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Lower Calf Creek Falls

Boulder, Utah

4.6/5
based on 13 reviews

Details

Distance

5.74 miles

Elevation Gain

515 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Thomas Burton

The hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls takes you past Native American ruins to a beautiful waterfall and natural pool for swimming.

The trailhead for lower calf creek falls begins at the Calf Creek Campground. There is a small fee to park in the campground and a larger fee if you plan on camping in the campground. There is potable water and outhouses at the trailhead but parking can be difficult to find during the spring and fall.

Near the trailhead there is a pamphlet that you can grab that will tell you about the plants you see along the trail as well as the locations for some Native American ruins that you can see on the way to the waterfall. Be sure to grab one because the ruins can be very difficult to find without a little help.

The trail makes it way up through the sandstone canyon for about 3 miles until you reach the Lower Calf Creek Waterfall. The color of the blue water makes for a very stunning contrast with the red sandstone rock and there are numerous photographers trying to get great pictures. I would recommend taking a neutral density filter for your camera to be able to take long exposure photographs of the waterfall.

Spend some time eating lunch and swimming here at the waterfall before making the way back to the parking lot. The trail is open year round but can be very hot in the summer and there can be snow in the winter. Dogs are allowed but must be on leash.

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Features

Camping
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

This is a great spot to go. A little walk off the road and you get to calf creek falls. There is an upper pool that you can cliff jump into (about 10 feet) and then the lower pool is where the larger waterfall leads. You can anchor a repel off the waterfall that can double as a rope swing. Also there is a small moss slide you can slide on. One of my favorite things about calf creek is if you walk further down the river there are pot holes on the red rock riverbed that the water flows over and you can jump in them and see how deep they are . Some are knee deep some are over your head! Lots of fun!

Lower Calf Creek Falls is one of the most popular hikes in all of Grand Staircase Escalante and for good reason. The hike in is enjoyable and you can see several old graineries and some petroglyphs. The real attraction is the 126 ft waterfall into a crystal clear pool. The area around the waterfall has some amazing colors, I presume due to different forms of algae leaching minerals from the rock and water. The pool is fairly large and always cool and refreshing even in the height of summer when the hike in can be very hot and dry. It's fairly short but be sure to take plenty of water if you go in the warmer months. I've never been there at night but might have to check it out after this recommendation.

Grab the info for the trail before leaving and learn about different things all along the trail. They have spots marked 1-14. The hike itself is pretty flat, some up and down but not bad, but you are hiking through a lot of sand so try to wear shoes that don’t let sand in… I had a sandbox in my shoes by the time I got to the falls. The falls are absolutely beautiful as well as the scenery along the tail and worth the hike!

This one is pretty out there but well worth it should you be in the area. The hike itself is pretty flat and after 3ish miles you will reach the waterfall which is a nice and cool oasis in an otherwise scorching hot area in the summer. Summer days on the trail are well over 100 so make sure to pack plenty of water.

This is a popular hike with a campground nearby so get there early before the parking lot fills up. The hike is relatively flat but through deep sand. Keep an eye out for petroglyphs and granaries on the way to the falls. The falls are beautiful and worth the visit.

The walk there seemed eternity, but it was definitely worth the fabulous results! Went mid spring and later in the evening, so we did not get in the very cold water and also couldn’t stay long because of the cold misty wind

This hike took me 1 hour and 10 minutes. I packed two 32 oz of water and drank them both, and packed a few apples and clif bars. Some of the trail is very exposed so be prepared for sun!! Lots of sunblock. I went on a Tuesday and it was pretty heavily trafficked still.

The hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls took me to a beautiful waterfall and natural pool.

This is one of the most spectacular hikes in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and should not be missed! Definitely one of the prettiest hikes I've been on. Six miles round-trip, mostly flat, but could be challenging for some because the majority of the trail is sand and exposed. I recommend starting this hike very early in the Summer months, especially with children. Along the way you will see gorgeous sandstone cliffs, rich with desert varnish, and pre-historic rock art. There is also a nice variety of flora and fauna here, and a lush riparian habitat as you get closer to the falls. I loved the color of the mineral-streaked sandstone, and the green from the moss and algae growing along the walls that surround the falls. The water here is usually cold, no matter what time of year so be prepared if you plan to swim.

We almost skipped this hike but glad we did it! Great short hike and beautiful little beach and waterfall! I would love to come back with my dogs in the summer!

Leave No Trace

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Nearby

Hike to Escalante Natural Bridge

Upper Calf Creek Falls

Camp at Deer Creek Campground

Backpack Death Hollow in Grand Staircase-Escalante

Hike to the Cosmic Ashtray

Drive the Burr Trail Scenic Backway