Monday, May 23, 2016

Farmington Canyon Trail & Waterfall

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Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Farmington Canyon Trail and waterfall is one of my new favorite trails in Davis County. I was surprised at how big this canyon felt, how green it is in Spring, and I loved the 40 ft waterfall. Our dogs had a blast on this trail since there were plenty of stream crossings for them to drink from and play in. 

The Farmington Canyon Trail is really well shaded, not too steep, and parallels the Farmington Canyon Road. Since this trail is on a south facing slope, this would be a great trail to snowshoe in winter. Be advised that the winter gate is only open from mid-May to mid-October, depending on snow. If the winter gate is closed, you'll need to add on another 1.5 miles before you get to the trailhead. 

Farmington Creek is the largest stream in Davis County, which leads to a primitive US Forest Service Campground, called Sunset Campground. Along the way you'll pass about three old cars that fell off the road back in the 1950s-60s. The expansive views and waterfall make this a worthy hike. Grab some snacks, water, and your dogs, and hit this trail early in the morning before the trail gets too hot and crowded. 

From SLC head north on I-15 and take exit 324 and turn right at the light. Follow it as it turns in to Main Street, then turn left onto 600 North. Turn left on Farmington Canyon Rd. Drive 1.6 miles along Farmington Canyon Road. This road is narrow, so drive slow and watch out for runners, bikers, and ATVs also using this road. Right where the pavement ends is a pullout on the right side of the road. This is the trailhead parking. The trail starts to the NW of the parking lot. There are no restrooms and no fees to use this trail.

Here is a driving map.

Distance: 3.8 miles RT (to campground)
Elevation gain: 1,166 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Driving up the Farmington Canyon Road.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The trailhead has no signs, but starts in the NW corner of the dirt parking area.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The trail immediately starts to gain elevation, but is very moderate. Most of the hike you will have a view of the creek below.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Beautiful mini flowers along the trail.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Star shaped flowers were everywhere!
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 1st stream crossing. Mutt Butts in the stream!
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The trail is about half well shaded and very green in Spring.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 2nd stream crossing. Thankfully the water was low enough we could rock hop to the other side.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Farmington Canyon
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Pass the first old car about 3/4 of the way up the trail, which will be on your right.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 A few feet along the trail you'll pass the 2nd car, this time on your left. 
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Cross the 3rd stream. If you go left, you'll see a 3rd old car in the middle of the stream, however the trail goes right.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 We first went left to check out the last old car we found. Charlie inspects the car for us.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 After the 3rd stream crossing, continue following the trail to the right, and hike under or around this old tree.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 About 5 minutes past the 3rd stream you'll see the cutoff to get down to the base of the waterfall on your right. Only hike down this if you are a very experienced hiker, and/or are ok with a steep drop off. I wouldn't recommend hiking down this during rain or winter. It rained the day before and this drop off was still pretty slick and muddy.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Hiking down we went really slow so as to not slip on the wet rocks and mud. 
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 At the base of Farmington Canyon Waterfall. Because the waterfall was running really high, there was mist in the air and we got cold fairly quickly.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Charlie turned around to make sure I was hiking back up behind him. He's a very considerate furry child! You can see that there is a rope to help hikers up and down the drop off.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Working my way back up the steep drop off.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Continuing along the trail, we got to the top of the falls.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 After the waterfall, the trail gets very steep the last 0.3 miles to the campground. The trail seems less traveled beyond the falls, but there it's still easy to follow, and there's even a sweet backpacking campsite on the right along the trail.
Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Arriving at the campground, we found a picnic table and had a snack. Thankfully the port-a-potty in the campground was open. The Sunset Campground has 10 campsites which you can reserve here

Same trail, January 28th, 2018
Farmington Canyon Trail & Waterfall
Farmington Canyon Trail & Waterfall
It was fun to see the waterfall frozen!

Trail map to the waterfall. To get to the campground just keep hiking past the waterfall on the main trail.