The sandy trail to Lower Calf Creek Falls at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument begins at a popular campground along Utah State Route 12. The first half of the trail winds up the side of the canyon above a reedy wetland. As the canyon narrows, Boxelder shade the trail as it moves closer to the creek bed and arrives at the falls.
- Lower Calf Creek Falls (Sept. 19, 2021), 6.7 miles round trip
We like to hike when it’s cool. So, finding a desert hike with a refreshing destination like Calf Creek falls seemed ideal for a late September morning.
The first half of the hike along the canyon wall above a wetland rich with horsetail felt pretty toasty, though I doubt the temperature did more than brush 80 degrees. We were relieved to reach the shady stand of boxelders that lines the creek bed as the canyon narrows.
Despite the crowd on the trail, we found plenty of room at the waterfall. The cascade tumbles down a curved rock face into a wide oval-shaped pool that feeds the creek. We sat on a piece of deadfall to enjoy our lunch.
Desert shade. Cool water. Refreshing spray. It was hard to leave.
In September 2021 we drove from our home Coastside on the San Francisco Peninsula to Colorado via southern Utah. It was our first trip off of the the West Coast since the pandemic reached the United States in January 2020.