Calf Creek & Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek is named for its use as a natural pen for calves back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The falls are one of the hidden gems of the Grand Staircase Escalante area, much like a little oasis amid the sandstone cliffs of the desert. Depening on which trail you are choosing, you are either walking between mineral-streaked cliffs of Navajo sandstone or descending down a huge sandstone bluff into the creek below.

The Lower Falls are 130 feet high, the creek emerges from a narrow channel at the end of upper Calf Creek Canyon and cascades over a steep cliff into a large pool, surrounded by sheer Navajo sandstone walls.

The Upper Falls are 88 feet high and do not carry as much water than the lower falls, however the waterfall is still an impressive sight. If you prefer solitude, go for the upper falls as much fewer people visit them, preferring the easier route to the Lower Falls.

Directions

The Calf Creek trailhead (37.795825,-111.41302) is located at the Calf Creek Campground on Route 12, 11 miles south of the town of Boulder and 15 miles east of the town of Escalante.

For those of you that don't mind some rock scrambling, there is another trail leading to Upper Calf Creek falls. This trailhead (37.854649,-111.434265) is located at the end of a short track off Route 12, close to milepost 81. There is no signpost, so the trailhead is not that easy to find. The path to the falls leads down a steep slope of white slickrock and then across flatter ground to the canyon edge. The total elevation drop is almost 600 feet. Once at the falls you may follow a path down to the base of the falls or stay at rim level to walk to the very top of the falls where you can find a group of clear pools just above the cliff edge.

The location map in this article shows the Upper Calf Creek Falls. Follow this link if you would like to see a map of all the trailheads and falls

Selected Pictures

Location Map

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