Cascade Falls

Cedar Mountain / Duck Village / Cedar City / Dixie National Forest, Utah, USA

About Cascade Falls


Hiking Distance: 1.2 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 60-75 minutes

Date first visited: 2017-05-25
Date last visited: 2017-05-25

Waterfall Latitude: 37.50244
Waterfall Longitude: -112.75714

Cascade Falls was a long cascade surrounded by the red cliff scenery that was prevalent in Cedar Mountain (which also harbored the mini Bryce Canyon-like cliffs of Cedar Breaks National Monument).

It was the result of an outflow of Navajo Lake through sink holes at the east end of the lake.

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_131_05252017 - Context of Cascade Falls and its surrounding red cliffs
Context of Cascade Falls and its surrounding red cliffs

The water then found its way through old lava tubes (hinting at the geologic history of Cedar Mountain) before emerging as the Cascade Falls amongst the layers of red cliff that the mountain was known for.

By our wild guess, we suspect that the cascade was probably on the order of 200ft in overall height or so.

However, as you can see from the photo above, we never really got a clean look at the entirety of the falls due to the trees getting in the way.

Nevertheless, it’s not often that you get a combination of such red cliff scenery with a natural waterfall, and that was the biggest reason why we made the detour to explore it.

About the hike to Cascade Falls

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_039_05252017 - Julie and Tahia on the Cascade Falls Trail hiking amongst Cedar Mountain cliffs reminiscent of Cedar Breaks National Monument
Julie and Tahia on the Cascade Falls Trail hiking amongst Cedar Mountain cliffs reminiscent of Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cascade Falls was our excuse to break up the very long drive from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City.

While you don’t need to make such a long drive to reach this waterfall, it was conveniently within an hour’s drive east of Cedar City.

The hike to the very brink of the falls was around 1.1-1.2 miles round trip, and it took us a little over an hour or so to do.

This included the time spent taking pictures.

We also had to take our time with this hike because of the thin air from the high altitude of the trail at about 8,900ft in elevation.

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_115_05252017 - Context of Julie and Tahia on the ledge-hugging Cascade Falls Trail with red cliffs towering over them
Context of Julie and Tahia on the ledge-hugging Cascade Falls Trail with red cliffs towering over them

Our hike took place on Memorial Day Weekend in 2017, but I’d imagine that snow can impact access to this waterfall given the high altitude and how much snow Cedar Mountain would get.

This was why the Dixie National Forest literature recommended that the Cascade Falls hike was a Summer only hike.

The trail itself brought us to the very brink of the falls, where we could see the water shoot out of the red cliffs then cascade further below us as it made its way well downstream.

The vertical drop of the falls as seen from the top of the falls was probably on the order of 5ft or so.

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_074_05252017 - Close-up look at the uppermost visible drop of the Cascade Falls as seen from near its brink at the end of the trail
Close-up look at the uppermost visible drop of the Cascade Falls as seen from near its brink at the end of the trail

However, the rest of the falls was pretty much cascades, which we weren’t safely able to get in front of without going off trail.

Cascade Falls Trail Description

At the trailhead (see directions below), we were already treated to nice views in the direction of the cliffs of the Kolob Terrace (part of Zion National Park) in the distance.

Once we had our fill of the views from here, we then took an obvious trail headed in the northwesterly direction (to our right as we faced the cliffs).

Initially, the trail followed a forested area until it reached an intermediate lookout point with a railing at about a quarter-mile from the trailhead.

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_145_05252017 - Tahia enjoying the overlook at around the quarter-mile point from the Cascade Falls Trailhead
Tahia enjoying the overlook at around the quarter-mile point from the Cascade Falls Trailhead

Beyond the lookout, the trees then became more sparse as the narrowing trail hugged ledges along a very scenic stretch of red cliffs.

When the trail briefly re-entered a grove of trees, that was when we started to get our first partial looks at the Cascade Falls.

The trail then resumed hugging red cliffs before descending briefly under an overhang with a bench.

This was where the trail then climbed up some steps and traversed a fairly rocky section as it made its final approach to the top of the falls.

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_065_05252017 - The Cascade Falls Trail passing beneath overhangs in the red cliffs on the way to the brink of the cascading waterfall
The Cascade Falls Trail passing beneath overhangs in the red cliffs on the way to the brink of the cascading waterfall

From the lookout at the top of the falls, we could see where the stream from Cascade Falls would eventually reach the North Fork of the Virgin River down by the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park.

