The Calf Creek Recreation Area in south central Utah offers one of the American desert's premiere - and little known - gems, the (Lower) Calf Creek Falls. While a year-round creek is relatively rare in the desert, a year-round 126 foot waterfall is stunning. It is worth a visit in the summer to experience the coolness of the fall's oasis. Shown right is the entry to Calf Creek Recreation Area. The lower road heads into a lush wooded area along Calf Creek in which a lovely (but very small) campground is located. Upstream, the canyon reverts to desert until you reach the falls. The upper road is the amazing "hogback" route to the town of Boulder (more below). Click on the photo right for an enlargement.
The area is located about two hours east of Bryce Canyon National Park between the remote towns of Escalante and Boulder. This was once the most remote area in the lower 48 states. Boulder is said to have been the last town in the United States to have mail and supply delivery by mule train. A spectacular road was completed over the "hogback" by the CCC in 1938. The route climbs and follows a narrow ridge with huge dropoffs on either side.
Road improvements in recent years,
including a good paved road over Boulder Mountain, have made the route popular.
Vacationers may easily proceed from Bryce Canyon to Capital Reef National Park
and the Canyonlands region. However you will still have to cross the one lane
bridge over the Escalante River, shown above left. And not many people know
about the falls...
The Escalante River and its tributaries, including Calf Creek, drain a wilderness of sandstone. Most of the area is protected as the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Magnificent vista points are available along the main road. Click on either photo below for enlargements.