Rocky Mouth Falls

Sandy / Salt Lake City / Wasatch Mountains, Utah, USA

About Rocky Mouth Falls


Hiking Distance: 1 mile round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

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

Waterfall Latitude: 40.54321
Waterfall Longitude: -111.80366

Rocky Mouth Falls was said to plunge a cumulative height of 70ft though I swore that it seemed shorter than that.

Still, its plunging characteristic within a narrow chute made this a good place to cool off, especially on a warm day.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_053_05262017 - Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky Mouth Falls

That was certainly the case during our mid-afternoon visit on Memorial Day Weekend.

We had to have shared this falls with a couple of large families with many kids, which was indicative of how family-friendly this excursion was.

Speaking of sharing the Rocky Mouth Falls, it felt strangely situated because accessing it involved walking amongst some pretty exclusive homes in the suburb of Sandy.

This suburb sat pretty much in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in close proximity to Salt Lake City.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_106_05262017 - Looking back over suburban homes in the community of Sandy during our shot hike to the Rocky Mouth Falls
Looking back over suburban homes in the community of Sandy during our shot hike to the Rocky Mouth Falls

From the way the trail was routed and how new the housing developments appeared, it seemed like the waterfall and its access had always been there.

However, developments had sprouted up around the trail.

So from what I had read about how much of Utah’s wilderness areas were being sacrificed for private developments, this particular waterfall seemed to be exhibit A when it came to how public use and private ownership would get mixed together.

Hiking to Rocky Mouth Falls

As a result of the awkward mix of public trail versus private ownership, the official trailhead to Rocky Mouth Falls and the actual parking area were actually in two different spots (see directions below).

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_011_05262017 - After parking and climbing up a trail between some private homes, we then walked this residential street towards the actual trailhead for the Rocky Mouth Falls
After parking and climbing up a trail between some private homes, we then walked this residential street towards the actual trailhead for the Rocky Mouth Falls

Once we found the right parking area, we then had to walk up some grassy-wooden steps to a residential road before following it up to the official trailhead.

Upon arriving at the official trail, we then had to walk through a corridor sandwiched between high fences (marking the boundaries of two adjacent homes) as it gained most of its elevation in this short stretch.

After we made it up to the apex of the climb (when the high fences weren’t as much in the way), we were able to enjoy attractive views in the direction of the Salt Lake Basin.

As the trail continued straight towards the creek responsible for Rocky Mouth Falls, we then followed it around a bend to the left to go in the upstream direction alongside the creek.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_035_05262017 - Looking up at one of the little caves that were adjacent to the short scramble leading up to the Rocky Mouth Falls
Looking up at one of the little caves that were adjacent to the short scramble leading up to the Rocky Mouth Falls

As the trail paralleled the stream, we noticed a couple of “caves” to our left that weren’t deep enough to be considered a legitimate cave.

However, they were interesting enough to get the attention of our daughter as well as other curious kids who happened to be on this hike.

A couple of minutes later, the trail then pretty much climbed up the rocky creek itself.

During this climb, we skirted around some of the intermediate cascades on the creek, and that was when we started to see the main drop of Rocky Mouth Falls further upstream.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_036_05262017 - Scrambling up alongside some intermediate rocky cascades with the main drop of Rocky Mouth Falls up ahead
Scrambling up alongside some intermediate rocky cascades with the main drop of Rocky Mouth Falls up ahead

Shortly after this climb, we got to a spot where we could look right at the main drop of the waterfall.

Unfortunately, the harsh early afternoon lighting striking the foreground rocks made the shadowy falls a bit difficult to photograph.

This made me wonder if Rocky Mouth Falls might be better visited earlier in the morning.

Using my Gore-tex boots, I was able to scramble within the creek itself without getting my feet wet as I went right up to the falls, where I could see its brink.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_063_05262017 - Tahia trying to go from rock to rock in her futile pursuit of the Rocky Mouth Falls without getting wet
Tahia trying to go from rock to rock in her futile pursuit of the Rocky Mouth Falls without getting wet

Apparently it was possible to continue to the top of the Rocky Mouth Falls, but we pretty much ended our hike at its base.

When we returned to the parking lot, we wound up logging around 0.9-1 mile round trip, which took us about an hour encompassing the hiking, the water play, and the photo taking.

