Waterfall season is coming. As temperatures heat up and the snow in the mountains melt, Utah’s many falls will only grow more majestic. By June, most will have reached full roar. And just a month later, they’ll likely be back down to a trickle — though that makes them perfect for a cool splash on a hot summer day.
One waterfall that shouldn’t be missed is Malan Falls in Ogden. Its sheer height — 305 feet — and its jagged beauty makes hiking to it worth the effort. With a 1,480-foot elevation gain over 2.4 miles, it does take an effort to get to the falls. However, the ascent is nicely balanced between a wide dirt path with views over Ogden and out to the Great Salt Lake and a sharper, shaded rock scramble alongside (and through) the stream into which the falls pour.
At first blush, the Waterfall Canyon Trail may not seem suitable for kids, but ones as young as 4 delight in walking in the river and scrambling up and down the rocks. Keep them close once you reach the falls, though, as both the rocks by falls and the scree nearby can be slippery. Dogs are also allowed on leash, which will keep them from getting under foot on the narrow upper climb and from colliding with a mountain bike or runner in the lower section.
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Waterfall Canyon Trail to Malan Falls
The Hike: From the trailhead information shelter, take the Bonneville Shoreline Trail connector — the one on the far left — heading south. The trail Ts in 750 feet; go south. At about the one-half mile mark, you will see two rusty-colored water tanks sitting below the trail and a trail split. Take the left trail leading into Waterfall Canyon. The upper portion of the trail and the waterfall are on private land, but the landowner allows public access to see this beautiful area. Please respect private property rights. As you enter the canyon, a canopy of trees and the sound of rushing water welcome you. At the creek, you come to the first of two bridge crossings. As soon as you cross the first bridge take a left and follow the creek. Soon you encounter the next bridge and the trail becomes less distinct as you hike along the water’s edge. If you loose the trail, just stay near the creek and make your way over the river rocks.
Getting there: In Ogden, go to the top of 29th Street. There is a large parking lot and information shelter. Take the Shoreline Trail, which will take you to the trail split for the Waterfall Trail.
Former Tribune staffer Steve Baker contributed to this report.
Region: Northern Utah/Ogden
Distance: 2.40 miles
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Elevation Gain: 1,480 feet
Dog Allowed: Yes, on leash
Restrooms: Yes, at trailhead
Biking: Only on the BST
Trailhead: 29th Street Trailhead