Calf Creek Falls (Escalante, Utah)
got back on Utah Highway 12 the next day heading east and drove through some
spectacular sandstone landscapes, then around noon I approached the parking area
for Calf Creek
Falls. I've driven by the falls many times during previous trips but never had the time to hike
to the waterfalls. What the heck, I figured, I wasn't in any hurry and I'd
heard good things about the falls, so I pulled into the parking lot, put on my
hiking boots, and stuffed my daypack with a few quarts of water, some peaches,
and my camera.
The temperature was 93 degrees when
out for the 3-mile hike, but the air
was dry so it wasn't unpleasant and the hike along the sandy trail through the
meandering red sandstone canyon was peaceful and relaxing. After an hour
of hiking, I started to hear the falling water
echo off the sandstone cliffs and a few minutes later, the spectacular waterfalls suddenly appeared through the trees. It
was a beautiful sight.
were a few folks here splashing in the water under the falls and having a good
time, enjoying this oasis in the middle of the barren desert. Yep, I
figured this was a good place to take off my shoes and kick back for a while.
In fact, I relaxed for over an hour at the bottom of the
Calf Creek Falls, wading in the
pond and sitting on the sand, watching the water cascade down the sandstone
chute, smoothened over the eons to a glistening sheen.
while, I started talking to one of the folks who was here. He was
an architect about my age named Chris who spoke with an English accent and
lived, interestingly enough, in Illinois. Chris had brought his
two teen-aged boys with him on a two-week vacation to show
them around the West, and they were all obviously having a great time. Chris applauded my 18-month trip and
told me, "Life is too
short not to enjoy it. You have to take advantage of every minute."
As I gazed up at the falls, I told Chris that I couldn't agree with him more.
left: A tired gas pump in Cannonville, Utah. I laugh at
this "Too Pooped To Pump" sign every time I drive through Cannonville.
This time I bumped into the owner, a pleasant man in his eighties, and
we had a nice chat.
center: Utah Highway 12 is an amazing road, winding for several
miles under, over, and through the sandstone. A lot of television commercials have
been filmed here... perhaps because it looks like Mars.
right: Calf Creek Falls, near Escalante, Utah. That's Chris,
the architect from Illinois that I met, on the right taking a swim. Calf
Creek is one of the few perennial streams in southern Utah, and the
pool here is a great place to cool off after the hot, three-mile hike.
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