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We had stopped at the Visitor Center in Escalante, to find out what hikes would be kid friendly. I was pretty disappointed to find out that all the cool slot canyons, like Peek a Boo Gulch or Spooky Slot Canyon were not exactly kid and baby friendly. There was a chance for rain, so slot canyons were basically out for the day, kids or not. Luckily, Calf Creek Lower Falls was a good option, especially in the rain!

So we started Calf Creek Lower Falls in the afternoon, with a cloudy overhead (which is completely unheard of.) Usually, Calf Creek is known for it's moderate hike and blistering heat until you reach the actual falls. The hike begins in the parking lot and walking along the pavement past some amazing camping spots.

There are no bathrooms once the hike begins and this signs kindly reminds us to pack everything in and out.

We decided to take our time and let the kids hike on their own for a while.

That only lasted a while.

The landscape was unreal. One moment it was red rocks, next it was brush oak.

Little Aiko had quite the time running all over the rocks. We hadn't quite convinced her it was time to ride.

All along the trail there are different markers. We could have grabbed a little booklet, but we somehow didn't grab it. 

This is along marker 8, where apparently, there are some Petroglyphs on the cliffs. We didn't see them on the way in, but on out we did. (Shown later.)

It's crazy how the landscape can change so quickly. Here we are standing near the swampy areas.

My kids loved looking into the water and finding all the different birds.

Since it had rained off and on, the streaks on the rocks were so lovely with colors.

The snake grass fields were unreal.

We finally made it to the falls! As I walked up to the falls I looked up and thought "CHECK!" We'd done it.

Although we were tired, we weren't crazy hot like I had expected. The falls actually gave all of us goose bumps, because it was SO COLD!

I could not believe how cold the water was.

Apparently, toddlers have no feelings in their feet or legs. They ran all over the falls, playing in the mud and splashing.

The shorelines are covered with trees and large squirrels. Honestly, I'd never seen squirrels so big.

We probably stayed too long at the falls. No one was there when we left.

Our feet were so cold, we decided to walk barefoot through the sand for a while. My feet were actually cramping from the water being so cold.

The sun finally decided to peak through the clouds, giving us some needed warmth.

Here's some of the Petroglyphs! Can you see them at the bottom?

The Petroglyphs must be super big, it was clear across the canyon and they were still huge.

Orion was plum tuckered out...we all were too. We passed three other people walking into the falls and somehow two of them beat us out! Our goal was to beat out the last fellow.

Luckily, we did make it out, but he was two steps behind us. We were SUPER glad to see our car!

The hike is mainly hills that go up and down, with a very clear path. Some parts were quite sandy, but I feel it's very doable. It took about 2 hours in and out for us, but we were carrying our kids on our backs. (It's actually the longest hike we've done with them on our backs.) I've heard of many youth groups doing this hike. It's such a beautiful hike and we were super lucky the skies were overcast.

Helpful Tips
  • Difficulty Moderate
  • 6 Miles Round Trip
  • Bathrooms at the beginning of the trail
  • There are campsites nearby
  • Take plenty of water and snacks. We actually wished for more than just snacks, since it took us quite a while to hike.
  • Sunscreen and hats
  • Some people wore swimsuits under so they could go swimming.
  • The water is VERY COLD.


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Alene Tue, 08/30/2016 - 14:18

Whoever said that the Peekaboo / Spooky Gulch loop wasn't kid friendly was dead wrong! Took my 4 year old and 1 year old through a few years ago and we are going again this fall, it's the best! And also much shorter than doing Lower Calf Creek, kid fly though slots because there are no distractions hiking and only in a couple of spots did we have to lift them or pass them over a rock. : )

Andrea Fri, 09/01/2017 - 09:23

This blog is great! Thanks for doing it!
Did it take you 2 hours to hike to the falls and 2 hours back (total of 4 hours) or 2 hours round trip? We will also have little kids with us.

Alex Wong Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:22

We did this hike for the first time just this past April and it was fantastic!! Our watches clocked almost 6 miles total but my 8.5yo got through the whole thing and my 4yo hiked more than half of it. In early April the weather wasn't too hot, it was gorgeous.

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