Trib Trails, waterfall collection: Battle Creek Trail falls offer distraction from quad-burning hike

Reaching Battle Creek Falls is the easy part, but rewards await those willing to climb 2,000 feet to the upper meadow

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The sun rises over the waterfalls edge as visitors take visit Battle Creek Falls near Pleasant Grove on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

As a special Memorial Day Weekend treat, Trib Trails is bringing you a trio of hikes we’re calling our Waterfall Collection. After warming up with Wednesday’s hike to the falls along the Mount Timpanogos Trail, we suggest you challenge yourself to make it to the meadow atop the Battle Creek Trail, passing by the 50-foot Battle Creek Falls and a few smaller falls along the way. Finally, treat yourself to the easily reached but still stunning Lisa Falls, a 0.3-mile round-trip route that will be featured Friday. Happy hiking!

This hike is rated as difficult overall, but the trip to the waterfall is actually pretty mellow. You’re likely to see people in Keds or dress clothes or with young children in tow making their way up that half-mile section of the trail. Go an extra quarter mile above the big waterfall and the trail passes by three smaller but still beautiful falls. After that, the trail becomes narrower, steeper and generally less crowded as it continues alongside Battle Creek. Mount Timpanogos looms over most of it, urging hikers onward by appearing much more easily reached than it actually is.

The meadows at the top are lush and speckled with a rainbow of wildflowers right now. That and an expansive view of Utah Lake are rewards for persevering through a relentless incline. Sit and enjoy them a minute before putting your quadriceps to the test on the return descent.

The Hike: From the Battle Creek Falls Trailhead, pass the Kiwanis camp and take the left spur after the trail sign. Then begin the steady-but-manageable incline along a wide path to the bigger waterfall. In .58 miles, a steep spur trail descends to the right, leading right underneath the 50-foot falls. Continue up the main trail over the rubber matting and within .1 mile you’ll find two smaller waterfalls. Venture another .2 miles and you’ll find a makeshift bridge of logs crossing the creek. Right above that is yet another waterfall. From here the trail gets steeper with more of a dropoff. A mile and a quarter into the hike, you’ll hit the junction with the Curly Springs Trail — No. 051. Keep going up, up, up, on the Battle Creek Trail until the trail Ts into the Great Western Trail. Enjoy the small meadow, oodles of wildflowers and views of Utah Lake here before returning the way you came. If you’re still feeling fit after reaching the T, turn left and go another roughly .75 miles to the even larger Fishers Flat meadow. And if you’re feeling absolutely spritely, you can make a loop of this trail by taking the Grove Creek Trail back down the mountain. Return to the Battle Creek Trailhead by cutting through the Kiwanis camp for a total of 8.2 miles.

Getting There: From I-15, take exit 275 for Pleasant Grove Boulevard toward Lindon. In 1.2 miles, turn right on W 220 S Street. Follow it east to the trailhead.

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Battle Creek Trail to upper meadow

Region: Utah County

Destination: Waterfall/meadow

Distance: 4.6 miles

Time: ~3 hours

Elevation Gain: 2,073 feet

Dog Allowed: Yes, on leash

Restrooms: Yes

Biking: No

Difficulty: 4.5