Lower Calf Creek Falls

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 6.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5334 - 5495 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 4 hrs.
Trailhead: Lower Calf Creek
Fee: $4/vehicle
Attractions: Waterfall, pool, rock art




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The Lower Calf Creek Falls trail is located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument between Boulder and Escalante, Utah. A pool of cool water at the bottom of the falls makes it an inviting destination for summertime hikers. Several Ancestral Puebloan granaries and a large pictograph panel are indicators that the area along Calf Creek has been important to people for thousands of years.


The trailhead is at the Calf Creek Recreation Area along Highway 12 roughly 12 miles south of Boulder, Utah and 16 miles north of Escalante. Camping and picnicking are available at the Calf Creek Recreation Area.


There are several spigots where drinking water can be obtained. During the summer months the open areas the trail passes through can become extremely hot with the sand soaking up the heat of the sun and the heat radiating off of the rocks so be sure to wear sunscreen and take plenty of water. We are guessing that during the winter months when the temperatures are freezing that the water in these spigots will be turned off.


The Lower Calf Creek Falls trail is 3 miles one-way but the trail begins a little over a quarter mile from the parking area. That is why our round trip distance came out to be 6.7 miles.


The trail is very easy to follow as it heads up the canyon.


You might read that the trail is flat but there are enough little bumps and hills along the way to add up to several hundred feet of elevation change.


The trail is interpretive so be sure to take one of the brochures along with you so you don't miss out on several important sites along the way. At post 5 there are a couple of granaries located in the wall of the canyon across the creek. Another granary can be seen at post 9 but it takes a pair of binoculars or a zoom lens to really see it.


These large pictographs are located across the creek at post 6 or 7. If you click on the picture and zoom in you can make out a few other images in the panel.


Calf Creek does have some fish in it that can be spotted in pools where the trail comes close to the water.


The water cascades and plunges down the 126 foot falls filling the air with a fine mist that lowers the ambient temperature in the narrow canyon 10-20 degrees.


Cooling off in the pool is hard to resist on a hot summers day.


If camping is on your agenda it is advisable to make reservations ahead of time. Both Boulder and Escalante have RV and tent campgrounds and several of them have nice cabins to rent. At least one in Escalante has a laundromat and public showers. Primitive camping spots can be found along the Hole in the Wall Road as well as several other places. The Lower Calf Creek Falls is one of the must see destinations in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.