Utah May 06, 2019
This Utah Hiking Trail And Waterfall Will Be Your New Favorite Paradise
Hiking in Utah’s wilderness is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon, and it gets even better if you end up at a stunning waterfall. Here’s a hiking trail that’s fairly easy, not too long, and ends at a gorgeous little cove with a 126-foot waterfall cascading into a pool.
The Calf Creek Recreation Area is part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and you'll find it 15 miles east of Escalante.
The area includes a small campground with 13 first-come, first-serve campsites, a picnic area, and the trailhead for Lower Calf Creek Falls. Camping is just $15 per night, and your best bet to score a site is to show up on a weekday.
The Lower Calf Creek Falls trail is just 5.5 miles out and back, and it's considered moderately easy, with an elevation change of just over 500 feet.
Along the way, you'll see the typical, stunning Navajo sandstone formations of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, with their interesting striations and layers.
The sandstone cliffs tower above the trail, and you'll want to watch for two granaries used by the Fremont people who lived in this area long ago...
...as well as some clearly visible pictographs, which date back to around 1200 A.D.
While the trail is mostly level, you'll have a slog through a few sections of deep sand, which is even more difficult when the weather's hot. Much of the trail is in full sun exposure, so wear a hat, slather on the sunscreen, and bring plenty of water.
Calf Creek follows the trail for some of the way, and the vegetation near the creek cools things off quite a bit.
As you approach the end of the trail, you'll appreciate the history behind its name. Calf Creek was once used by local ranchers as a natural corral for cattle, because the canyon is blocked off at the end by a huge cliff and waterfall. It was the perfect pen for calves, and today, it's the perfect end to a perfect hike.
Lower Calf Creek Falls is actually one of two waterfalls. The upper falls is 88 feet high, and more of a trickle than the lower falls, which drops an impressive 126 feet into the pool below. Go for a quick dip to cool off, and enjoy a snack or picnic here before heading back along the trail.
Dogs are welcome on this trail, but make sure to clean up after them so the hikers that come along after you will also enjoy this adventure.
Looking for another hiking trail with a great destination? Check out
this trail that takes you to an abandoned village – it’s near Zion National Park.