Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lower Calf Creek Falls Webbox

Date "Placed": March 9, 2010
Letterbox: Webbox
Carver: GreenJello 
Location: Lower Calf Creek Falls, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Garfield, Utah 
Distance: 5.5 miles round trip (allow 3-4 hours average hiking time)
Status: Active

Lower Calf Creek Falls is a breathtaking desert waterfall hike.  This gorgeous trail takes you between mineral-streaked cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, passing beaver ponds and pre-historic rock art sites, en route to your destination. At the end of your journey, the crystal clear waters of Calf Creek take a 126-foot plunge over a sandstone cliff into a transparent pool of cool water below.

Calf Creek Falls is a southern Utah landmark and the major feature of the BLM's Calf Creek Recreation Area. Round trip distance to the falls is 5.5 miles. While little elevation change is encountered (with the exception of some short, steep sections), the trail can be classified as very strenuous walking (particularly in warm weather). However, the falls area, once reached, is a delightfully cool, shady haven well worth the effort.   Best of all, you are invited to jump in and take a swim in this desert paradise. Photographers, take note: best light is during mid-morning.

Since this waterfall is located within the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, letterboxes are not allowed. Therefore, this webbox has been created. You must actually visit the location to be able to answer the following two questions to sign the online log book:

1. How many bridges must you cross before reaching the falls?
2. What substance covers the majority of the trail?

Copy and paste the website below into your browser window, replacing [Answer1] and [Answer 2] with the correct responses to the two questions above.


Directions: From Boulder, Utah follow Highway 12 southwest for 11.4 miles to the "Calf Creek Recreation Area" sign to your right. From Escalante, Utah follow Highway 12 northeast for 14.4 miles to the "Calf Creek Recreation Area" sign to your left.

From the sign on Highway 12 follow the paved spur road 200 yards to the day-use parking area and trailhead. The trailhead contains an information kiosk, drinking water and a restroom. A small fee is required to park in the day-use area and is payable at the information kiosk. The day-use fee is $2.00, as of March 2010.

The round trip takes 3-4 hours according to the trail guide (a useful, illustrated pamphlet describing 24 points of interest), but under 2 hours if walking quickly. The route is along the west side of the creek, generally above the canyon floor which is covered by large areas of reeds and thick grass. It passes three Indian petroglyph sites and two ruined stone-built granaries, tucked away in alcoves in cliffs at the far side. After rounding the end of a side canyon at mile 1.8, the path descends closer to the stream and is more shaded, as the canyon walls become steeper and the route passes through woodland.

Notes: Camping is available at the trailhead. The BLM maintained campground contains 13 sites available on a first-come first-served basis. The overnight camping fee is $7.00 per night as of March 2010. Campsites fill up very quickly, and it is highly recommended that you arrive early in the day to secure one. (However, when we arrived late, the camp host graciously allowed us to set up in the group camping area, along with other late comers. He mentioned that they do not turn anyone away, if at all possible.) This is easily one of the most beautiful campgrounds I have had the privilege of staying in.

No comments:

Post a Comment