Authorities

Cascade Falls resides in the Dixie National Forest near Cedar City in Kane County, Utah. It is administered by the USDA Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_160_05252017 - This was the view towards the reservoirs by the Kolob Terrace as seen from the Cascade Falls Trailhead
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_016_05252017 - Looking along the red cliffs towards the Cascade Falls as seen from the Cascade Falls Trailhead
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_018_05252017 - Julie and Tahia starting the hike towards Cascade Falls
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_021_05252017 - Initially, the Cascade Falls Trail meandered amongst trees while still offering a glimpse of the valley below in the direction of Kolob Terrace
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_027_05252017 - Julie and Tahia continuing along the scenic Cascade Falls Trail amongst the pine trees and the red cliffs
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_030_05252017 - Looking back in the direction of the trailhead along more of the red cliffs of the Cascade Falls Trail
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_152_05252017 - This was the view looking along the red cliffs in the southeasterly direction from the lookout at about the quarter-mile point of the Cascade Falls Trail
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_035_05252017 - Beyond the lookout at the quarter-mile point, the Cascade Falls Trail then descended into this scenic stretch of red cliffs where the trail narrowed as it clung to the slopes and dropoffs
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_041_05252017 - Julie kept herself between Tahia and the dropoffs to ensure she wouldn't get too close to the edge along the Cascade Falls hike
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_042_05252017 - When we did the Cascade Falls hike, some parts of the trail were still a little muddy from the snowmelt
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_045_05252017 - This was our first glimpse of Cascade Falls amongst the trees during our hike
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_048_05252017 - Julie and Tahia continuing further along the Cascade Falls Trail with the waterfall still partially seen in the distance
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_051_05252017 - We never really got a clean look at Cascade Falls due to the trees in the way
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_054_05252017 - Julie and Tahia now descending amongst the red cliff scenery as it continued to get even more scenic the closer to the Cascade Falls we went
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_055_05252017 - Broad contextual look at the Cascade Falls as seen from the approach to its brink
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_057_05252017 - Portrait view of the Cascade Falls as seen from the final approach to its brink
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_058_05252017 - One of the parts of the Cascade Falls Trail where it hugged the nearly vertical cliffs
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_061_05252017 - This little gully was where a temporary waterfall was flowing though it was hard to see in this photo
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_063_05252017 - The trail went underneath one of the overhangs of red cliff on its way to the top of Cascade Falls
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_066_05252017 - Looking back along the red cliffs and the Cascade Falls Trail as we were making the final approach to the waterfall's brink
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_085_05252017 - Julie and Tahia at the overlook at the top of Cascade Falls
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_095_05252017 - Context of Julie and Tahia checking out where Cascade Falls emerged from the cliffs
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_075_05252017 - Looking towards the tunnel or hole that the Cascade Falls emerged from
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_080_05252017 - Angled look at the small vertical drop where Cascade Falls emerged from the red cliffs
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_100_05252017 - Looking downstream over the brink of the falls from the overlook of Cascade Falls
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_111_05252017 - Looking across the brink of Cascade Falls along the red cliffs on the other side of its creek
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_090_05252017 - Looking back at the Cascade Falls Trail that we took to get to the top of the Cascade Falls itself
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_117_05252017 - Julie and Tahia on the return hike going past this overhanging section with a plank (or was it a bench?) after having had their fill of the Cascade Falls
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_122_05252017 - Looking back at the context of the overlook with the Cascade Falls below it
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_126_05252017 - Tahia and Julie going back across the red cliffs on the return hike from Cascade Falls
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_144_05252017 - Another look back at the Cascade Falls Trail with red cliff context as we were returning to the trailhead
Cascade_Falls_Cedar_157_05252017 - Some of the wildflowers that we noticed along the Cascade Falls Trail

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The nearest city to Cascade Falls was Cedar City so we’ll describe the directions from there.

The most straightforward route would be to leave the I-15 at the exit 59 towards 200 North (UT 56) in Cedar City.

We’d then drive east on 200 North for about a mile before turning right onto Main Street (I-15 Business Loop).

After roughly a quarter-mile south on Main Street, we’d then turn left onto East Center Street (UT 14).

We’d then follow the UT14 for roughly 25 miles to the junction with Navajo Lake Road on the right.

We could also drive another 2 miles further east on UT14 towards a four-way intersection, where the turnoff on the right had some signage for the Duck Creek Visitor Center.

First, we’ll describe the Navajo Lake Road route.

Navajo Lake Road Route

Once on the unpaved Navajo Lake Road, we then drove for 0.3 miles before encountering an easy-to-miss spur for the Forest Road 053 on the left.

We then followed the rougher Forest Road 053 for about 1.1 miles towards its junction with Cascade Falls Road (near the seasonal Cow Lake).

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_004_05252017 - The Cascade Falls Trailhead parking at the end of the Cascade Falls Road
The Cascade Falls Trailhead parking at the end of the Cascade Falls Road

Then, we turned right onto the much smoother Cascade Falls Road for the last 1.6 miles to its end, where there was ample room for parking.

The drive between Cedar City and the trailhead took us a little under an hour.

The Duck Creek Visitor Center Route

As for the other route from the Duck Creek Visitor Center, we’d follow unpaved Forest Road 059 for about a quarter-mile.

Then, we’d keep right to follow Forest Road 370 (North Fork Road) for about the next 1.4 miles to its junction with the Cascade Falls Road on the left.

Cascade_Falls_Cedar_001_05252017 - Looking back towards the Cascade Falls Road from the trailhead parking area
Looking back towards the Cascade Falls Road from the trailhead parking area

Next, we’d follow the smoother Cascade Falls Road for the final 1.6 miles to its end.

For general context, Cedar City was right on the I-15 about 52 miles (about an hour drive) north of St George and 252 miles (about 3.5 hours drive) south of Salt Lake City.

For additional context, Cedar City was about 171 miles (2.5 hours drive) northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, 154 miles (under 3 hours drive) northwest of Page, Arizona, 287 miles (4 hours drive) west of Moab, Utah, and 439 miles (about 7 hours without traffic) northeast of Los Angeles, California.

Detailed 360 degree sweep from the overlook revealing the falls, its downstream cascades, and the vista towards the Kolob Terrace in the distance


Long video showing the obstructed entirety of Cascade Falls before walking the scenic last section of the trail then ending up at the overlook where we get to experience the falls up close as well as the expansive vista downstream

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Tagged with: cedar mountain, kane county, duck village, navajo lake, cedar city, utah, waterfall, kolob terrace, cedar breaks



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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.
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