June 15, 2011

Calf Creek Falls in Southern Utah

Calf Creek Falls - Click for larger image.

A walk into the lower Calf Creek Falls is an opportunity for multiple experiences. The trail head is found at the Calf Creek campground just fifteen miles east of the town of Escalante on Scenic Byway 12. The waters of Calf Creek begin on the Boulder Mountains and the creek eventually enters the Escalante River drainage. The Calf Creek Falls hike is approximately 2.5 miles (each direction) and winds it way on a relatively flat course through a long section of canyon until the canyon ends abruptly at the falls which rise 126 feet above the canyon floor. Calf Creek runs through the center of the canyon and is filled with trout and beaver. The beaver have created many dams along the river which help to control spring flooding and prevent siltation. The stream is clear and fish can be spotted darting about the deeper pools as you walk along its banks. Midway on your hike you’ll encounter a view of large pictographs (painted) on the canyon walls. These images are large and lifelike and easily spotted across the canyon (on your right) as you are headed to the falls.
Calf Creek - Grand Staircase

The Calf Creek basin in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

The elevation at the Campground is 5,346 feet and there is very little elevation change on the hike, but the trail is often sandy and this makes going a little more challenging. The best times to visit this area are spring and fall, but an early start on a summer day is also a good option.

Categories: Canyoneering Escalante Utah Grand Staircase Hiking