Lower Calf Creek Falls, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
It's a parched land, Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. But the 126-foot Lower Calf Creek Falls are miraculously resilient, with a year-round flow into a lush oasis and pool. Set out early to beat the desert sun on the five-and-a-half mile round-trip trail. The loop, which starts at the Calf Creek Campground, cuts through a deep canyon and past Anasazi pictographs before coming to the falls. Here the water tumbles down and drenches the mineral-streaked Navajo Sandstone walls that surround a swimming hole too clear, cool, and inviting to pass up.
What's Nearby: See the monument area's sculptured slickrock and hoodoos at Devil's Garden or the petrified wood at Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. In the town of Escalante, grab an outdoor seat at Kiva Koffeehouse and take in the incredible view.