Utah Flooding Brings Waterfalls

In years of heavy snow during winter these floods can also create so much beauty to be enjoyed around the state.
Spring Runoff - Utah Waterfalls

Utah has had another snow-heavy winter, and those that are familiar with waterfalls in this state know that when spring temperatures raise too quickly, heavy stream-flow and waterfalls are the likely result. Sometimes in the more desert regions of the state, rain on top of snow or even just extremely heavy rain can result in some beautiful and unique waterfalls in places like Zion National Park.

As a result of the record breaking snowpack this past winter season, Utah waterfalls are showing off in many places, in this article we will highlight hidden gems, as well as waterfall staples throughout the state.

Zion National Park highlights some of the most unique and rare waterfalls sightings. Waterfalls that only appear during heavy rain or heavy rain on top of snow. If you are in the area during this special occurrence be sure to make a stop at Weeping Rock, Echo Canyon, and the back and front sides of the Court of the Patriarchs/Sand Bench areas. There are jaw dropping waterfalls here that can be spotted during heavy rainstorms or when it rains on top of snow. In the Northwest section of Zion National Park that can only be accessed by car from the i15 is Middle Fork. This is a brilliant hike that often has small waterfalls along the way and is one of the most popular of the Kolob Canyon hikes for a reason.

Red Cliff Recreation Area has a darling falls with water below, this is an area where you can play in the water and cool off during the hot summer months.

Gunlock Falls is located at Gunlock State Park, 20 minutes from St. George and one of three state parks in the area. Gunlock is fed by a reservoir that is built up by snowfall during the winter time. These falls have not had water flowing for several years and so the abundant spring snowmelt offers us a special treat at Gunlock State Park. The falls flow down red sandstone rock and can be accessed with a small fee from a parking lot nearby. It is believed they will be flowing well into the summer 2023.  

Toquerville Falls is an incredible location fed by the Laverkin Creek and Virgin River. It is a 6 mile drive on rough rocky road that can only be accessed with high clearance and off-road vehicles. If you have the means to see it, you won’t want to miss what these falls have to offer. 

Kanarraville Falls is a fun adventure that involves a series of waterfalls, slot canyons, and wading through cold water. In the past the water in this canyon has been ankle deep but it is currently knee deep and expected to get even deeper. The water in this canyon is local watershed and as a result of the importance of this water and the popularity of this hike, the area officials have implemented a permitting system and small fee for entry. It is expected that there may be a short term closure because of the rising water levels but would open right back up as soon as possible. Check ahead of time for access and to obtain the necessary permit.

The Cedar City Area has some wonderful and lesser known waterfall hikes. One hidden gem is Ashdown Gorge Wilderness, this area offers fun hikes that highlight slot canyons and waterfalls. It is recommended to do this hike after the runoff in the summer months.
Cedar Breaks has a waterfall jewel called Cascade Falls. Unlike most lakes that outlet into rivers, Navajo Lake seeps through lava tubes and out a mountain face creating a beautiful waterfall that is known as Cascade Falls. This is a very simple short hike in an area that resembles a miniature Bryce Canyon.

Hidden Haven Falls near Parowan Utah just off highway 143. These falls can be accessed from a parking area off the side of the Highway. To get to the falls, it is a short rocky hike that has its challenges but definitely showcases a waterfall reward.

Lower and Upper Calf Creek Falls are two highlights of the Scenic Byway 12. Highway 12 is filled with loads of things to see and experience and Lower Calf Creek falls in the Calf Creek Recreation area is one not to be missed. This fall is a part of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and is a 140 foot high waterfall that cascades into a cold water pool standing below. Brave hikers can be seen taking a chilly dip into its waters. 

Lower Calf Creek Falls is a 6 mile hike round trip that involves some deep sand hiking. A shorter, more difficult alternative is Upper Calf Creek Falls. 

Bouillon Falls is a lesser known falls north of Bryce Canyon on the east side of the Tushar Mountains. The closest town to the falls is Marysvale Utah. This area is well known by off-roaders and the falls can be easily accessed by ATV/UTV but can also be accessed by car and a short out and back hike along the ATV trail.

Provo Canyon is filled with water wonders from the beautiful Provo river with fisherman and tubers to waterfalls on all sides. One fall that is accessible to anyone and can be seen from the roadway is Bridal Veil Falls. There is a large parking area and a paved path that offers access to the falls for all capabilities. Stewart Falls is a pleasant hike through forested mountainside with beautiful views of the Sundance area. At the end of the hike is a stunning waterfall and creek that hikers can enjoy splashing around in.

The Provo River actually begins high in the Uinta Mountain region. One hour northeast of Provo Canyon is the Provo River Waterfalls, the drive to this area and into the Uintas is absolutely beautiful. The parking for Provo River Falls is just off the highway. It is a short walk from the parking lot to the lower falls. There are other falls above for those looking for more of an adventure.

The state of Utah is filled with waterfall experiences in all types of terrain. From mountainous waterfalls to red sandstone falls and short walks to challenging hikes; there is always a new waterfall adventure to be found. Get out there and explore!

Note: Water is running very high this year, it is important to be careful and understand the power of this water especially in areas that require crossing waterways. Check on trails ahead of time as the snow this past year may impact trail access.
Be sure to listen to our podcast that goes into greater detail and highlights lesser known and expert information about waterfalls throughout the state of Utah.
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