Return to Escalante 3: Calf Creek Falls

Another dispatch from the Grand Staircase, and it’s a classic. Lower Calf Creek Falls is probably the most well known, easy to find, easy to navigate trail/destination in the National Monument. It’s where the locals will tell you to go if they size you up as a tourist. I’ve driven passed the trail head the Calf Creek many times at this point, but never considered going.

Until it was snowing up in Boulder and raining down at Calf Creek. I wanted to go on a hike that day no matter what and I decided to take the rain over the snow this time. I knew it would be easy to find my way to the trail and that it was probably fairly safe thanks to the number of people who would no doubt be on the trail with me.


I have a silly aversion to being called a “tourist” even though there is literally nothing wrong with touring, so I had previously cast off the idea of doing Calf Creek until then. After having gone, I can easily see why it is such a popular destination. wp-1527126096440..jpg

The trail meanders along the creek, sometimes moving up along slickrock, then down among the sand of the creek. There is evidence of beaver activity along the creek, which never fails to surprise and impress me. Where did these desert beavers come from in the first place???? The canyon walls are impressive and you can see the beginnings of arch formations until the walls narrow in and you are walking among the tree life on the inner canyon.


Once you emerge from the trees, you are up close and personal with the falls, a very impressive formation that was absolutely worth the easy three mile walk. As much as I try not to be a tourist, sometimes is okay to just do the obvious walk, because there is probably a reason so many people love it. Here’s to just enjoying and appreciating our world.




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