Upper Calf Creek Fall Trail

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Distance0.9mi
Elevation Gain655ft
Trailhead Elevation6,516ft
Top6,516ft
Elevation Min/Max5940/6516ft
Elevation Start/End6516/6516ft

Upper Calf Creek Fall Trail

Upper Calf Creek Fall Trail is a hiking trail in Garfield County, Utah. It is within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 6,516 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 655 feet. The Upper Calf Creek Falls Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. The trail ends near the Upper Calf Creek Fall attraction.

Upper Calf Creek Fall Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This trail is usually taken by people who have already hiked to Lower Calf Creek Falls and want to see more of this delightful canyon. The highlight of the trail is Upper Calf Creek Falls, which is only 0.9 mile from the trailhead, and that is as far as most people go before turning around.

If you have time, however, I urge you to walk downstream at least part of the way from the upper falls toward the lower falls before returning to your car. Unlike the trail through the lower half of Calf Creek Canyon there are no Indian granaries or pictographs to see along the way, but the thrill of walking through the lush, seldom-seen upper canyon will provide ample reward."

"Few hikes in the Escalante region offer the rewards of this fine, short trip with such a minimal investment of time and effort. Vast expanses of Navajo sandstone slickrock and far-ranging vistas, plus an 87-foot-high waterfall, pools of cool water, and shady riparian oases, await hikers following this well-worn trail. Leashed dogs permitted, but not recommended due to steep terrain near the falls.

Signs at the trailhead proclaim that no camping is permitted there, and that no camping or fires are allowed within 0.5 mile of the upper falls. The trail begins behind these signs and the trailhead register, leading immediately over the rim and to the top of a steep Navajo slickrock slope, littered with round gray volcanic rocks and boulders."

"Most of the trail is slickrock, steep in places, but not difficult. Cairns mark the way, especially across the slickrock, where no trail is visible. From the ridge at the trailhead, you can see the rock-lined path descending down the slickrock slope to a sandy flat below.

There are several hiker trails along the sandy bench; try to stay on the cairned route to prevent further erosion caused by multiple trails. As you near the falls, the trail splits. The lower left trail goes to the bottom of the falls, the upper to the top. You’ll probably want to try both paths."

"Few hikes in the Escalante region offer the rewards of this fine short trip with such a minimal investment of time and effort. Vast expanses of Navajo Sandstone slickrock, far-ranging vistas, plus an 87-foothigh waterfall, pools of cool water, and shady riparian oases await hikers following this well-worn trail.

Signs at the trailhead proclaim that no camping is permitted here and that no camping or fires are allowed within 0.5 mile of the upper falls. The trail begins behind these signs and the trailhead register, leading immediately over the rim and to the top of a steep Navajo slickrock slope, littered with round gray volcanic rocks and boulders. The slopes of all the upper Escalante Canyons are strewn with these Tertiary rocks, carried in glacial meltwater from their source high on the slopes of Boulder Mountain more than 10,000 years ago."

Upper Calf Creek Fall Trail Reviews

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7/20/2010
We did this hike yesterday as lower calf creek was closed. Great hike! The views from the top of the falls are incredible and the pool at the bottom was beautiful, although very cold, even for July. It was definitely not reedy or grassy. A couple of updates from the guide: the trail head is exactly 5.8 miles from lower calf creek turnin, not 6.0 as described. No place to turn around on this road if you miss it. We decided not to continue down the stream as it was heavily overgrown and cold. Wouldn't try this without a machete.
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4/11/2010
Although the upper falls are not as spectacular as the lower falls, I think the hike was more enjoyable. The trail starts with a steep descent down slickrock, which means you have a tough climb up out of the canyon at the end of your hike. The rest of the trail is mostly downhill, but much less steep. The slickrock portions of the trail are well marked with cairns, and the rest is well worn and easy to follow. Toward the end of the trail, the trail forks. Go right to the top of the falls, where there are a couple pools, which have a couple deep holes. Go left to a viewpoint of the falls, then down to the bottom of the canyon. It's not a long hike, but again, it is quite a climb to get back to the trailhead. It was tough, but my four-year-old daughter made it easily. One warning: If you have the book "Best Easy Day Hikes" by Ron Adkinson, the directions to the trailhead are incorrect. It is between mile markers 80 and 81, not 81 and 82 as he says.
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6/8/2006
Great short hike. Beautiful falls and pool. Be sure to climb above the falls and see the water pockets there.
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7/5/2004
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Upper Calf Creek Fall Trail Photos

Trail Information

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Nearby City
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Hiking
Additional Use
Views, Waterfalls, Wildflowers
Features
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Local Contacts
USGS Calf Creek
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018