lot for the Adams Falls Trailhead
Adams_Falls_265_05272017 - When I returned to the trailhead for Adams Falls, I was amazed at just how many cars were parked here, especially parallel parking along Eastside Drive

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


To reach Adams Falls from downtown Salt Lake City, I drove north on the I-15 for about 16 miles before leaving the interstate to go onto Hwy 89.

Then, I drove about another 6 miles along Hwy 89 before turning right onto a short access road leading to Eastside Drive.

Adams_Falls_267_05272017 - Looking across the Hwy 89 from the intersection of Hwy 89 and Oak Hills Drive where there was a water tank that could act as a good landmark before the turn onto Eastside Drive
Looking across the Hwy 89 from the intersection of Hwy 89 and Oak Hills Drive where there was a water tank that could act as a good landmark before the turn onto Eastside Drive

Note that there were stop signs on this road though Hwy 89 kept moving at high speed as it didn’t have one here.

This was the first right turn after the traffic light at the intersection of Hwy 89 and Oak Hills Drive.

There was also a water tank on the northwest corner of this intersection, which could be another telltale landmark when looking for the Adams Canyon Falls Trailhead.

Once I made another right onto Eastside Drive, I then drove the remaining 0.4 miles to the Adams Falls Trailhead on the left.

Adams_Falls_268_05272017 - The unpaved trailhead parking lot for the Adams Falls Trail
The unpaved trailhead parking lot for the Adams Falls Trail

While the unpaved parking lot was fairly spacious, when I showed up at 7:45am, there were already dozens of cars here.

When I returned to the trailhead shortly after 11pm on a Saturday, Eastside Drive was full of cars parallel parking both north and south of the formal trailhead parking.

This attested to how popular this hike was.

In any case, this drive from downtown Salt Lake City took me about 30 minutes.

Adams_Falls_266_05272017 - Looking down Eastside Drive where lots of people had parallel parked along this street, which attested to how popular this the Adams Falls Trail was despite how hard it was
Looking down Eastside Drive where lots of people had parallel parked along this street, which attested to how popular this the Adams Falls Trail was despite how hard it was

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.

Short sweep of Adams Falls conveying the fun atmosphere in the late afternoon


Sweep starting downstream then panning along the cliff edges before settling on the Adams Falls with rainbow



360 degree sweep from right in front of Adams Falls revealing some people crossing the swollen creek a few times to give you an idea of how wet the feet become

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Tagged with: layton, adams canyon, bonneville shoreline trail, antelope island, great salt lake, salt lake city, us 89, davis county, utah, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.