Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lower Calf Creek Falls @ the Escalente

Grand Staircase-Escalante NM is probably best viewed from the air to get the real effect of the uprising and "steps" of the plateau. There are a lot of interesting backways to explore, but unfortunately, my van problems prevented me from doing much of that. So, I settled in at a BLM camp at Lower Calf creek and did a little exploring there.
The hike to the falls were great, and I settled a ways in and focused on the creek. Man, it is loaded with trout, including some fairly nice ones for such a small stream. Lots of Brookies...
The falls are 126'. I don't know if there is a way up to the brink or not, but it would have to be a real chore to get there. I found a real nice spot where most folks were not exploring, that included a reflection pool of the falls :). Occasionally someone would pierce the roar of the falls with a whoop, holler or shout of surprise as they entered the pool of the falls. I don't know what they might have been expecting, but I think the water is in the low 50's.
On the way back out, I went for a cache. It was planted up the scarp at the base of the cliff. Rated at 4 (out of 5) stars for difficulty, it neared meeting the rating. I am glad I brought along a trek pole for navigating back down. As I found the cache, I wondered what possessed them to put it in such a place. As I turned and took in the views, it became apparent. Above the treeline, the upper half of the falls were in view, and I was nearly level with the brink. Awesome vista!
After completing the hike, I went to the Escalante river to explore trailheads for possible hikes the next day. They each visited canyons, and offered natural bridges, arches and other fine features. In taking a look at the trails, I decided against either, just because of the labor of the hikes and lengths. Oh well...another time maybe.
The next morning I headed out, making my way to Capital Reef NP. The hwy crossed over Boulder mtn, just below the summit. The road climbed to 9,600' and the summit is nearer 11,000. A plaque states that this is the highest forested summit in the country. Aspens, Ponderosa's and a host of other trees allt he way to the summit. It just broke my heart not to take the time to explore this beautiful alpine region, but my van was not doing too well with this climb (a severe understatement!). I did make one stop at a pullout a few miles the other side of the summit for lunch and a cache. This stop had awesome vistas of Capital Reef and the Henry mtns. As I was doing the search for the cache, I had a weasel join me for a bit. It was too skittish for me to get a picture, but actually a very good looking animal, at least in the coloration of its fur. It finally scurried over the hillside not to be seen again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.