Farmington Creek Sunset Trail

excerpted from our book

Salt Lake City's Incredible Hiking and Biking Trails
pages 261-263

Buy book directly from the author!
Salt Lake City's Incredible Hiking and Biking Trails
  • has access info for 73 trailheads
  • 73 colorful trail maps
  • 325 full color photographs
  • loads of hiking tips

regularly $19.95
now on sale for only


click here
for book orders

Farmington Creek Sunset Trail Farmington Creek Sunset Trail

     Most people compete the Farmington Creek Sunset Trail hike by walking from the lower trailhead up to Sunset Campground and returning the same way. If you do that the total round trip distance is 3.6 miles with 1,180 feet of elevation gain. However, if you have two cars you can leave one of them at the lower trailhead and enjoy a very pleasant downhill walk by starting at the Sunset Campground Trailhead; that is the hike I will describe here.
      Upon leaving the Sunset Campground the Farmington Creek Sunset Trail immediately begins dropping down into Farmington Canyon through a dense forest of Gambel oak and bigtooth maple. After losing 250 feet of elevation the Sunset Trail turns west to begin following the north side of Farmington Creek. You will hear the sound of rushing water below you as you follow the path; however the trail never actually gets much closer than 150 feet from the water’s edge.
      About 10 minutes after leaving the trailhead the Farmington Creek Sunset Trail passes an impressive waterfall where Farmington Creek plunges over a 30-foot drop in the bottom of the canyon. The Sunset Trail is some 50 feet above the water at this point and the views are limited, but with a little scrabbling it is possible to descend a hundred feet from the trail to the bottom of the fall.
      The Sunset Trail continues to follow the north side of Farmington Creek for the remainder of the hike; however the canyon walls are quite steep and the path generally stays high above the creek bed. 0.2 mile beyond the waterfall you will pass the remains of an old 1920s era car that lies just 10 feet off the left side of the trail. How this car ended up here is something of a mystery; the road is 150 yards north of the trail in this area. But the road is also 350 feet above the trail, so it appears that the car simply rolled down the 40 degree slope below the road before finally coming to rest beside the trail.
      0.4 mile beyond the car the Farmington Creek Sunset Trail crosses Halfway Creek, a tributary of Farmington Creek. This well shaded area is a good place for a brief stop. The small, picturesque stream is well shaded and there is a small waterfall just a few feet above the crossing. Interestingly, there is also an old truck tire, half buried in the ground near the trail crossing-further evidence that someone long ago was fond of rolling cars off the road into Farmington Creek Canyon. Fortunately, the area is not littered by any other junk. The old tire is not so much an eyesore as an object of curiosity.
      As you continue down the canyon past Halfway Creek the bigtooth maple trees start to diminish and forest opens up to some nice views of the canyon. Unfortunately, there is very little shade in this area, and the last half-mile of the trail can be very hot in the summer. 0.7 mile beyond Halfway Creek the Sunset Trail passes a shallow cave where another brief, shaded rest stop is possible, and 100 yards later you will arrive at the lower trailhead and parking lot.

Note to web developers: You may copy this material onto your site, but in return please include a link to my home page Thank you, David Day (utahdavidday at

Click here to see more
trails near Salt Lake City

[top of page]

[table of contents]

[home page]

[ordering information] 

© Rincon Publishing Company, all rights reserved