Utah Trails
Calf Creek Falls, Upper
Length: 2.2 roundtrip
Difficulty: Strenuous

Description: Calf Creek Falls is one of the most enchanting areas of the Grand Staircase-Escalante area, a verdant oasis amid the tumbled stone monoliths of the desert. Named for its use as a natural pen for calves back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the creek remained relatively unknown as a tourist destination until the formation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, under the Clinton administration. Walking between mineral-streaked cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, hikers pass beaver ponds and pre-historic rock art sites en route to the paradisiacal pools.

The trailhead is located at the Calf Creek Campground on Highway 12, 11 miles south of the town of Boulder, and 15 miles east of the town of Escalante. The highway follows the route of the creek for most of the distance, atop the bluff to the east of the canyon.

Upper Calf Creek Falls Trailhead
The trailhead is located at the south end of the Hogsback on Highwat 12, below Boulder, and drops off the west side of a white sandstone bluff, descending into the creek below. Though the trail is not long, it is very steep—dropping 500 feet from the road, down into the creek—and difficult to navigate in some areas, requiring stamina, and rock-scrambling talent.

Upper Calf Creek Falls
The Upper calf Creek Falls are 88 feet high, and though they do not have nearly the quantity of water spilling over the edge that the lower falls have, the waterfall is still an impressive sight. Swimming is possible here as well, and with the smaller crowd, more relaxing. Much fewer people visit the upper falls, preferring the easier route to the lower falls, leaving the rugged beauty of Upper Calf Creek Falls for those who can conquer the route.

Lower Calf Creek Falls
The lower falls are 130 feet high, with a deep swimming hole underneath them. The entire creek is surrounded by greenery, but particularly underneath the spray of the waterfall. The lower falls are the most famous out of the two waterfalls on Calf Creek, and attracts many visitors every year.