If you’re looking for a short but scenic hike, Lisa Falls is the perfect destination. Located in the Osceola National Forest, this trail offers stunning views of the falls and the river below. The hike is easy to moderate, making it accessible to hikers of all levels.
The Lisa Falls hike is an easy-to-moderate trail that offers great views of the falls from several different overlooks along the way. This makes it perfect for hikers who want to enjoy nature without having to exert too much effort. Additionally, because it’s located within a national forest, hikers can experience a variety of flora and fauna unique to this area.
The trail is well-maintained, making it accessible year-round. It’s also a great option for families with children or those who want to take their time enjoying nature without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by difficult terrain.
Easy to Moderate
0.44 miles roundtrip
30 minutes to 1 hour
Elevation at Lisa Falls
Best season to hike
Spring / Early Summer
Best Time To Visit
If you want to see Lisa Falls at its peak, it’s best to visit during the spring or early summer. As the water flow tends to slow down in the fall, you may not get the full experience if you visit during that time. However, no matter what time of year you go, Lisa Falls is a beautiful destination that’s definitely worth checking out.
Brief History of the Area
The Osceola National Forest was established in 1907 and has been protecting forestland ever since. It is home to many different types of trees and plants, as well as numerous animal species.
The Lisa Falls are named after Lisa Ann Fallin, the wife of Osceola National Forest Supervisor Tom Fallin. The falls have become one of the many attractions in the area and are a popular destination for hikers.
Points of Interest
One of the main attractions of this hike is Lisa Falls itself. This scenic waterfall cascades along the sheer face of a quartz monzonite cliff and comes down sideways off the mountain, making for a unique sight that you won’t see on many other hikes in Utah.
Along the way, you’ll also see beautiful waterfalls and rushing streams that add to the natural beauty of this hike.
Wildlife and Flora
The Lisa Falls Hike offers hikers an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife and flora native to Utah’s mountains. Keep an eye out for chipmunks, squirrels, and birds such as Steller’s jays and chickadees along the trail.
You may also spot wildflowers such as Indian paintbrushes and lupines during the spring and summer months.
How to get there
If you’re coming from Salt Lake City or Provo, the easiest way to get to Little Cottonwood Canyon is by taking I-15 to the 9000 South exit (Exit 295). From there, turn east onto 9000 South (UT-209) and follow it for 7.2 miles until you reach the mouth of the canyon.
As you continue on the same road, 9000 South will change to 9400 South and then to 9600 South as it heads east into Little Cottonwood Canyon. When you reach a junction with Wasatch Blvd from the north, turn right and continue up Little Cottonwood Canyon Road for another 2.7 miles.
You’ll see a small parking area on the right side of the road followed by another small parking area on the left side of the road. If possible, park on the left side of the road as this is where the trailhead for Lisa Falls begins.
Hitting the Trail!
Located about 0.22 miles from Little Cottonwood Canyon Road, the trail to the falls is not too long or steep. However, there are some large step ups that may pose a challenge for very young or elderly hikers. Overall, it’s a lovely spot that offers an enjoyable outing for all ages.
Upon reaching Lisa Falls, you’ll be greeted by a picturesque granite boulder quarry that’s sure to keep the little ones entertained. For those seeking a bit more adventure, consider scrambling up the left side of the falls to reach the upper falls and a small granite slot-like canyon where the water flows from.
The views of LCC from the top are breathtaking, especially during sunset. Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats which may make an appearance if you’re lucky!
It’s not uncommon to see families rock climbing on both sides of Lisa Falls. Thanks to the geography of the area, it’s relatively easy to find an anchor above for climbing. The routes are generally considered to be easy, with some small children even able to climb both sides.
So if you’re feeling up for a bit of adventure and have some experience with rock climbing, Lisa Falls could be a great spot to test your skills while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Lisa Falls is the perfect destination if you’re short on time or have little ones who would enjoy playing in the water and exploring the boulders. However, if you have more time to spare, consider hiking some of the various trails within the canyon.
