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Lisa Falls

Salt Lake City

Wasatch Backcountry

One of the longest lines in the Wasatch, this is a classic steep skiing adventure with a little bit of everything.

Ski Touring Severe

2.8 km
1 m
1.5 km
0-1 hrs
Low Point
2 km
High Point
3.4 km
Lisa Falls Map

Lisa Falls is about as big as it gets in the Wasatch mountains. It's not the steepest, or most challenging, but just a really fun long line off one of the biggest and most iconic peaks. There are two commonly used approaches - Climbing up Tanners Gulch (up canyon), or hiking in from Broads Fork in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This nearly 5,000 foot long S facing avalanche path in the lower part of Little Cottonwood Canyon is a classic. It's best to attempt this line later in winter or spring when there is plenty of snow at lower elevations and the couloir has avalanched several times filling in the lower portions, but not too late in the year when the lower sections have melted out.


The line starts off between the east and west summits of Broads Fork Twin Peaks. The upper section is an open headwall in the mid to lower 40 degree range that funnels you into a narrow couloir several hundred feet down. It's only a few hundred centimeters wide for a short section, then the chute continues for several hundred feet and opens back up into a wide gully with a much mellower slope angle. Follow this fun half pipe down through some playful terrain for a few thousand feet. Navigation is easy and straight forward because once you're in it there's nowhere else to go.

Lisa Falls is named for the waterfall in the lower portion of the route. The waterfall is traditionally rappelled over. The rappel can vary greatly in length from 20 feet to 80 feet depending on the time of year and the seasons snowpack. There are no fixed anchors, so bringing a branch, or item to deadman is standard procedure. There is a "sneak" ledge that you can skirt around the waterfall if you don't want to rappel, but it requires some rock climbing. It's not difficult, but is exposed. Look for this just about 30-50 feet above the waterfall on the skiers right side.

After the waterfall the gully narrows and can be a mix of hiking and skiing depending on snow depth and conditions. For the final exit you'll want to be on the right-hand side of the gully to avoid some rock slabs. This will put you in the woods at the base of the line, travel to the east along the rock slabs and then continue on for 10 minutes and you'll pop out at the road.



Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between February and April


  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area