Definitive Guide to Hiking Lower Calf Creek Falls (in 2023)

Welcome to the Lower Calf Creek Falls.


In this blog post, we’ll cover EVERYTHING you need to know to hike to the falls.


This includes the directions, a downloadable map of the trail (!), statistics of the hike, and so much more!


Let’s get started.


Want to know WHAT TO EXPECT? Watch the video below!

Location of the Lower Calf Creek Falls


First thing you NEED TO KNOW:


Lower Calf Creek Falls is located in Southern Utah, USA.

The trailhead for the falls is located off Scenic Highway 12, about 25 minutes from Escalante, Utah.


You can DOWNLOAD THE MAP via AllTrails so you can use your phone to navigate the trail!

  • Trailhead: directions (start the trail at Calf Creek Campground)
  • Fees: The cost is $5 per vehicle. You’ll park in the parking lot by the restrooms right before entering the campground.
  • Camping: You can secure a camping spot for $15 per night, allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Since this area tends to be quite popular, it’s advisable to arrive early as the campground often reaches capacity swiftly. For the most recent updates and alerts check Calf Creek Campground regularly.


There are bathrooms and water available at the trailhead parking area.

Lower Calf Creek Falls
Lower Calf Creek Falls

Trail Statistics

  • Distance: about 5,8 miles / 9,8km roundtrip
  • Time to complete: 2h17 mins
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Hike Type: out-and-back
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed, but they must be kept on a leash.
  • Parking: There’s a small parking area at the trailhead but BE AWARE, the parking is filled up pretty quickly.




From a HISTORICAL point of view, this area is also very interesting:


There is PRE-HISTORIC rock art along the way, dating to AD 1200.


The name of the Lower Calf Creek Falls itself is a reminder that this area was used as a natural pen for calves in the late 18th / early 19th century.

Lower Calf Creek Falls trail
Trail to the Lower Calf Creek Falls

The best time to visit

The best time is DEFINITELY during the spring and fall seasons. This is due to the comfortable temperatures (+ good weather conditions) and MODERATE CROWDS present during these times.






Visiting early in the MORNING is highly recommended, especially during spring, summer, and fall.




On the one hand, because of the way, the light falls in the Lower Calf Creek Falls, enhancing the beauty of the falls.


On the other hand, in the afternoon the temperatures climb and almost the full hike is without any shade!


Canyon Country Lodge
Canyon Country Lodge

Where To Stay


We recommend you stay in the Entrada Escalante Lodge, which is situated on W Main St. It has proven to be a great luxury option and it is well-reviewed. They are a small lodge with an eye for amazing and fine details in all their rooms. Their rates are $179.00 per night for a small single king room and it goes up to $269.00 per night for their deluxe king suites.


Canyon Country Lodge is a beautiful luxury option located on Utah State Hwy 12 (close to the trail). With its high guest reviews, it offers a comfortable and luxurious stay.



Escalante Outfitters lodging is an excellent mid-priced option for several reasons: They provide comfortable accommodations: It offers a comfortable and intimate setting with 7 cozy cabins that each sleep two people. The cabins’ rustic charm adds to their allure. They offer tent sites in addition to cabins in their xeriscaped campground, catering to a variety of preferences and budgets. Despite its low price, Escalante Outfitters provides a variety of amenities such as free WiFi, barbecue facilities, a picnic area, and concierge services. There are also linens, towels, and handmade soaps. Prices vary around 85 dollars per night for two people.



For those on a budget, the Calf Creek Campground is an affordable choice. It’s located in a desert oasis and includes a 13-site campground.


Escalante Outfitters Cafe
Escalante Outfitters Cafe



Are you also hungry after a long hike?


We got you COVERED!


Below is a list of restaurants near the Lower Calf Creek Falls:

  • Escalante Outfitters Cafe – A popular spot known for its cafe ambiance and delicious food.
  • Escalante Mercantile – A local grocery store that also serves food.
  • Mimi’s Bakery & Deli – Offers a variety of baked goods and deli items.
  • Circle D Eatery – Known for its American cuisine.
  • Georgie’s Outdoor – A great spot for outdoor dining.
Lower Calf Creek Falls
Lower Calf Creek Falls

Travel Agencies

There is one travel agency, in particular, we recommend for your North American trips.


The Bamba Travel company specializes in providing you with the best support possible for hiking/trekking and adventure trips in the USA. Just check out their home page. BONUS: They often offer discounts for travel packages!


Nearby Attractions

If you have some time left after the hike to the Lower Calf Creek Falls, visit the ATTRACTIONS below!


  • Hole-In-The-Rock Escalante Heritage Center: This heritage center offers insight into the HISTORY of the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition, where pioneers made an arduous journey through rough terrain in Southern Utah.


  • Coyote Gulch: Located in the vast wilderness of Grand Staircase-Escalante, Coyote Gulch is known for its stunning natural arches and cascading waterfalls.


  • Hell’s Backbone Road: This SCENIC DRIVE offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Box-Death Hollow Wilderness and Boulder Mountain.


  • Smokey Mountain Road: Another scenic drive that offers PANORAMIC VIEWS of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.


  • Spooky Gulch: A NARROW slot CANYON that provides a unique and adventurous hiking experience.


  • Grand Staircase Escalante UT-12 Self-Driving Tour: This tour takes you along Highway 12, offering stunning VIEWS of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Coyote Gulch
Coyote Gulch

Final Tips and Tricks

With this list, we want to FULLY prepare you for the hike!




Warm Weather:

  • Begin your hike early in the morning to avoid the peak heat of the day.
  • Wear breathable, lightweight clothing to help stay cool.
  • Apply sunscreen frequently to protect your skin from sunburn.
  • Use a hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun.


Sandy Ground:

  • Wear hiking boots with a good grip to handle the sandy terrain.
  • Use trekking poles for additional stability.



  • Pack a swimsuit and fast-drying towel if you plan to swim at the waterfall.



  • Bring more water than you might need (we recommend at least 2 liters per person).
  • Hydrate regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Consider bringing a water filter or purifying tablets if you plan to refill your water bottle from a natural source.


Trail Map:

  • Download the map of the trail here before you start your hike.
  • Familiarize yourself with the trail and any notable landmarks.
  • A GPS device can also be helpful for navigation.

wild flowers at the creek falls


That’s it, with this DEFINITIVE guide, you will be ready for the hike!


Don’t forget to leave a comment!


We would love to hear about your experiences at the Lower Calf Creek Falls.



Is the hike difficult?

The hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls is considered moderate in difficulty. It’s about 6 miles round-trip with a minimal elevation gain of 500 feet. The trail is well-marked and includes sandy paths and rocky terrain.


Are dogs allowed on the trail?

Yes, dogs are allowed on the Lower Calf Creek Falls trail, but they must always be kept on a leash.


Is camping allowed at Lower Calf Creek Falls?

There is a designated campground nearby called “Calf Creek Campground.” It has basic amenities and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).


Is swimming allowed in the pool under the falls?

Yes, swimming is allowed in the pool beneath Lower Calf Creek Falls. The water is usually cold, but it’s a popular activity, especially during hot summer months.


Are permits required for the hike?

No, permits are not required for the hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. However, there is a day-use fee of $5.00 per vehicle. If you have an annual National Park pass, this fee is waived. Please note that while no permits are required for the hike, always respect the rules and regulations set by the Bureau of Land Management.


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