When we were exploring Highway 12 we learned about a hike called Calf Creek Falls. It was a six mile roundtrip hike with 126 feet high waterfall at the end. As much as I love waterfalls I am generally cautious of hikes that are that long, especially those that involve waterfalls because there is usually elevation change. Coming off our successful 850 yard elevation hike in Bryce and our successful 10 mile hike in Goblin Valley, I thought how bad could it be. We scheduled a day to complete it. Greg decided to take the day off though so the five of us went in two cars.
The campground where the trail head is, is pretty cool. Only RV’s less than 25 feet can stay there though, so completely out for us. I tried to talk Cori into camping their in the Chinook though, but there is unfortunately no cell coverage at all in the canyon.
According the the research this was a moderate hike with 250 foot elevation change. The problem was the elevation change was net and in actually there was much more climbing than that. I knew better, having learned from Nancy and Bill that elevation changes can be deceiving and as we walked up and then down and up again along the trail I knew I should have done more research. It was also much hotter than we expected down in the canyon. It was 20 degrees cooler in Torrey than at Calf’s Creek and despite stripping off layers we were all over dressed. Lastly, despite being marked as a moderate hike the terrain was difficult. It was either pretty rocky, requiring careful footing or worse sandy which none of us like. Walking on sandy trails takes a ton more effort especially on a hot day.
As hard as the trail was, and I do consider it hard, the sites along the way were beautiful, plus there was a nice guide pamphlet with marked places along the way. I really like when we are on trails with markers and this one was clearly marked.
The landmarks had the added benefit of helping us know how far we had to go because several of us were struggling. For some reason this hike was much worse than any of the ones we had done prior and Cori and I in particular were struggling. Finally we made our last descent into the valley though and that helped. It was cooler for one thing, and there was a pretty stream running beside us.
Finally we saw the waterfall and it was a beauty. There were a ton of people down near it, but it was relatively easy to get good pictures. The water was REALLY cold and my plans to soak my feet were abandoned although lots of the younger kids got in.
Overall, I liked the waterfall and was glad I got to see it, but to be honest I wouldn’t want to hike this again. Going out was worse than coming in and with full afternoon sun in sections was even hotter. I felt like a whiner though when once again I saw young people carrying babies on their backs. I can’t even imagine doing that as a young person and good for them. We took lots of extra breaks on the way out just to make it and it was a struggle. We were all relieved when the parking lot was sited and on the way home I told Lee I absolutely needed a day off. We had been doing something every single day and it finally caught up to me, so I was taking a day off. We both learned something from last years pace and Lee agreed. That was nice.
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