Adams Canyon Trail is a 3.8 mile, out-and-back hike up Adams Canyon. This hike starts out with a half mile of steep, unshaded switchbacks. However, as soon as you reach the mouth of Adams Canyon, you’ll enjoy a shaded forest full of mini waterfalls and gorgeous geological features to delight you while the sounds of the babbling Holmes Creek serenade you on your journey to the 40-foot Adams waterfall. The trailhead is marked and easy to follow with varied trail conditions from rocky to sandy. You’ll cross the stream several times throughout and gain approximately 1,430 feet in elevation. Bonus points if you drench yourself in the waterfall…trust us, it’s worth it.
Distance: 3.8 miles / Out-and-Back
Elevation Gain: 1,430 feet
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Trail Type: Dirt, gravel, and rock
Parking: Parking lot (here)
Trailhead Coordinates: 41.0671301,-111.9033527
Getting there: This trail is in Layton, on the east side of US-89. Due to its popularity, there are plenty of road signs that direct you to Adams Canyon, but you’ll exit at Oak Hills Drive and right after the exit you’ll see a freshly paved, designated parking lot. It’s easy to find despite all the construction confusion. Our good friend, Google Maps makes it easy!
This trail is heavily trafficked and the parking lot can fill up quick so plan to go earlier in the day. Dogs are allowed on this hike, however, please clean up after your pup because there were all too frequent piles of dog poop littering the sides of the trail, so watch where you step and be mindful of others if you decide to bring your dog.
The entirety of the hike boasts incredible views, from magnificent canyon features and a diverse forest to mini waterfalls and the lovely Holmes Creek. This hike offers a fully immersive nature experience that will transport you out of your daily hustle to feel some peace in these crazy times. Have a snack or lunch at the end and enjoy this incredible landmark…we also believe cold water is good for you, so walk under the falls and enjoy the endorphin rush.
It’s easy to see why this trail is heavily trafficked, so be prepared to pass others regularly on your hike. As always, be careful of wildlife, and on this trail beware of trail runners…they do exist (and if you’re one of them, we are so proud of you!)
For a detailed trail map and reviews on the Adams Canyon Trail, visit All Trails.
While visiting this trail, remember to practice #ResponsibleRecreation. Maintain social distancing, stay home if you are sick, keep dogs on a leash and pick up after them, and “pack it in – pack it out”. Please be mindful of others, be aware of your surroundings, and respect the locals (aka the wildlife). We’d love to see your photos, feel free to tag us (@discoverdavis) and have fun!