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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lower Calf Creek Falls

After our day of scenic driving, we decided it would be a good idea to get our blood moving and get the dogs out for a walk. Investigating the possibilities in the area for dog-friendly hikes, I found Lower Calf Creek Falls recreation Area, in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument lands. As with other National Monuments, it is dog-friendly on the hiking trails so long as they are leashed and picked up after. No problems there, I wouldn't consider letting them loose anyway! The hike is 6 miles round-trip, and rated as "moderately strenuous" due to the sandy soil you would be walking in for several stretches. The objective is to reach one of Utah's prettiest waterfalls, 126 feet high, as you hike through a gorgeous canyon with mineral-streaked cliff walls, beaver ponds, cottonwood trees and prehistoric rock art sites. Shall we begin?

We arrived at the parking area about 10:00AM, after an hours drive from our campground. There is a small primitive campground here, but not for rigs any larger than 23 feet...or at least that is what the sign suggested! We changed into our boots, loaded up water and lunch into the backpacks, and off we went. Average hiking time was estimated as 2 hours each way, knowing us it will be longer :-).

Its always nice to see the dog-friendly sign! There is also a box with trail guides here, showing the trail as well as 13 interpretive stops along the way.

Most of the trail was completely exposed to the sun, so sunscreen and hats were a necessity.

These were the noted pictographs on the interpretive guide. They were very far away, the other side of the canyon, and you could still see them. They are completely different from the style of  pictographs we saw further south in New Mexico and Colorado.

Walking, walking walking....finally we hear voices and the sound of water ahead....

Finally! We arrived. And it is wonderful. It had gotten quite warm walking in the full sun but here in the shade of the canyon's end, and the mist of the waterfall it was nice and cool. A beautiful spot for lunch and even though we weren't alone, it was still wonderful.

Casey and Honey went straight into the water splashing and having a great time fetching sticks.

After lunch was a very good time to catch a nap and rest up for the return trip back up the canyon.

I scooted all around the grotto taking pictures from all angles, while waiting for people to move away from the edge so I could get a clear shot, but my light was starting to go away as the sun was starting to hide behind the high cliff walls. I liked how the green plants are hanging along the walls of the cliffs.

I finally got to take a picture directly in front of the falls even though the shadows are lengthening. You can see the perfectly symmetrical pool at the base of the falls. I think this is my favorite picture.

Finally it was time we put the backpacks back on and head back down the trail. I had been hoping the trail would be more shaded on the way back....

Oh well it wasn't!

I think this is a Bullock's Oriole who posed so nicely for me.

Finally we made it back to the red rock stairs leading back off the trail to the campground. We spent almost 6 hours between hiking and visiting the waterfalls. We were all tired but very happy we were able to experience it. It is considered one of the most beautiful hikes in Utah,  yet accessible to a vast majority of people. You won't be alone doing it, as it is very popular and highly known, but I think it is a gem not to missed by anyone traveling through the area. 

Next up: an off-highway drive making a loop through the Waterpocket Fold, the Burr Trail to Boulder and back down Scenic Highway 12....and another waterfall!


  1. What a beautiful day ! The addition of green to the Utah beauty is stunning!

  2. Those hikes are worth it to see the end result!

  3. What a lovely hike and so refreshing.

  4. Thanks for sharing this great hike and beautiful scenery. We'll definitely put this on our list for next season :-)