Hiking Lower Calf Creek Falls in Escalante

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Are you hiking Lower Calf Creek Falls in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument? PERFECT! This will provide you great information about this hike to help provide a great experience!  I have been on a lot of hikes, and this hike is near the top! It was beautiful and refreshing! 

Hiking Lower Calf Creek Falls is a must if you are visiting The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument! Beautiful hike and waterfall at the end...

Lower Calf Creek Falls Hike

  • Location – 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.
  • Length – Just under 6 miles round trip
  • Terrain – Sandy with very little elevation change. There are some rocky parts to climb over, but not difficult.
  • Difficulty – Moderate (I would say it is moderate because of the distance) 

Preparing for hiking Lower Calf Creek Falls

We hiked this with 14 kids (all boys with 1 girl). There was a 4 year old that was carried much of the way,  and my 6 year old was pretty tired by the end. However, it was still such a fun hike. It is a 6 mile hike round trip and located on the highway that enters Escalante. The parking can be tricky if there are a lot of people. You may have to park on the highway at your own risk.

There are drinking water pickets at the beginning of this hike which is nice. We didn’t see any other hike that had drinking water available. Make sure you take plenty of water. There is very little shade through out the hike. The shade that is there is from trees throughout the hike. The hike is clearly marked, just follow the people or the signs.

Hiking Lower Calf Creek Falls

This hike is mostly in sand and has very little elevation change. There are some hills and rock climbing but they are fairly easy. We saw all sorts of people on this hike. We saw older couples, families with kids, and everything in between. Dogs are allowed but they have to be on a leash.

Through out the hike there are 14 markers that you can see that point out different highlights of the hike. There are beaver dams, ancient granaries, and even some pictographs. There is a pamphlet that you can pick up that will show you where these are located.

The long awaited Lower Calf Creek Falls will be the 14th marker. We went in the end of May and the water was very cold.

It was so entertaining to watch all of the brave souls take the plunge into the freezing cold water. Many people would take the challenge to swim under the falls which was always fun.

I broke my foot 5 weeks prior to this trip so the ice cold water was very refreshing to soak my foot in. Even if you don’t get in the water, it is a lot cooler by the falls because of the mist coming off of the waterfall. After a hot hike, this is very refreshing! To help you stay cool, get a little wet before your trek back to your car.

All of my boys were wondering if the hike was going to be worth it after 2.5 miles of hiking, but once we got to the waterfall they all said it was definitely worth the hike. My boys described The Lower Calf Creek Falls Hike using these words: magnificent, awesome, cool, wow. It was amazing. 

If you are looking for other great hikes in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument check this post out.   One of those hikes was Peek-a-boo Gulch and Spooky Gulch slot canyons which were amazing!! 


One fun tip for you that your kids will love is this. Along the trail you will see these horsetail grass/reeds.

Pull apart the horse tail reeds and cut off the end that is plugged with your fingernail. This will make some sweet whistles for your kids. Pinch the yellow end and put it in your mouth and blow. It is hard at first, but once you find the sweet spot, it provides hours of entertainment!! 

You are welcome!! 🙂