Ely Creek Falls

Round Trip Distance: 0.5 - 4.5 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5298 - 5343 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Jones Hole
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic waterfall

The Ely Creek Falls trail is located in the Dinosaur National Monument north of Vernal, Utah. The short trail begins near the 2 mile point of the Jones Hole trail where it travels up a side canyon for about a quarter mile to a small scenic waterfall that cascades over a 15 foot spillover. Enroute to the trail hikers have the opportunity to stop at the nearby Deluge Shelter and examine the Fremont style pictographs and petroglyphs.

The trailhead is 45 miles from the Dinosaur National Monument Visitor Center and about 40 miles from downtown Vernal. From the Visitor Center head back out on the entrance road and turn right onto the Brush Creek Road at the intersection of 9600 E and 3500 S. Follow the Brush Creek Road to the Diamond Mountain Road and then take the Jones Hole Road for the remainder of the distance. From Main Street in Vernal head north on Highway 191 and turn right onto 500 N. Continue following 500 N as it transitions to the Diamond Mountain Road and then to the Jones Hole Road. The roads are all paved but there are a few areas at present that are a little rough.

From the fish hatchery follow the Jones Hole trail for about 1.5 miles to where it crosses the creek on a foot bridge. Shortly past that is the Deluge Shelter along the cliffs on the right and just past that where a side canyon joins the main route is the beginning of the Ely Creek Falls trail.

The trail starts out on a well trenched path as it heads up the side canyon. An impressive cliff point dominates the view in the background.

The Park Service has added a few stone steps to make the hike a bit more pleasant.

Thick foliage that grows along the creek crowds the trail up against the cliffs as the canyon narrows just before reaching the falls.

As the trail works its way around the cliff the waterfall quickly comes into view although the sound of the water splashing its way down the spillover has already alerted hikers to its secret spot.

On a warm summer day the cool waters are sure to entice any children in your group to come and play while others enjoy the peaceful scene.

The nearby Deluge Shelter offers an educational opportunity for those with an interest in the Fremont Culture and rock art in general.

Back at the trailhead visitors might also want to take a self guided tour of the Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery where they can walk around the ponds and see lots of fish. The creek just below the hatchery attracts a good number of fly fisherman on a daily basis. The Ely Creek Falls trail is a nice side attraction when hiking the longer Jones Hole trail which you have to hike at least half of just to get to where it starts. We hiked the trail for this post in conjunction with the Jones Hole trail but since they list it separately we are giving it it's own post. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.