|Hiking||7.52 Miles|| 3 Hrs 3 Mns ||2.59 mph|
|1,295 ft AEG|| 9 Mns Break|
||no linked trail guides|
|After hiking Coyote Gulch the day before, my Utah companions headed home. But, wanting to make a worthwhile weekend even worthwhil-er, I stayed another night and decided to hit up Lower and Upper Calf Creek Falls before making the long drive back to Phoenix.|
I was hoping to get a camping spot at the campground by Wide Hollow Reservoir just outside of Escalante, but it was full. I was ready to just do another night of at-large camping just off Hole-in-the-Rock road (I noted several others doing this on our drive back out from Coyote Gulch), but passing back through town, I found Escalante Cabins & RV Park, which offered campsites for $29, and I went that route instead. Turned out to be a good choice, they had nice hot showers in a private-use restroom right across from my campsite. After spending two days on the trail, the shower felt great. And the campsite was great and very functional.
I got up early the next morning, hoping to secure some solitude on the trail, as I know that this is also a popular hike in the area--with easy access and a trail that is relatively low on the difficulty scale.
At the register, I noted a couple had signed in before me. As it turned out, they passed me on their return, so I had the falls to myself and didn't see anyone else on my hike in.
At the TH, there is a nice brochure that links up with numbers posts along the trail, pointing out various sights along the way. Among the more interesting are some giant pictographs on the opposing canyon wall, some granaries, a description of how the "desert varnish" forms on the canyon walls, beaver ponds, etc.
I arrived at the falls in solitude, and they were spectacular. The pool beneath the falls is perfect for a swim and the surrounding "beach" with shade trees makes this a perfect spot for enjoying a solid afternoon.
But, with a 9+ hour drive back to Phoenix on the agenda, plus another hike to the Upper Falls, I skipped the swim. (Also, it was still early and a it would have been a chilly swim).
As I began my hike back, I came across 3 wild turkeys out for their morning stroll and munch. Cool.
Other than that, the return hike was uneventful, other than passing a good number of people making their way to the falls.
There's a good reason this is a popular spot. Well worth a visit.
At the TH, I jumped in the car and headed off to Upper Calf Creek Falls, the TH for which is a few more miles up the road.
FYI: The Lower Calf Creek TH requires $5 per car.