July 10, 2011
On our travel back from Capital Reef National Park we noticed a sign for Calf Creek. When researching this trip I remember reading a few commentaries that suggested that the hike from here was well worth it to view the 126 ft. falls. The hike is approximately 6 miles round trip. We are lucky as it is the rainy season and this means the falls will be definitely in motion. At the beginning of the trail head is a small campground. It is primitive but for a one night stay, five dollars is a steal. There are a couple of sites near the stream bed but most are out in the open and not really our cup of tea – so to speak. It is interesting to see how primitive some campers can be. At the entrance there is a large open area that is relatively grass and tree free. Two make-shift tents composed nothing more than a piece of rope and a tarp thrown over the top have been erected. Underneath there is a jumble of sleeping bags. I love being able to hear and feel the night with our fabric sided camper but I think this is just a little too close to nature for my liking. Each to his own though.
Today is more humid than has been the last few days. The moisture is lingering from the previous days rains. The trail is fairly flat but very sandy and winds it’s way deep into the canyon. Good shoes are a must in the soft sand. We pass a few families as we travel along the winding path and most of the children have decided to forgo their flip flops in favor of bare feet. Given the terrain, hot sand and loose, sharp rocks, I am not sure that bare footing it the wisest of decisions.
As is our norm we take the hike in at a casual rate, stopping along the way to take shots of the landscape.
The trail follows a stream to the falls and at times is close enough to stop and splash some of the cool water on our heads. We are lucky. The day is once again cloudy and the sun continues to move in out of the clouds keeping us cooler than expected for mid-July. With all the stops it feels like we have been in the canyon for hours but the watch confirms only 45 minutes. Still the anticipation of reaching the falls and dipping into the cool waters is more than I can hardly bear. With every corner we turn I expect to hear the rushing water coming down the rocks but it takes a good hour and 15 minutes to finally reach our destination. And oh what a sight the cool water was to us.
What clean, clear, and cool water this was! I just wanted to camp out right here. There was a cool breeze blowing off the water and it actually felt a tad bit nippy. We packed a lunch before we left and this seemed the place to sit and eat. Stomach filled and bodies cooled off we head back. Returning the same we came we made much better time, about 45 minutes. Along the way we captured a picture of the “Croc’ In The Rock.” Not sure how we missed coming in….maybe the angle was not right….maybe the lighting wasn’t….but whatever the case may have been it made for an amusing shot!