|Location: Calf Creek Recreation Area,
just off Hwy 12 between Escalante and Boulder, Utah
Maps: USGS 1:24K Calf Creek
Access: From Escalante, take Hwy 12 north for ~12 miles. 1 mile north of the Escalante River crossing, turn west into the Calf Creek Recreation Area and park.
Trail: Well-marked, 2.5-mile route with little elevation change to the falls
Fees: There is a small fee to park at the TH, which is also a campground
Weather: Current and recent conditions Local Forecast
In one hour, we reach the falls. They are much larger than I have imagined. I give it some thought, and estimate the water drops 75 feet, not that it much matters at all how far it drops when the effect is this stunning. The sun hits the wild cascade directly, causing it to shimmer, and the green pool at the base makes me aware of just how orange the sandstone really is. We sit in the shade of birches and watch the mesmerizing patterns of water glide down the sloping rock. I take photographs; I canít help myself. I move up to higher ground to take more. Since I canít take the waterfall home with me, a picture is almost the next best thing (Memory is the next best thing). Andra and I move to the side of the falls and examine the extensive hanging gardens of maidenhair fern lining a fault line thirty feet above our heads. I briefly wonder how long the water that now seeps out has been creeping through those sandstone layers above. A month? A year? A decade? At the base of the rock wall, capitalizing on the moisture, columbine and delphinium grow in abundance, not yet blooming. We watch a young man edge his way out over slime-slick rock towards the base of the falls, trying to achieve adequate proximity for a meaningful photograph, taken by his buddy. I fully expect to witness a demonstration of how deep the plunge pool is, but his shoes grip the rock adequately, and he escapes back to dry ground with a grin, unscathed. After several minutes in the sun, sitting in the soft sand, we move on.
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