adventure dog photography

Camping and Hiking at Calf Creek


This is the last portion of our Utah adventure.  …Continuing from our last post.

After spending a few days by ourselves in Kanab, we were supposed to meet up with Jen and the boys again at Calf Creek. I hadn’t been able to reach her via text but I knew she was camping so I figured she didn’t have a cell phone reception where she was and it wasn’t a big deal. But when I couldn’t reach her that morning, I started to wonder if everything was ok on her end. After contemplating what to do for a couple hours, I decided to drive out to Calf Creek anyway. If I don’t find them there, I felt comfortable camping by ourselves. For some reason, if I didn’t feel comfortable, I could always drive back to Kanab since it wasn’t too far.

Calf Creek Campground (Boulder, UT) is 136 miles northeast of Kanab, UT.

My cell phone had no reception most time I was on the road. I think cursed AT&T the entire time I was on this road trip. UT-12 was a scenic road from Hwy 89 to Calf Creek Campground. After passing Bryce Canyon Nation Park, there was not much traffic on the road. If we had a car issue, that would be a really bad thing. I drove extra carefully and allowed only positive thoughts.

I was relieved to find a campsite with Jen’s gear. She and the boys weren’t there though. I unloaded the car and set up the camp. By the time I was done, Jen and the boys came back from a hike. The pack was reunited as planned and everyone was happy! We relaxed in a hammock that afternoon and just chilled. In the evening, we sat around the campfire and caught up on each other’s last a couple days.


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Hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek Falls is one of the most well known and unique features in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The trail follows Calf Creek to the 126′ high falls. The hike is 6 miles round trip. Plan about 3-4 hours and pack plenty of water and snack. Note it can get dangerously hot for the pups during summer months. However, on a cool early November morning, it was absolutely gorgeous!


The trailhead is located in the campground so we walked to the trailhead mid-morning. With minimal elevation change, anyone can do this hike but the sandy terrain can make walking challenging. I had to make a few stops along the way to empty my hiking shoes.


Getting close to the falls


The trail was mostly exposed and had no shade. In contrast, the falls provided a cool, shady relaxing area. The water was icy cold and the air was about 10 degrees (maybe more) cooler.


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Whenever you are ready, go back the way you came in. This is an out and back trail.


Treat break


It was not a difficult hike but the sandy terrain made us work for our steps for sure. Everyone took a little break before dinner.


We decided to break the camp super early in the morning and head back to Kanab before heading back home to California. We broke the camp in the dark, made coffee and got on the road. That was a great plan in hindsight because we got to see a beautiful sunrise from an overlook off UT-12.


10 days went by fast. It was heartwarming to see how the pups accepted each other into the pack by the end of the trip. Jack and Xena checked on each other if one of them stayed in their tent. They made no sound, just peacefully look at each other. You know they were communicating. You ok? Just making sure. Our 10-day road trip together was amazing and our bond was stronger than before. We are looking forward to the next time!

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Happy Hiking!

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18 comments on “Camping and Hiking at Calf Creek”

  1. This sounds like such a fun trip and a beautiful hike! I really love Utah and you’re making me want to go back soon!

  2. what an amazing trail!! I can not WAIT until the weather warms up a bit so Jo and I can get back out and go camping and backpacking! PA is a bit too chilly for me right now! 🙂

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