Distance: 1.1 mile (one way)
Best time of year: Year-round
Last hiked: 2015 October
This is the much less populated and much more wilderness feeling alternative to Lower Calf Creek Falls. Found just a few miles upstream from Lower, Upper Calf Creek Falls sees a fraction of the visitors and can easily give you a more remote desert canyon experience, despite the trail being just over one mile one way, as the crow flies.
Upper Calf Creek Falls Trail Description
Follow the sandy trail to the edge of the rim and begin your descent down the slickrock sandstone. One of the more unique features of the trail are the lava boulders, brought down from Boulder Mountain by ancient glaciers. Cairns and the occasional rocky outline help guide you down as you transition from slickrock sandstone, to actual sand, and back again (and again).
Please follow only where the main trail appears to go. There is a lot of cryptobiotic soil in the area and it is imperative you avoid stepping on it. Why? It is actually a living soil that literally takes decades to grow back.
As you near the bottom of the canyon, the trail veers to the right to begin bringing you to the falls. You’ll soon see two cairns in different directions. To reach the bottom of the falls, head left. Follow the cairns and rough trail and you’ll soon see the falls at the end of the canyon just beyond a large cave. The trail winds through thick, lush vegetation to bring you to the base of the falls where a secluded desert oasis awaits.
From Boulder, Utah, head south on Highway 12 for just under 7 miles. Just past mile marker 81, look for an immediate dirt road on the right that leads to a large parking area. Look for the trailhead on the opposite side of the parking area.