Exploring/Calf Creek

MikeP

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Dec 18, 2017
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Going to be in Escalante area in spring with no particular plan other than to go explore some things - I don't do that often enough. Every hobby has a sub-hobby and one of mine is to just look at a topo and go see if routes that look like they should go actually do - very often they don't. Below is a map of something many here have done - Lower Calf Creek. I haven't been there since it became overrun with people - which is to say years - but lately I've gotten a little obsessed with the idea of getting above the falls and possibly even connecting a hike with Upper Calf Creek falls, but I've never heard of anyone doing it. The blue line on the map below looks like a possibility. Anyone ever tried this? I know the area reasonably well and I realize it would be very rugged up there even if it did go.

1675266839538.png
 
That branch looks like a pour-off in the sat view. It looks like there may be some more promising opportunities further south though.

Screen Shot 2023-02-01 at 10.22.32 AM.png
 
I've done a hike in this area from the west, that is so say from the McGath Point road, I think it's called. We route-found down to the creek not far below the upper falls, waded in the stream for a few hours, and then route-found back up from just above the lower falls. It was a delightful day. Doing this from the Highway 12 side would probably be easier and avoid some steep sandy patches on the road to the west. We did not try to access Calf Creek below the lower falls, no idea if that's feasible.
 
Hi @MikeP

It looks like you are using Gaia GPS for your map. If you turn on the Slope Angle layer, it gives a good indication of slope steepness.

I had a quick look at the Calf Creek canyon and it appears to be almost completely ringed with a black stripe, using this layer; meaning almost vertically steep.

I did notice one small break in the stripe around here (37.81446, -111.41761), but it's anyone's guess from a mapping tool or satellite imaging, as to whether this would go. It might be fun to find out on the ground though :)

I have drawn a green line on the Gaia GPS map below to indicate the potential route.

BCP Calf Creek v1.png
 
I agree with @fossana, that area looks to be shear cliffs on all sides. A more likely exit (a least according to CalTopo's slope angle shading) might be found at: 37°48.868', -111°25.050'.
just looked at this in GE and I'd not count on it going, but it might.

looks like there's maybe some exits much closer to the trailhead though
 
Hope you take some sticky sole shoes ..... I didnt see any place that looked decent to climb up
 
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I have explored off-trail around the lower and upper falls quite a bit. Hoping to be down that way in mid-March for a couple weeks of exploring and I was thinking about what you had planned as well. Even if you/I do not succeed in finding a route form lower to upper falls or upper to lower it would be a worthy adventure.
 
Even if you/I do not succeed in finding a route form lower to upper falls or upper to lower it would be a worthy adventure.
That's the way I see it as well. Does "Canadug" mean you're from Canada? Southern Utah and the Canadian Rockies are my two favorite places to hike. I have more trips lined up in those two places than I have time left in my useful hiking career.
 
If you are not wedded to the Lower Calf Creek Falls area, there is interesting extensive slickrock hiking in the upper falls and McGath Point area.
 
If you are not wedded to the Lower Calf Creek Falls area, there is interesting extensive slickrock hiking in the upper falls and McGath Point area.
ooops - screwed up somehow - trying again

McGath Pt from upper falls --- https://debravanwinegarden.blogspot.com/2014/12/mcgath-point-6759-via-upper-calf-creek.html --- if crossing above falls too dangerous, can circle ccw above where creek starts. When my wife & I did this hike, that is how we returned (obviously then circling CW to get back to the TH by Hwy12). That section is mostly slickrock.

McGath slickrock --- https://debravanwinegarden.blogspot.com/2020/05/mcgath-point-east-slickrock-region-peak.html --- I like a variation of this which is a slickrock circumnavigation of McGath Point - can do 6287 & 6400+ as a spur.

PM if you need more details or tracks but probably more fun just trying it on your own.
 
Thanks Writhdar. This is great info. Seems like a much more interesting way to get to McGath Point. I assume you did this as an out and back day hike.
 
Awesome, thanks. And I assume not too difficult? Reasonably intuitive?
 
Awesome, thanks. And I assume not too difficult? Reasonably intuitive?
I don't remember any difficulties at all. the streambed is slippery in spots. I suspect we entered Calf Creek just below the upper falls using the same route shown in the linked map. the McGath Point road has a nasty, sandy hill at one point that took us a few tries in a capable vehicle.
 
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