The hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls takes you past Native American ruins to a beautiful waterfall and natural pool for swimming.

The trailhead for lower calf creek falls begins at the Calf Creek Campground. There is a small fee to park in the campground and a larger fee if you plan on camping in the campground. There is potable water and outhouses at the trailhead but parking can be difficult to find during the spring and fall.

Near the trailhead there is a pamphlet that you can grab that will tell you about the plants you see along the trail as well as the locations for some Native American ruins that you can see on the way to the waterfall. Be sure to grab one because the ruins can be very difficult to find without a little help.

The trail makes it way up through the sandstone canyon for about 3 miles until you reach the Lower Calf Creek Waterfall. The color of the blue water makes for a very stunning contrast with the red sandstone rock and there are numerous photographers trying to get great pictures. I would recommend taking a neutral density filter for your camera to be able to take long exposure photographs of the waterfall.

Spend some time eating lunch and swimming here at the waterfall before making the way back to the parking lot. The trail is open year round but can be very hot in the summer and there can be snow in the winter. Dogs are allowed but must be on leash.

Pack List

  • Water!
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Camera
  • Neutral Density Filter (for long exposure shots of falls)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Snacks
  • Don't forget to grab some trail info at the trailhead to find the ruins
  • Show More
    RT Distance 6 Miles
    Activities Camping, Photography, Hiking
    Skill Level Beginner
    Season Year Round
    Trail Type Out-and-Back
    Features
    Bathrooms
    Dog Friendly
    Family Friendly
    Scenic
    Waterfall

    Reviews

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    Overall rating: 

    A True Oasis in the Desert!

    This is one of the most spectacular hikes in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and should not be missed! Definitely one of the prettiest hikes I've been on. Six miles round-trip, mostly flat, but could be challenging for some because the majority of the trail is sand and exposed. I recommend starting this hike very early in the Summer months, especially with children. Along the way you will see gorgeous sandstone cliffs, rich with desert varnish, and pre-historic rock art. There is also a nice variety of flora and fauna here, and a lush riparian habitat as you get closer to the falls. I loved the color of the mineral-streaked sandstone, and the green from the moss and algae growing along the walls that surround the falls. The water here is usually cold, no matter what time of year so be prepared if you plan to swim.

    Dont Skip This!

    We almost skipped this hike but glad we did it! Great short hike and beautiful little beach and waterfall! I would love to come back with my dogs in the summer!

    Really Fun Hike

    The scenery through the canyon along the trail is awesome. The waterfall is beautiful, but a little tricky to photograph. The best angle I found was on the left side of the waterfall. I got as far back as I could and used a 14mm to get shots looking out. This is a popular hike and it was crowded at the waterfall when I went. I will probably get an earlier start the next time I go. Tons of fun!


    Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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