Tom’s Experience hiking to the Upper Calf Creek Falls:
The Upper Calf Creek waterfalls aren’t nearly as spectacular as the Lower Calf Creek Falls, but is still one of the best hikes in Escalante and there are great pools to play in during the hot summer months. The trail to these desert waterfalls is very steep but it is also a lot less crowded. Round trip this hike is 2.2 miles but it is very steep.
From the parking lot, hike southwest down a steep cairn-marked trail, that eventually leads to a sand trail near the canyon bottom. The trail is well marked with cairns the whole way and is pretty easy to follow.
Eventually, the trail forks. The right trail leads to the upper waterfall and the left one leads to the lower waterfall. We took the right fork first and saw the upper waterfall. The pools to swim in are interesting because they don’t seem very deep at first but there are many holes that you can jump into and the water level will be over your head. The way the water ran down the white sandstone rocks was very pretty, and people could slide down the natural made water slides if they wanted.
Through the trees is the uppermost waterfall which is small but still worth seeing. We hiked back and visited the other fork of the trail which leads to the lower waterfall.
The lower waterfall was a pretty area with plenty of poison ivy but the poison ivy was easy to avoid. This waterfall is much larger than the upper waterfalls however the pools aren’t as nice to swim in. The way back to the top was very steep and has no shade.
Getting to the Trailhead:
Head east out of Escalante and follow highway 12 for about 20.6 miles. There will be a dirt turnout on the left hand side that leads to a dirt parking lot and a trail sign and register for the upper calf creek falls. The sign can be hidden behind some trees so be on the lookout. We missed the turnout the first time on the freeway and backtrack a little bit to get it right.
GPS: Trailhead = 37.859445,-111.437881 Falls = 37.855262,-111.451829
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