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.
Mostly clear. Low around 21, with temperatures rising to around 23 overnight. West northwest wind around 10 mph.
Mostly sunny. High near 43, with temperatures falling to around 39 in the afternoon. West wind 6 to 9 mph.
Partly cloudy. Low around 27, with temperatures rising to around 29 overnight. West wind 6 to 10 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 51. West wind around 7 mph.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Northwest wind around 6 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 51.
Mostly clear, with a low around 30.
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 hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about