Calf Creek Falls, Utah

Utah is one of my favorite places on the planet. I love the desert, the wide-open vistas with no signs of development, the dark night skies, and the sound of silence so loud that you can hear your ears ring. I love driving on deserted highways. I love sleeping in a tent and waking up to coyotes howling in the distance. (However, our dogs never enjoyed that. They trembled under their sleeping bags.)

Fortunately Terry loves desert vacations as much as I do, and we have embarked on more Utah road trips than I can count. After the U.S. government set aside 1.7 million acres in 1996 and declared it Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, we planned another road trip, including a hike to Calf Creek Falls. The following images are from our 1998 trip.

Much of the Escalante area looks like this, with fabulous panoramic vistas.

panoramic Utah vista of red rocks and mountains

It’s hard to imagine a waterfall in the midst of that arid landscape, and we couldn’t wait to see it. The round trip hike to Calf Creek Falls is about 5 1/2 miles (learn more here), and it is a beautiful trek. The green riparian creek area is stunning contrasted against the red cliff walls. We dubbed this The Valley of the Pterodactyl. Can’t you imagine a pterodactyl flying overhead?

Calf Creek

It’s blissfully cool by the waterfalls.

Calf Creek Falls

The bottom is sandy and perfect for cooling your toes after the hike.

Calf Creek Falls

We’ve returned a few times since 1998, and I’m happy to report that although a few hotels, restaurants, and B&Bs were built in the area to accommodate visitors to the national monument, you can still find many places in which to enjoy the solitude and escape civilization.

a twisted tree in Utah



  1. poppytump

    Fabulous ! We didn’t have time to do this walk during our travels altho it looked a goody … you show what we missed 😦 lol
    Great pictures am enjoying looking thro your blog .


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