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Adams Canyon: Layton’s ‘signature hike’

Article Published 06/11/2014

If the Layton City area has a “signature hike,” it would have to be Adams Canyon.
Located directly east of the Oak Hills Drive and Highway 89 intersection on the City’s east side, this hike is truly a four-star outdoor experience.
Shade and trees dominate most of the hike after the first mile and the climax is a refreshing 50-foot-high waterfall, complete with a wading pool.
This is the most popular mountain hike in North Davis County and one that is suitable for families with young children and also canine companions.
(However, there are several rugged rocky outcroppings to cross by in the upper reaches of the trail and one stream crossing.)
To the waterfall, this hike is about 3.5 miles long, one-way, climbing about 1,400 feet, according to the Davis County Web site
The hardest climb is probably the first half-mile along sandy switchbacks overlooking Highway 89.
K Achter, a resident near the mouth of Adams Canyon, donated land some years ago to help create the Adam Canyon trailhead.
The canyon was named for Elias Adams, a pioneer who settled at its mouth and constructed a sawmill. The stream is titled for Samuel Holmes, a trapper who was living in the area when the pioneers arrived in 1849.
Hikers may also encounter mountain bikers during the first mile of the trail, since it also accesses the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
There are several primitive camping areas in the canyon. However, fire restrictions in the summer season may apply in the canyon.
There’s a good, solid wooden bridge to cross the creek about half-way up the canyon.
The majority of rescues or accidents in Adams Canyon are from hikers going above the waterfall. There, the trail is rocky and rugged. Caution is advised.
Hikers should not hike alone in the canyon, if possible, to increase safety. They should also carry their own water, as the stream water is not safe to drink.
The trailhead is east of U.S. 89 and Oak Hills Drive junction in east Layton (about 700 North). Access the frontage road on the first or second road that heads east off U.S. 89 going north from Oak Hills. Park on the pavement of the frontage road or in a dirt area that is just west of and below a reservoir.