With numerous trails available for all skill levels, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Little Cottonwood Canyon has got you covered.
Pair The Lisa Falls With other Hikes In The Little Cottonwood Canyon
The hike to Lisa Falls is a great addition to other shorter hikes in Little Cottonwood Canyon, as it takes less than an hour to complete the round trip. This makes it a perfect option if you’re looking to combine multiple hikes into one day or if you’re short on time.
Cecret Lake Trail
Cecret Lake may not be much of a secret, but it’s still one of the best hikes in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This picturesque mountain lake is known for its vibrant wildflowers during the summer and frequent moose sightings. At the end of the trail, hikers are rewarded with crystal clear waters that reflect the surrounding peaks.
There are two ways to reach Cecret Lake. If you’re hiking with younger kids or prefer a shorter route, consider driving up to the Albion Basin campground and parking there. Although this route is shorter, you’ll miss out on most of the wildflowers. However, you’ll still get stunning views of Sugarloaf Peak coupled with Cecret Lake.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, Cecret Lake is a must-see destination in Utah for anyone who loves nature and scenic trails.
Lower Bell Canyon
Located at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Bell Canyon is a popular hiking destination in Utah. While technically not part of Little Cottonwood Canyon, it offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is easily accessible from Wasatch Boulevard.
If you’re planning on exploring the trails in Bell Canyon, we suggest parking on Wasatch Boulevard just south of the canyon’s mouth. While the main attractions are the reservoir and a stunning waterfall, there are other shorter waterfall trails available if you don’t want to commit to a longer hike.
For those with kids, we recommend hiking up to the reservoir for a more family-friendly adventure. The bell-shaped canyon behind the reservoir is truly breathtaking and offers views of Salt Lake Valley that are hard to beat. It’s no surprise that Bell Canyon is one of Utah’s most popular hikes due to its accessibility and scenic beauty.
Little Cottonwood Creek trail to Tanner Flat
Located up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Tanner Flat is a popular camping spot in Utah. Many hikers also enjoy the Little Cottonwood Creek Trail for its solitude and the soothing sound of the creek. The trail is almost fully shaded, providing a refreshing experience during the hot summer months.
Be prepared to hop over rocks and cross dried-up riverbeds along the way. However, these obstacles are worth it as you’ll come across hidden gems like spots of wildflowers and old ruins of stone buildings. Kids will also love exploring by walking on logs across the creek.
The Little Cottonwood Creek Trail offers a serene hiking experience that’s perfect for those seeking some peace and quiet in nature. Whether you’re camping at Tanner Flat or just passing through, this trail is definitely worth checking out.
Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Hike
Before embarking on the Lisa Falls Hike, it’s important to do some pre-hike preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This includes checking the weather forecast, packing plenty of water and snacks, and wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for the trail conditions. It’s also a good idea to let someone know your hiking plans in case of an emergency.
Weather conditions can change quickly in the area surrounding Lisa Falls hike, so please be prepared for any eventuality. Check the weather forecast before embarking on your hike and pack accordingly. If there’s a chance of rain or snow, bring waterproof gear and extra layers to stay warm. On hot days, make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen to avoid dehydration and sunburn.
While the Lisa Falls Hike is relatively short, it’s still important to practice hiking safety while on the trail. This includes staying on designated trails, watching your step on rocky or steep terrain, being aware of your surroundings, and carrying a first aid kit in case of minor injuries. If you’re hiking with children or pets, be sure to keep them close by and supervise them at all times.
Leave No Trace Principles
As with any outdoor activity, it’s important to follow Leave No Trace principles while hiking the Lisa Falls Trail. This means packing out all trash (including food scraps), staying on designated trails to avoid damaging vegetation, avoiding disturbing wildlife or their habitats, and respecting other hikers’ right to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
For more trails in Utah and the whole USA, check our trail guides: The Best Hiking Trails In The United States