LOWER CALF CREEK FALLS
AN EASY HIKE TO A DESERT OASIS
Lower Calf Creek Falls Campground shares space with the trailhead and the lot fills up quickly. Expect to park as much as a quarter mile away from where the actual hike begins and be prepared to pay a nominal park fee. This trail will go over a boulder or two but is mostly comprised of sand. There is very minimal elevation gain, but be cautious of that oppressive desert heat and be vigilant with your water intake. Even at last light this trail was heavily trafficked. I counted no less than 4 Yorkshire terriers being toted in their parents' arms (this is an on-leash dog friendly trail but I suppose carrying the pooches works just as well) and never had a moment where another group wasn't in our line of sight.
At the end of your 2.8 mile walk you are greeted with an absolute oasis. The stuffy hot air around you is swiftly replaced by a cool misty wind created by the force of the water blasting through the sandstone cliff above. We wanted so badly to strip down to our skivvies and jump in the enchanted watering hole, but as I mentioned before we were quickly losing the comfort of the warm sun and thought it best to stay clothed and dry.
If you can bear with a fair amount of trail traffic I definitely recommend this hike. Seeing the massive red rock walls contrast against the lush foliage that clings to the banks of the creek was significant and memorable. There is something almost mystical about observing one elemental force overcome another on a scale as grand as that of the water having slowly bored through the ancient rock formations over a span of time that makes a lifetime seem like the blink of an eye. It was deeply humbling to experience.