Lower Calf Creek Falls is a stunningly beautiful 130 foot tall waterfall located in Grand Staircase Esclante National Monument, Utah. Along the way, hikers pass stunning and large cliff faces, pictographs, views of calf creek, trout all around, and a swimming hole at the base of the falls. This is an absolute must even though you’ll experience a lot of others around.
Distance – 5.74 miles round trip (9.24 km)
Elevation gain – 521 feet (158.8 m)
Duration – 3-5 hours (book time)
Difficulty – Easy to Intermediate
Seasons – This hike can be completed in all seasons.
Trailhead Location – Lower Calf Creek Falls Trailhead (directions below)
Need To Know Information
- Parking and camping is limited. If you want a spot, arrive early in the day.
- There is a $5 parking day fee (free for national park pass holders). And a $10 camping fee for sites on a first come first serve basis.
- There are maps available at the trailhead.
- There are tons of fish in the river. (Please practice catch and release)
- Dogs are allowed on leash.
There is only one out and back trail to the falls. It is well traveled, easy to follow, and features mostly gradual gains and declines along the way. There are some sandy parts that can make walking a bit more difficult in certain areas.
Hikers will pass 15 marked spots along the trail that a map at the trailhead explains the vegetation, geological history, views of granaries made by the Fremont Culture between 700-1300 AD, and other awesome facts.
Stop 8, hikers will have views of pictographs across the canyon. We recommend binoculars or a telephoto camera lens to get a better look.
Hikers continue hiking along the trail where there are stunning views just about the entire time before reaching the views of the falls. Here hikers can take a dip in the pools, relax on the sand, and simply enjoy incredible views.
Hiking Lower Calf Creek Falls In Winter
If you want to avoid the crowds, winter tends to be a touch better, but when the water is flowing at its best, or when there is some foliage, the canyon is stunning. This hike is doable year round. Bring microspikes or traction on days where ice can be present.
Camping At Lower Calf Creek Falls
The campground has 13 first come first serve campsites fitted with firepits and picnic tables. The sites have enough space for tents, and for a van. There is a $10 per night charge.
You can read more on this campground here.
Current Weather Conditions:
Here is the detailed weather forecast for the next few days.
Partly sunny, with a high near 64. South southeast wind 12 to 18 mph.
Partly cloudy. Low around 37, with temperatures rising to around 39 overnight. West wind 6 to 21 mph.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 61. West wind 2 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 37. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 66. West northwest wind 6 to 14 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 41.
Sunny, with a high near 71.
Directions & Parking
There is about 20 parking spots at the trailhead, making parking difficult on busy days. There is day fee for parking here. If you have a national park pass, all you need to do is display that on the dash instead of paying the fee.
Day fee: $5
Camping: $10 per day first come first serve.
If you are camping at the campground, you of course can be parked at your campsite.
Directions to Lower Calf Creek Falls Trailhead:
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing experiences with others. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about