Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail

MODERATE 375 reviews

Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder, Utah that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
521 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no shade

Calf Creek Falls is one of the most well known and unique features in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The trail follows Calf Creek to the 126' high falls. The hike is 6 miles round trip and takes average hikers 3-4 hours. Elevation change on the trail is minimal, but the trail is sandy and walking can be strenuous, especially in hot weather. In contrast, the falls provide a delightfully cool, shady haven which makes the hike well worth the effort.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful views the entire way and access to water virtually whole time courtesy of a stream running alongside the trail. At least 3/4 of the trail is sand so took little longer than usual. Not much tree coverage so expect to be exposed to the elements. But the falls are oh so pretty! Refreshing dip on a hot day.

17 days ago

It was hot going but the water was cold. Was a great hike.

22 days ago

Did this on 25Jul18. (5th time I've done this) Waited out a thunderstorm and the trail had puddles in some spots. A portion of the trail close to the falls was washed out and there are a couple of rocks to hop on in the river, to get across. Also falls were fuller than I've ever seen them. Roaring, really. Amazing as always hike.

hiking
28 days ago

Trail is relatively easy with very little elevation gain, but be prepared for sandy trails. Can be very hot and sunny at midday. Falls are gorgeous and a great place for a wade to cool down!

Awesome well worth it

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked July 9th. Yep, the sand was a butt-kicker, and the 102F heat didn't help matters with very little shade on the trail. That said, highly recommended trail. It turned out to be 6 miles round trip. Payoff at the end is so worth it. Plenty of space at the falls to lay on a towel. The pool at the falls started to shade around 1pm, and by 2:30 was fully shaded.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike. It feels long when it's got in the summer, there's not a lot of shade. The places we found shade were really humid. This was a pretty easy hike. There is hiking through some sand and up rocks, but it wasn't bad. Definitely bring yourself a lot of water if you are planning on going in the summer, without cloud cover. If you bring kids, there are frequent access spots to the creek so they can cool off. There are fun places for them to explore and climb around on.
At marker 8, there are pictographs- when you see the bench.
So worth it once you finally get to the end of the trail- the waterfall is beautiful, water is cold. Kids can play/slide on the rocks to the right. The water is deep enough to swim in closer to the falls. Feels long, but it's definitely worth it!

1 month ago

Go in the late afternoon to walk in the shade, and enjoy the colors. We went after 6pm. Amazing!!! We went the weekend after 4th of July and the temp was nice. Still hot, but the shade was great! BRING CASH!!!! $5 PARKING FEE IN CASH! Honor system.

walking
1 month ago

NO SHADE. While only 6 miles and 500ft of gain, it makes you work for every inch. Sandy paths and jagged rocks.

But totally worth it. Take a lunch. Sit by the falls. The pond is deep enough I couldn’t stand up and I’m nearly 6fy.

hiking
1 month ago

Started at 9 am it took us 3 hours rt. Sandy trail which made the hike a little harder. Well worth the prize at the end of. the trail. What an amazing waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

All I can say is amazing!!

hiking
1 month ago

I first hiked here in college with a group of friends about 12 years ago in 100+ degree weather. The falls were even more beautiful this week than I remembered them. The trail was harder than I remembered it. The sand makes it tough to walk and even a 85 degree day is still tough to hike in here. Stop often, bring as much water as you can carry, bring food, a towel to wet in the steam along the way to keep cool, and enjoy the hike. Check out the petroglyphs at marker 8.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is well worth going to the falls. Started later in the early evening around 5:30pm ended around 8:20pm, the trail was 80% shade, which caused us to chase the light. The sand is tough, just allow time to go slow and steady. We saw a snake and wild turkey. My daughter (17) and myself (late 30s) did fine, but we had over 16L of water and almost finished it all. Please bring more than you think you need of water.

