About Rocky Mouth Falls
Rocky Mouth Falls was a strangely situated waterfall in that its access involved walking amongst some pretty exclusive homes in the suburb of Sandy, which pretty much sat in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in close proximity to Salt Lake City. From the way the trail was routed and how new the housing developments appeared, it seemed like the waterfall and its access had always been there, but developments had sprouted up around the trail. And from what I had read about how much of Utah’s wilderness areas were being sacrificed for private developments, this particular waterfall seemed to be exhibit A when it came to how public use and private ownership would get mixed together. As for the waterfall itself, it was said to plunge a cumulative height of 70ft though I swore it seemed shorter than that. Still, its plunging characteristic in a narrow chute made this a good place to cool off, especially on a warm day like when we happened to do this hike in the mid-afternoon on Memorial Day Weekend. We shared this falls with a couple large families with many kids, which was indicative of how family-friendly this excursion was.
As a result of the awkward mix of public trail versus private ownership, the official trailhead to Rocky Mouth Falls and the actual parking area were actually in two different spots (see directions below). Once we found the right parking area, we then had to walk up some grassy-wooden steps to a residential road before following it up to the official trailhead. Once we were on the official trail, we then had to walk through a corridor sandwiched between high fences (marking the boundaries of two adjacent homes) as it gained most of its elevation in this short stretch. Once we were at the apex of the climb (when the high fences weren’t as much in the way), we were able to enjoy attractive views in the direction of the Salt Lake Basin. As the trail continued straight towards the creek responsible for Rocky Mouth Falls, we then followed it around a bend to the left to go in the upstream direction alongside the creek.
As the trail paralleled the stream, we noticed a couple of “caves” to our left that weren’t deep enough to be considered a legitimate cave, but they were interesting enough to get the attention of our daughter as well as other curious kids who happened to be on this hike. A couple of minutes later, the trail then pretty much climbed up the rocky creek itself, where we started to get our first glimpses of the main drop of Rocky Mouth Falls further upstream of the cascade we were hiking besides. Shortly after this climb, we got to a spot where we could look right at the main waterfall though the harsh early afternoon lighting striking the foreground rocks made the shadowy falls a bit difficult to photograph (suggesting this might be better visited in the morning). Using my Gore-tex boots, I was able to scramble within the creek itself without getting my feet wet as I went right up to the falls, where I could see its brink.
Apparently it was possible to continue to the top of the falls, but we pretty much ended our hike at the base of the falls. When we returned to the parking lot, we wound up hiking around 0.9-1 mile round trip, which took us about an hour encompassing both the hiking, the water play, and the photo taking.
From downtown Salt Lake City, we went west towards one of the on-ramps for the I-15 heading south. We then drove on the I-15 South for roughly 3 miles before taking the I-80 East. Next, we continued east on the I-80 for roughly 5 miles before keeping right to go south on the I-215 South. After roughly another 5.5 miles or so on the I-215 South (Belt Route), we then took exit 6 for 6200 South, then kept left to continue east on UT190. We then continued driving south on the UT190 for about 1.7 miles before keeping straight at the intersection with Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, which now put us on the UT210 (Wasatch Blvd).
We then continued following Wasatch Blvd for the next 2.2 miles before keeping right at the fork to remain on Wasatch Blvd (the left fork was Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd). After about 3.3 miles from the fork along Wasatch Blvd, we parked at the signed parking lot for the Rocky Mouth Trailhead. This lot was at the address: 11250 S Wasatch Blvd.
The lot was just east of the turnoff for the residential Eagle View Drive. It turned out that just a quarter-mile up Eagle View Drive was the actual trailhead for the Rocky Mouth Trail, but there was no public parking on this residential road. In fact, there were signs saying as such, and that was how I became aware of the aforementioned parking area.
Overall, this drive would take on the order of about 30 minutes or so. Alternatively, we could have also taken the I-15 south from downtown Salt Lake City to the I-215 east, then exit at the UT190 to resume the local driving as stated above.
To give you some overall context, Salt Lake City was about 302 miles (over 4 hours drive) north of St George, 234 miles (over 3.5 hours drive) northwest of Moab, 215 miles (3 hours drive) south of Idaho Falls, Idaho, 421 miles (over 5.5 hours drive) north of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 688 miles (over 9.5 hours drive) north of Los Angeles, California.
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