After completing the Zebra Slot Canyon hike, we drove for about 25 minutes to our next location— Calf Creek Falls — with a quick stop to Kiva Koffeehouse on the way.
Calf Creek Falls is one of the most popular and well-known features in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s a perennial water, meaning it flows all year round. The falls itself is quite impressive as well with a 126 foot cascade. The falls have a green and yellow mineral stained standstone, as well as a cool haven for you to relax in.
Distance: 5.7 miles, RT
Elevation Gain: 880 feet
Length of Time: 3-4 hours
Fee: $5 per vehicle (cash in envelope). Interagency Pass Holders receive free day-use of facilities at Calf Creek Recreation Area. — We didn’t see this information when we were there because we do have a national parks pass, but we wanted to be safe than sorry! 🙂
We started the hike by grabbing their self-guided trail pamphlet. It corresponds to 14 different spots along the way from wildlife, to ecosystems, to historical information about the area.
I really enjoyed that it pointed out pictographs on the far side of the canyon which I wouldn’t have noticed without it. Can you spot them below? The Fremont and Anasazi Indians once inhabited the canyon.
Here is a closer look of the pictographs.
The trail guide will also help you spot two granaries that were constructed by Native Americans about 900 years ago.
We took our time making our way through the trail. The good news is that by the time we were hiking (around 4pm) most of the trail was already in the shade, which made for a more enjoyable hike after our hot hike earlier in the day (Read more HERE).
The trail is fairly easy, maintaining a gradual pace and climb, despite the deep sand. We saw many families and young children while on the hike. We did enjoy the lack of extreme crowds since we went at the end of the day when most people had finished the hike.
The bummer for me was that we both wore Chacos for the hike, and I felt like I probably should’ve worn sneakers since the deep sand kept getting into areas of the shoes and started rubbing. After we went walking in the falls, the water + sand + shoes ended up being a painful situation. Courtney was just fine in her Chacos, so perhaps it’s to each their own! 🙂
Overall, this was a fantastic hike that I was so glad to mark off my bucket list! It is 100% worth the stop if you’re in the area! Frankly, I don’t believe photos do the scale of it justice.
What hikes have you done in Escalante National Monument?