What a great hike!! I had been wanting to do this hike for a few years and finally got to it on one gorgeous September day with the temps in the upper 70’s.
Lower Calf Creek campground and trailhead are located along Utah’s Scenic Highway 12, about 13 miles north of the town of Escalante. This is a little over a 6 mile round trip hike. There is some rocky terrain but a lot of it is very sandy, which can be a little bit more of a challenge for some than the rocks. The elevation changes are pretty insignificant. There is a map with descriptions of what you are looking at for 15 points along the route. Some of the descriptions are kind of lame but it is helpful in being able to spot petroglyphs across the canyon and a few other spots of interest.
|View down the canyon at the beginning of the hike|
|If you look hard you can see the petroglyphs over there!|
The greenery from Calf Creek against the high red canyon walls were just awesome. The creek is not huge but I did see some pretty big fish in it. The trail takes you very close to the creek at several points. Of course, the highlight of this trek is the falls and they did not disappoint! I met one couple coming back from the falls that said the falls were the ‘highlight of there two week trip’ in Southern Utah. I would have trouble picking a highlight in this area as there are so many beautiful sights to see, but the falls are pretty cool, both figuratively and literally! As you get close to the falls and the little oasis area that they form, the cool mist and change in air temperature is a welcome change since most of the hike is in full sun.
|There are fish in there!|
When I reached the falls, I was surprised that there were about 10 other folks there as well. Half of those cleared out pretty quickly. One guy was taking a dip in the pool below the falls and the rest just hanging out on the outskirts so everyone could get pictures. I had left the trailhead at 11 am and arrived about 12:10 pm. There was a shadow already starting to creep across the top of the falls. By the time I left only part of the falls were in the sun. I am glad I didn’t start any later than I did!
When I got back to the parking lot I checked out the campground, as I had hoped to camp here but was told by the BLM office that it wasn’t recommended for rigs over 25’. I found at least 2 sites that would hold a 35’ rig, however, as I walking from the parking area to the trailhead I followed a Class A motorhome probably around 28’ trying to get to the campground. The guy was tearing up the top of his motorhome on the all the overhanging tree limbs .. which there were many! The road through the campground is tight, has dips and a water crossing, has lots of untrimmed trees and just is not big rig friendly. I stayed at an Escalante RV park and am glad I did!