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Waterfall Canyon – Malan’s Waterfall – Ogden Utah

Ogden Utah – Northern Utah


300+ foot waterfall cascade called Malan’s Waterfall


1.2 miles one way.

Parking Lot Elevation

4772 ft

Summit Elevation

5815 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

1043 ft

Time Required

2-4 hours


On leashes



Water Info

Bring at least 1 liter. You will follow the creek for the last 1/2 mile to the waterfall.

Best Season

Spring, fall, winter. Summer is hot and too crowded.


Any. Parking lot often is locked after dark.

Sun Exposure

You will be hiking in about 1/2 sun and 1/2 shade.

Trail Condition

Trail is clear and visible. You will follow Bonneville Shorline Trail until you turn up the canyon to the waterfall.


Yes, at parking lot

Visitor Center

None, but there is a small information center at the beginning of the trailhead.


Only in approved areas


No. Bring meal and snacks – depending on how long you plan to take on the hike.


Wear good hiking shoes and bring hat and sunglasses.

If you go in the warmer months expect this hike to be packed with the young and old alike.  The late fall and winter are perfect for if you want a less crowded hike.

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead:41° 12.637’N, 111° 55.917’W
Climbing Training Area: 41° 12.176’N, 111° 55.602’W
Malan’s Waterfall: 41° 12.017’N, 111° 55.206’W

The Trail Map

Driving Directions:

The Trail:



The trail starts off in a fairly large parking lot that is next to a residential tower.  The bathrooms are located on the north side of the parking lot where you entered.

There is a small pavilion with information about the area and settlers in general.  You will also see several trails starting at this location.

Trail is nice and wide at the beginning

Trail is nice and wide at the beginning

To get on the trail that goes to Waterfall Canyon you will want to follow the trail that goes up to the BST (Bonneville Shoreline Trail).

Just outside the pavilion you will see a sign that points you to the left which hugs a fence for a little ways then curves up the mountain side.

The trail from this point is visible and wide enough to let hikers and bikers pass by.

As you go up the trail you will see several splits from the main trail.  As long as you keep going up the mountain to the canyon and NOT down it you will be on the right path.

Path crosses through private land

Path crosses through private land

After about a 1/4 mile you will come to a fence and gate area where a sign dangles in the center “TR GUEST RANCH – PUBLIC WELCOME”.

You will see a sign to the left on the fence that lets you know that you are entering private land.  I listed the website that it lists on the sign below:


The above link goes to the Facebook page of the owners of the land that you are hiking on.   They have rules that you need to follow such as picking up after your dogs, don’t litter and be respectful of their land.  But basically, you are allowed to be on their land due to their generosity – so be respectful!

Large water tanks

Large water tanks

Continue on a few hundred yards and you will see on your right hand side old water silos.  The trail now turns directly towards the mountains from here and follows the creek.

Cross over the bridge

Cross over the bridge

You will soon come to a wooden bridge.  Cross over the bridge and the trail will split.  The right trail leads you down the mountain side on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and the trail to your left, about 20 feet from the bridge, leads you up to the waterfall.

Before you go up the canyon you may notice a few green containers near the bridge. These containers are property of the local police authorities.  The adjacent rock face is an area for climbing training.

Water canals

Water canals

As you go up the canyon, the trail closely follows the creek until you come to the actual waterfall which is about another 1/2 mile up.  You will pass several concrete structures that were used to channel water down the mountain.

You will see another wooden bridge, cross it, and continue up the path.

You will see signs of disrespectful people in forms of graffiti, trash, diapers and other items all along the way up the trail – it is really sad because this area is really beautiful.

Malan's Waterfall is over 300ft long!

Malan’s Waterfall is over 300ft long!

After 1/2 mile of hiking, you will come to the Malan’s waterfall.   The waterfall is very unique as it is over 300 feet high – I don’t think there are many over 300+ feet in Utah.

I have a friend who tried to rappel down this waterfall and he used a 200 foot rope but apparently he was short about 120+ feet or so and he had to climb back up the rope.   I have heard he and others say that this waterfall is about 310+ feet in total length.

If you come in the cooler months like I do, you will see that the waterfall has pretty much frozen.  Be careful around this area as ice WILL fall down.

Small memorial to a young man who died when he fell down the rocks

Small memorial to a young man who died when he fell down the rocks

Just below the falls you will see a makeshift memorial of a boy who was killed while climbing up the side of the waterfall back in 2010 – he fell down about 100 feet.  The rocks are painted purple for the school’s colors where the boy went to High School.

Waterfall Canyon

Here is a picture of the waterfall in the summer time

The Return:

Just head back down towards the parking lot.

Personal Thoughts:

This is a beautiful hike that will reward you with an amazing view of a 300+ foot waterfall cascade.  Expect to see many others making the trek up to the top as well.  I recommend doing this hike in early spring or late fall so you don’t follow tons of people struggling to make their way to the waterfall. Also, parts of the canyon have been heavily vandalized. This really hurts the experience for everyone else. Pick up some trash on your way out like we do, and who knows…we could make a difference.

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Waterfall Canyon in Late Fall

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The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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1 Comment on "Waterfall Canyon – Malan’s Waterfall – Ogden Utah"

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We tried unsuccessfully the 1st time as the rope was too short. The 2nd time, our 400ft rope reached the bottom. The “rappel” not “repel” was 305ft from the lip of the waterfall. Here is a link to Jeff Guest’s and group’s descent – http://youtu.be/AAWnOwGdYeg