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Lower Calf Creek Falls

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Lower Calf Creek Falls is a beautiful oasis and gem of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah.


The Lower Calf Creek Trailhead is located between Boulder, Utah and Escalante, Utah along UT-12. If you are coming from Northern Utah, you will probably take I-15 south to Scipio and then take UT-50 and then UT-24 past Fish Lake and to the edge of Capitol Reef National Park. You could also arrive at this area from the east. In Torrey head south on UT-12. There are some beautiful scenic overlooks along the way. These are from the Larb Hollow Overlook.

The Lower Calf Creek Falls Trailhead is 12.2 miles past Boulder on the right side of the road.

An alternate route from either north or south is to head west off exit 95 from I-15 south of Beaver and north of Parowan. Take UT-20 east and then UT-89 south. Then you will take UT-12 west past Bryce Canyon National Park towards Escalante, Utah. The Lower Calf Creek Falls will be 16 miles beyond Escalante on the left side of the road.

Parking is limited to only about 30 spaces, so be sure to go early at popular times. It also gets extremely hot, so earlier is better most times of year.

The trailhead has flush toilets, but as is often the case in the wilderness, toilet paper and sanitizer might be in short supply. You’ll need to pay $5 and put it in the deposit box, or have your National Parks Pass displayed in your car. There are also picnic tables and a campground. The trail is 300 feet further than the parking lot, past a few campsites. The trail scenery reminds me a lot of the Hickman Bridge and Cassidy Arch hikes in Capitol Reef.

Right at the beginning of the hike is a box where you can sign your name and grab a pamphlet if you want. The is fairly flat with only mild elevation changes, but it is six miles, so be sure to be prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and 2-4 liters of water per person. If you look closely you might find some lizards or snakes.

During the summer and fall this area is so green, but we hiked this over spring break when the trees were bare and some of the foliage was still dormant from winter. There were cacti and a few little flowers.

There are some petroglyphs and ancient Pueblo granaries along the cliffs, but we didn’t find them.

As you come around a corner you can look down and see a widening in the creek. There are ducks and then later some trout. Turkey vultures were soaring over the cliffs.

There is a narrower canyon that allows you to have an awesome echo!

When we passed the river I saw this little American Dipper diving into the creek.

Soon you arrive near the end and can see the 126 foot waterfall in the distance!

It really is spectacular!

If it’s a hot day you may want to take a dip in the pool beneath.

Stats: Distance – 6.1 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 2-4 hours
Elevation gain – 531 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – Yes
Seasons to hike – Year-Round
Permits needed – $5 per car or National Parks Pass
Pets allowed – Yes


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

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