Authorities

Rocky Mouth Falls resides in the city of Sandy in Salt Lake County, Utah. It may be administered by the City of Sandy. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_005_05262017 - Looking at the trailhead from the public parking area for the Rocky Mouth Falls, though we still had to continue walking towards the actual trailhead
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_008_05262017 - Tahia and Julie going up the initial stretch of the Rocky Mouth Trail, which went up these steps to get from S Wasatch Blvd to Eagle View Dr
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_016_05262017 - Tahia and Julie entering the official Rocky Mouth Trailhead, which was between a couple of homes on Eagle View Drive
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_018_05262017 - Tahia and Julie going up these steps on the Rocky Mouth Trail as it was squeezed between the high fences on each side of us essentially defining the boundaries of the private homes around us
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_021_05262017 - Further up on the climb to Rocky Mouth Falls, the trail became flanked by only one side of fencing
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_025_05262017 - Looking over some of the homes of the suburb of Sandy across the Salt Lake Valley on the Rocky Mouth Falls Trail
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_027_05262017 - This was the kind of views towards the suburb of Sandy that we were getting from the apex of the climb on the Rocky Mouth Trail
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_029_05262017 - Julie and Tahia approaching the tree cover where we were about to hike alongside the creek responsible for Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_030_05262017 - It was sad to see that there was graffiti along the Rocky Mouth Trail
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_031_05262017 - Tahia and Julie hiking past some impressive rock formations on the way to Rocky Mouth Falls, which actually harbored a couple of little caves
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_032_05262017 - The Rocky Mouth Trail followed the creek and the intriguing rocks that most likely gave rise to the Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_033_05262017 - This was one of the 'caves' that we saw alongside the Rocky Mouth Trail
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_089_05262017 - Context of the scramble besides some intermediate cascades towards the base of the Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_039_05262017 - Finally getting to check out the Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_042_05262017 - This was about as far as people could get to the Rocky Mouth Falls without walking into the water
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_046_05262017 - Looking up at the top of the Rocky Mouth Falls after having scrambled closer to its base
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_054_05262017 - Tahia getting some advice on where she can place her feet in an attempt to stay dry before the Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_058_05262017 - Just to give you an idea of the scale, this lady walked right up to the base of Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_066_05262017 - Looking downstream from the base of Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_083_05262017 - Julie checking out the Rocky Mouth Falls from the end of the trail
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_085_05262017 - Tahia making her way back down the creek from the Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_096_05262017 - Tahia looking at an opening of one of the caves near Rocky Mouth Falls, but she was afraid to go into the darkness
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_101_05262017 - On the return hike from Rocky Mouth Falls, we got to enjoy the views again
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_112_05262017 - Julie and Tahia descending the steps of the Rocky Mouth Falls Trail on their way back down to the trailhead
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_119_05262017 - Julie and Tahia walking back along the residential Eagle View Drive on their way back to regain the car
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_120_05262017 - Walking back along Eagle View Dr alongside some pretty nice homes
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_125_05262017 - Julie and Tahia making the final descent to the parking area for the Rocky Mouth Trailhead
Rocky_Mouth_Falls_126_05262017 - Tahia and Julie making it back down to the trailhead parking to end our little adventure to the Rocky Mouth Falls

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We drove to Rocky Mouth Falls from downtown Salt Lake City, from which 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.

Next, we kept left to continue east on UT190.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_004_05262017 - The trailhead parking for the Rocky Mouth Falls at the address 11250 S Wasatch Blvd in Sandy, UT
The trailhead parking for the Rocky Mouth Falls at the address 11250 S Wasatch Blvd in Sandy, UT

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).

Afterwards, we continued following Wasatch Blvd for the next 2.2 miles before keeping right at the fork to remain on Wasatch Blvd (the left fork was Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd).

After about 3.3 miles from the fork along Wasatch Blvd, we parked at the signed parking lot for the Rocky Mouth Trailhead.

This lot was at the address: 11250 S Wasatch Blvd.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_015_05262017 - One of the signs telling us where to park
One of the signs telling us where to park

The lot was just east of the turnoff for the residential Eagle View Drive.

It turned out that just a quarter-mile up Eagle View Drive was the actual trailhead for the Rocky Mouth Trail, but there was no public parking on this residential road.

In fact, there were signs saying as such, and that was how I became aware of the aforementioned parking area.

Overall, this drive would take on the order of about 30 minutes or so.

Rocky_Mouth_Falls_001_05262017 - There was limited parking at the Rocky Mouth Trailhead Parking, which was outside of the residential streets where the actual trailhead was located
There was limited parking at the Rocky Mouth Trailhead Parking, which was outside of the residential streets where the actual trailhead was located

Alternatively, we could have also taken the I-15 south from downtown Salt Lake City to the I-215 east, then exit at the UT190 to resume the local driving as stated above.

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.

Video showing the harsh lighting at the falls before scrambling into the cove for a closer look within the shadows

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Tagged with: sandy, 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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