Frothing river winds past solitary mesas and ancestral Puebloan buildings carving out dramatic rock formations in Canyonlands National Park before blustering on down around picturesque bluffs towards Moab.
Calf Creek Recreation Site and Campground (elev. 5,346) is located along Utah Highway 12, 15 miles east of the Town of Escalante. Facilities at this site include individual camping units, five individual picnic units, a group picnic area, and a 2-3/4 mile (one-way) interpretive trail to the 126-foot Lower Calf Creek Falls. Other developments at this site consist of a culinary water system, playground equipment, 2 volleyball courts, a paved road, paved parking area, vault toilets, and a foot-bridge across Calf Creek. Camping fees are $5.00 per night on a first-come basis.
Group Sites Available
Tent Sites Available
5 RV Sites, 14 Tent/Day Sites
April 15 - November 30
Off Hwy 12 a few miles from Calf Creek Falls 15 miles northeast of Escalante
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The Upper Falls, located farther upstream, can be reached only by a difficult one-mile hike over sandstone slickrock from the Escalante-Boulder highway, 5-1/2 miles north of the campground.
Calf Creek is a clear stream which runs yearlong from its headwaters some 7 miles north. The road across the canyon to the east, State Highway 12, was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC''s) in 1938. Until then, mail and supplies were carried to Boulder by mules and pack horses over Hell''s Backbone Road or the Boulder Mail Trail, both hazardous routes. Boulder is said to be the last town in the United States to have mule train mail delivery.
Early on the trail, you will encounter Utah juniper trees (Juniperus osteosperma). Commonly called "cedars", these junipers are used locally for fence posts. The seeds ("berries") are eaten by wildlife. Dried seeds are used by Native Americans for making jewelry.
You will also see pinyon pine trees (Pinus edulis). Pinyon is popular for Christmas trees and produces an edible nut, long used as a staple food by Indian people. The nuts are an important food source for rodents and birds. Resin from these trees was also used by Indians to waterproof baskets and to cement turquoise stones to jewelry.
Further up the canyon, just below the rim, high on the cliffs east of the creek, you can see an ancient storage structure (granary) built some 800 to 1,000 years ago by Indians who farmed the canyon bottoms and stored their produce in these high, dry, probably rodent-proof structures. Peoples of both the Anasazi and Fremont cultures were residents in the area at the time these structures were built. Further archaeological work is needed to determine which group built these structures. You may also see four large figures painted in red on the cliff wall. Typically Fremont in style and form, these thousand or so year-old pictographs could represent deities or culture heroes, or a ceremony or event may be depicted.
Located a few miles from wonderful Calf Creek Falls. Escalante-15 miles E on Hwy 12, Escalante, UT
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