About Battle Creek Falls
Battle Creek Falls was a pleasing 50ft plunging waterfall near the base of the west side of Mt Timpanogos. It was a short but sweet excursion where the whole family was able to partake and enjoy the experience without much drama. In addition to the waterfall itself, we were also able to get nice views towards Utah Lake and Pleasant Grove while also checking out the attractive cliffs and protrusions seen throughout the hike. There was more to the Battle Creek Trail further upstream beyond the falls, but we were just content to enjoy the waterfall’s cool spray on a day that turned out to be quite warm for the Salt Lake City area. Obviously with its accessibility, we saw firsthand that it was quite the popular excursion, especially for those families bringing their kids along. Perhaps my only regret with making our visit to this falls was that we were looking against the sun when we showed up in the morning. Since the falls faced west, it would definitely get better lighting much later in the day.
The trail began from a spacious (albeit rocky) unpaved parking area in front of Kiwanis Park (see directions below). There were quite a few walking paths to choose from, but the correct trail ascended to the right of the Kiwanis Park path (i.e. don’t go into the park). From there, we pretty much followed an obvious trail that meandered alongside a dry Battle Creek. At roughly 0.4 miles from the trailhead, we reached some kind of diversion structure where Battle Creek fell into what could be underground pipes just downstream from an intermediate cascade. This contraption was the very reason why Battle Creek was dry up to this point. From this point forward, the trail climbed alongside the music of rushing water from Battle Creek.
Shortly after crossing a footbridge over Battle Creek, the trail then narrowed and climbed some more. However, the terrain in this stretch was loose shale so we had to keep an eye out on our daughter to ensure she didn’t have a misstep. In this stretch, there was a little alcove or “cave”, which was pretty small and acted merely as a photo opportunity. Just a few minutes beyond that “cave”, the ascending trail then had some rubber mat to help with maintaining traction on the trail in the presence of loose dirt and shale. At the same time, there was a trail descending to the right that led directly to the base of shady and cool confines of Battle Creek Falls. While it was a nice spot to relax and enjoy the falls, the embankments here were steep so it was not easy to get all the way up to the falls’ base nor get too high up the embankments.
Continuing on the main trail (and taking advantage of the rubber mats for traction), I was able to get a nice full profile view down towards Battle Creek Falls. The trail then bent to the right leading right up to the top of the falls, where I was able to get even more satisfying views back towards Utah Lake and Pleasant Grove. As stated earlier, even though the trail continued further upstream, this was my turning point. Overall, this trail was about 1.2 miles round trip gaining about 400ft in elevation, and it took us less than an hour away from the car. With so little exertion and time investment, no wonder why it was so popular with families!
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 32 miles before taking the Pleasant Grove Drive exit (exit 275). We then turned left onto Pleasant Grove Drive and drove for the next 2.2 miles to S 100 E (Pleasant Grove Drive became Center St after passing State St or US89 at 1.5 miles from the freeway exit). Turning right onto S 100 E, we drove 0.2 miles to E 200 S. Turning left onto E 200 S, we then followed this street all the way to its end after 2.1 miles. The Battle Creek Trailhead and Kiwanis Park were right at the end of E 200 S. Overall, it took us about 40 minutes to make this drive.
From the Hwy 52 in Orem, there were other ways to get to Battle Creek Falls. The way we took was to head straight north along State St (US89) then east on W 1600 N before turning left (north) onto N 400 W, which eventually joined up with E 200 S, which we could take east to its end.
To give you some geographical 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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