Grand Staircase – Escalante NM, Utah – Corn in mountain, water from wall

After three days bolting, washing and computer work it is enough: The feet have to be moved! The hike to the Lower Calf Creek Falls starts at Calf Creek campground 25 km east of Escalante Visitor Centre at hwy # 12. We hike through an amply grown canyon with high steep walls along Calf Creek. Wildflowers bloom here even in December. Calf Creek received its name from early settlers who fattened calves here. One discovers high up in the precipices– best with binoculars – natives’ grain silos, so-called granaries. The Fremont-Indians bricked up small caverns in adventurous elevation to protect their provisions. At a smooth steep wall three big figures are visible, painted with red pigment colour. Those pictographs are around 1000 years old, but the purpose and whom they portray are unknown. Pictographs are drawings from paint whereas petroglyphs are carved or picked into stone.

A nice waterfall surprises us in the end of the three-miles-walk. The brook falls from a precipice 40 m deep into a shallow basin with a sandy beach around – a probably refreshing enjoyment in summer. On our way back we accompany a herd of grazing wild turkeys for a while. Calf Creek Trail contains some short steep ascents and sections with soft sand, but dry feet. Consider around three hours for this moderately strenuous hike.

We go a few miles west and turn into Hole-in-the-Rock Road south. After 20 km we stop at Devils Garden where we may camp with our backcountry permit.

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