Lower Calf Creek Falls


Jan 17, 2012
Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

After our long hot hike back from the Golden Cathedral on Monday, we decided to make today an easy day and drove back out to the highway so we could hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. This hike has been on my list for many years, yet I always passed it up for other opportunities because of how crowded this popular trails seems to be. I was determined to finally make it to this classic southern Utah location this week.

We woke up before sunrise in Egypt and watched the sky explode with color as we packed up camp. Always a nice way to start the day!

Egypt Camp Sunrise
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We arrived at the trailhead in the early morning and were the second or third vehicle in the parking lot, so I wasn't too worried about the trail being crowded today. We hiked the trail quickly to the waterfall at the end to try and catch it in good light. We probably would have missed the best light on a clear day, but today there was a thin layer of clouds that diffused the light and made the scene easy to photograph.

I took few photos as I hurried to the waterfall, but I did take this one shot looking up Calf Creek Canyon.

Calf Creek Canyon
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When we arrived at the falls the couple who were already there packed up and left, leaving us the place to ourselves for a while. I took advantage and took plenty of photos...

Framed Falls
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Waterfall Detail
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Lower Calf Creek Falls
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Calf Creek Falls
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It was a bit too cold to swim this morning, so when we were done taking our photos we took our time hiking back to the trailhead and searching for rock art along the way.

This sun halo appeared briefly above us as we hiked along the trail.

Sun Halo
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We stopped to get a closer look at this ruin along the trail.

Calf Creek Granary by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This well-known Fremont and Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel was the main one I wanted to photograph on this hike. We crossed the creek, which was deep at this point thanks to beaver dams, and found a way up to get closer to the panel.

Calf Creek Pictographs
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We searched the area and found plenty of other faded pictographs, including this panel.

Cross Panel
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We also found another large panel featuring this black anthropomorphic figure.

Black Anthropomorph
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The rest of the panel was pretty faded Barrier Canyon Style pictographs. The petroglyph of a hand and tracks over the faded pictographs are pretty cool.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few more BCS figures. One without a head.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Another look at the black anthropomorph with a smaller one next to it that appears to have been created by smudging fingerprints into the desired shape.

Black Paint
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After reaching the trailhead again, we drove into Escalante for some dinner and to fuel up the Jeep so we could head out on the Hole-in-the-Rock Road again. This time our destination would be Fortymile Ridge so we could backpack into Coyote Gulch the following day. We found a place to camp near the trailhead and got to watch a colorful sunset before getting to bed early.

Beautiful sunset colors over our small camp on Fortymile Ridge.

Camp Sunset
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The color of the clouds over the Straight Cliffs was intense!

Fortymile Sunset
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Lower Calf Creek Falls Photo Gallery
>> The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

Featured image for home page:


Jul 25, 2013
Yes, it's one of the more popular spots but I do love Calf Creek. Probably the coldest water i've ever swum in too! Great shots...
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