Lisa Falls

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

About Lisa Falls


Hiking Distance: 0.4-0.5 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2017-05-26
Date last visited: 2017-05-26

Waterfall Latitude: 40.57378
Waterfall Longitude: -111.72765

Lisa Falls was a waterfall that seemed to have more to it than what was revealed to us while driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Indeed, it seemed like the accessible part of the falls was merely a teaser to its overall features.

Lisa_Falls_047_05262017 - Context of Lisa Falls and an abseiler climbing alongside its granite-like cliff face
Context of Lisa Falls and an abseiler climbing alongside its granite-like cliff face

I sensed that such hidden qualities of the falls would only be revealed to people prepared with technical gear to climb its adjacent granite-like cliff face.

It was either that or somehow being able to climb to a higher vantage point on the opposite side of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

As you can see from the photo above, we only managed to get a look at just a couple of tiers spilling somewhat sideways from our view.

In fact, this waterfall had more of a local feel to it because its trail was unsigned and probably could be easily missed without any prior research or knowledge of this place.

Lisa_Falls_012_05262017 - Closeup look at a pair of twisting drops of Lisa Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon
Closeup look at a pair of twisting drops of Lisa Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon

That said, 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.

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.

Experiencing Lisa Falls

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.

Lisa_Falls_052_05262017 - The short creekside scramble leading up from the Little Cottonwood Canyon Road to the base of Lisa Falls
The short creekside scramble leading up from the Little Cottonwood Canyon Road to the base of Lisa Falls

So I crossed the stream towards the pile of boulders strewn about the base of the waterfall 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.

Lisa_Falls_024_05262017 - Looking back across Little Cottonwood Canyon from the base of Lisa Falls
Looking back across Little Cottonwood Canyon from the base of Lisa Falls

Therefore, I’d imagine one could easily spend even less time here than I did.

Authorities

Lisa Falls resides in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest near Salt Lake City in Salt Lake 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.

Lisa_Falls_004_05262017 - This was the path that I took to get up to Lisa Falls from the small pullout on the left side of Little Cottonwood Canyon Road
Lisa_Falls_007_05262017 - Scrambling upstream alongside the creek responsible for Lisa Falls en route to the waterfall's base
Lisa_Falls_054_05262017 - The trail climbed alongside this overflow of the creek responsible for Lisa Falls
Lisa_Falls_008_05262017 - Looking back at a couple of well-dressed dudes who took time out of their day to enjoy Lisa Falls
Lisa_Falls_009_05262017 - My first glimpse at the lower split drop of Lisa Falls
Lisa_Falls_017_05262017 - Looking right up at Lisa Falls' two drops
Lisa_Falls_018_05262017 - Context of the size of Lisa Falls conveyed by this abseiler who was climbing on the cliff face alongside the waterfall
Lisa_Falls_021_05262017 - This squirrel was one of many who were around Lisa Falls probably looking for something to munch on
Lisa_Falls_032_05262017 - Angled look at the pair of drops of Lisa Falls
Lisa_Falls_041_05262017 - Context of the base of Lisa Falls with the abseiler about to finish his descent
Lisa_Falls_051_05262017 - Looking back at a large group of folks exploring the area around Lisa Falls
Lisa_Falls_057_05262017 - Context of a guy scrambling up towards Lisa Falls with the peaks flanking Little Cottonwood Canyon in the background

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To reach Lisa Falls 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.

Lisa_Falls_061_05262017 - Looking up the Little Cottonwood Canyon Road from the smaller pullout on the left side of the road closer to the start of the short scramble up to Lisa Falls
Looking up the Little Cottonwood Canyon Road from the smaller pullout on the left side of the road closer to the start of the short scramble up to Lisa Falls

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).

Next, we 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 saw that 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.

Lisa_Falls_001_05262017 - Looking back at a larger pullout alongside Little Cottonwood Canyon Road backed by some tall mountains as seen from the smaller pullout closer to the start of the short jaunt to Lisa Falls
Looking back at a larger pullout alongside Little Cottonwood Canyon Road backed by some tall mountains as seen from the smaller pullout closer to the start of the short jaunt to Lisa Falls

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.

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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Tagged with: little cottonwood canyon, salt lake city, wasatch mountains, utah, waterfall, salt lake county



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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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