Hiking Upper Calf Creek Falls, Utah

October 2013

After leaving Bryce Canyon and briefly stopping at the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, we spent the night in a lovely little cabin at Escalante Outfitters in as you’d have it – Escalante (surprise!).  Not only were the accommodations the absolutely cutest things I’ve seen lately, but the coffee shop/restaurant was delicious and the wifi worked flawlessly. Definitely worth a stop.

BeFunky_DSC_0407.jpgI am not really sure how we came across the hike to the Upper Calf Creek Falls – and I am not sure why we chose to hike the Upper portion and not the more popular Lower trail.  Perhaps because the hike was only a short, steep 2 mile (round-trip) out & back with the cautionary label of difficult – and we both like a challenge.  In contrast – the lower falls hike is pretty flat, but longer – 6 miles roughly, round-trip.  Or it could have been the fact you had to pay $2 to park at the Lower trail head and the Upper is free – and we can both be incredibly cheap.

Anyway regardless of how we found ourselves here, we did, and it was splendid.  The hike was a touch hard to find – we had to turn off the highway between mile marks 80 & 81 and follow a dirt road for a short stint.  Then look for the trailhead – marked by a wood post/box with a sign-in sheet in it.  Most of the trail involved following cairns (rock formations) down to the falls.  I made a conscious effort to look back and make sure I knew what to be looking for in reverse.


The trail we followed (it looked like you might be able to head left and somehow get down into the canyon?) took us to the top of the 88 ft falls.  The falls were pretty but the main spectacle for me were the pools of water carving homes in the sandstone.  We followed the river up a ways and found a much smaller water fall (if you can call it that?!)  with a much larger pool.  It would have been a good place to go for a swim!

The hike back was pretty much straight up – but not too difficult.  Even wheezing as I was from my cold, it wasn’t too bad.  Just be careful to follow the cairns!!

Categories: Hiking, Utah

Tags: , , , ,

3 replies

  1. This brought back great memories. My wife and I camped in the Calf Creek area some years ago and still talk about the beautiful colors and shadows on the rocks that sunset brought. We’ve since moved too far away to visit like we used to so thanks for sharing this and reminding me again of just how pretty UT is.


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