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Donut Falls

Henry Lopez

10/06/2014

Donut Falls is located in the beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah.
It is a fairly easy hike that anyone can do. However it is a little confusing as to where to go in
one part but as long as you stay left you are fine. When
you start to reach the falls, the dirt and metamorphic rock
that made up the trail turns into a river bed. There are
rocks of many different sizes that make up the river bed
ranging from rocks the size of gravel all the way to pieces
that are the size of a large truck tire. It was easy to see
how high the water levels had gotten through that are over
the past due to the erosion on the sides of the canyon.
There were also trees that were in the water that could
mean that the water level had past that height at one point and unearthed the tree. These
metamorphic rocks are also jagged and large which indicates that water flow wasnt as prevalent
there as it was in other places along the riverbed. Even though these parts of the river had plenty
of room between each rock for water to flow through, a lot of water was being lost to the ground.
This also meant that the vegetation that was surrounding the river was able to have more water.
At the falls themselves, I was able to see
the source of the water coming from the side of
the mountain. Over time that water coming
down has created a hole in the side that slipped
into that position. We can tell it slipped or fell
because its a well-defined cut. This hole got
bigger as more time and water passed through it.

St one point it looks like water was being kept in the side and not going into the river that it
created a cave right under the falls.
Most of the rock that was the gravel sized ones was found inside and around the cave
opening. This indicated that the water had been has
just eroded that part for a long period and with
more force than the rest. We also know that more
water flows through this area because the gravel
was smooth and round. Due to the rock sizes being
smaller, they could fill in smaller areas and leave
less room for water to flow through. This meant
that the water would pool in that area and the little vegetation around there didnt get enough
water.
The water that does flow out of this area is used in our drinking water here in Salt Lake
City. That means that humans are not supposed to be walking, bathing or defecating in the water
near donut falls. The water is actually protected in this area and is marked with signs. Everyone
must do their best effort to stay out of the water. This process is known as watershed.
Donut falls was a very wonderful hike. The
metamorphic rocks that were all around made it very difficult
to differentiate between any different rock types but it was still
a great view. There are many different types of trees and great
trails too. The land is made of a lower bed of blue limestone,
50 to 100 ft. of black shale, and another 200 ft. of limestone

Sources
Granger, A.E., Sharp, B.J., Crittenden, M.D., Jr., and Calkins, F.C. Geology of the Wasatch Mountains east
of Salt Lake City. http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Prodesc/proddesc_66666.htm. Utah Geological
Society. 11/26/14.