1 month ago

Absolutely stunning trail! It was about 3 miles up/down. The sand made it a little more difficult. There were definitely spots where the sun was beaming and there were some folks that took just one bottle of water, NOT RECOMMENDED!! I went with 2 friends and there were some spots were we had to take some breaks. The waterfalls at the end is breathtaking, as the temperature went down a nice 10-15 degrees and felt amazing. Not a lot of bugs due to the heat, which was nice. There were some areas were you hear animals moving in the brush, but they were just little lizards scurrying around.

hiking
1 month ago

Fabulous , great flow over falls . Very refreshing after a mid 90 degree hike. Nicely marked to show petroglyphs along trail . Many species of birds at trails end . GPS showed it was 3.5 miles each way .
Nice large beach area at base of falls , there were 20 others @ falls and it didn’t feel crowded.. One of our favorite hikes in the area, fabulous scenery!

hiking
1 month ago

As others have said, fairly flat, but the sand makes it more challenging. Falls are beautiful, but WOW is that water cold! Hiking early and late is much preferred, as with most everything here, because there is very little shade on the trail. We had a great time!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing six mile walk. There is restrooms at the beginning. It's not steep, just the sand makes the hike a little complicated. Where shoes that don't let the sand get in. The view is great and the falls at end is the prize

hiking
1 month ago

The most beautiful waterfall hike I’ve been on! Take a picnic, swim suit and stay a while. It’s a hot hike so take a ton of water. Not hard at all but the deep sand is a bit tricky. Word of caution is if you take your dog make sure they have booties. We ended up carrying our dog out most of the way. The sand burnt his paws. Otherwise one of the best views.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Loved being down in the gulch and the waterfall was beyond amazing. We started around 9 to 9:30 and got to the falls about 10:45 and left at 1. It was very hot the day we went and we ran out of water early on our way back which was horrible. Bring tons of water!!!

1 month ago

Fairly easy trail, gradual up and down elevation as opposed to straight up. The cool river bed area was over run with silk worms and caterpillars. It should be beautiful in the next few weeks when the butterflies come out. Gorgeous waterfall! But wow, the water was cold!!

2 months ago

Amazing hike with amazing reward.

2 months ago

Amazing hike. Family loved it. Water was cold and refreshing. Packed in lunch and a blanket. The sand is a little slow but just keep chugging. Worth every second of family time and hike time. Bring more water than you think you need.

2 months ago

We did this hike starting at 3 p.m. on a hot day in June. The first 40 minutes required stops for water breaks, but then the canyon provides shade for the rest until the falls, which are amazing! We stayed for an hour at the water with only 5-15 other people around. It felt like the falls belonged to just us. Being later in the day, the hike back was completely in the shade. It's a must if you're doing Staircase!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike! Wasn't crowded but was definitely really hot in the summer. Bring lots of water.

hiking
2 months ago

The most amazing hike and the falls at the end were absolutely breathtaking! We started early around 915 AM and it was perfect- we saw a lot of people starting their hike when we were on our way out and it was getting pretty hot. It took us 3 hrs round trip, including our 30-45 min break swimming in the falls. Fairly flat hike, but the sand can sometimes make it seem more strenuous. Dog friendly which I love, and plenty of river openings along the way for them to wade into. By far one of my most favorite hikes I have ever done!

2 months ago

What stunning canyon views on the way in. After a hot and sometimes strenuous trek, the shaded valley just prior to the pool and falls were cooler, lush and teeming with lively birds. The falls are towering and beautiful. The icy pool water reinvigorated us for the return hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike - started at 3PM. Bring lots of water and wear good shoes. We had sneakers on which were fine for the terrain but ended up getting very sandy. Probably better to do this early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It took us around 2 hours and 40 minutes - which included a 20 minute stop at the waterfall. We were definitely hustling though. The waterfall is a rewarding ending to a great hike. Would do this again.

hiking
2 months ago

Went memorial weekend around 9am. Got parking in the lot! Coming from sea level the hike was a struggle for sure... and not used to hiking in sand. Bring good shoes.. My hiking boots didn't have the toe covered so they filled with sand! Tried my sandals but the sand was blazing hot! Beautiful waterfall at the end.. with freezing water. Would I do it again? mmm probably not coming from the PNW :)

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful. Lots of birds and different scenery. Waterfall is worth the hike. Bring water and good shoes.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful! Loved this hike. Best done around 9:00am

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