Battle Creek Falls Hike

Trail Head GPS: 40.363, -111.70082 

Located in Pleasant Grove, Utah, this easy and fun hike is perfect to take the family or young scout groups on.  The trail head is located next to the Kiwanis park at the end of E 200 S.  There is a large dirt parking lot where the road ends.  The trail is well groomed and very wide for those larger groups that explore this awesome hike.

As you near the waterfall you will start to hear and see it through the trees.  At this point of the trail you will also notice that the elevation of the trail will incline quickly.  Total elevation change on this hike is roughly 375 feet. But don't worry, the hike is downhill the whole way out and will pass quickly as you walk back to your car.

Watch the little ones around the top of the waterfall if you choose to make the climb up to the top as it is a tall drop off.  Continuing on this trail will eventually lead to multiple other hikes that lead you through the Mt. Timpanogos area.

Battle Creek Falls

Red Reef Hike

With waterfalls, swimming holes, and ancient pictographs, it’s no surprise that the Red Reef Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the St. George area.

At just 1.5 miles round trip, this trail is excellent for everyone in the family, including children and beginners.


The Red Reef Trail begins near Campsite 2 in the Red Cliffs Campground, just before the road crosses Quail Creek in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area. Red Cliffs is located about 15 miles northeast of St. George.

Directions from St. George

Take Exit 22 off of I-15.

Turn south onto Old Highway 91 and continue south for about 2 miles.

Turn right at the signed junction for Red Cliffs Recreation Area.

Continue under the freeway then turn left and follow the road into the Red Cliffs Campground.

Directions from the North

Take Exit 23 from I-15.

Turn left off the exit, then right onto Main Street/Old Highway 91.

Continue south for 3.5 miles to the signed junction on the right.

Continue under the freeway then turn left and follow the road into the Red Cliffs Campground.

Parking at the trailhead requires a $5 day use fee per vehicle. Parking spaces are very limited, making access difficult on busy weekends. The BLM may even turn cars away during peak usage due to lack of parking.

NOTE: The freeway underpass used to access Red Cliffs will not accommodate vehicles taller than 11’9”.

The Hike

The Red Reef Trail begins by traversing a sagebrush-covered bench above Quail Creek before dropping down to the watercourse. The trail follows the creek for a short distance before a well-worn path appears on the left. This leads to the upper falls and moki steps, but it is worth following the stream another 150 yards to the base of the lower pools and waterfall (37.228237,-113.410511).

Beyond the lower falls, keep an eye out for a large alcove on the right (37.229305,-113.410987). Most hikers pass by this, but it makes a great side trip if you have the time. This alcove, likely once used by ancient Native Americans, contains at least two pictographs. Appreciate the rock art without touching it so that it can be preserved for future generations. Do not add to graffiti on the walls.

The canyon narrows just beyond the alcove. Those trying to keep their feet dry might have a tough time as the trail approaches a few more pools and small waterfalls. Just to the right of the upper falls there are deep steps cut into the rock face that are commonly known as moki steps. You can use the moki steps to access the more difficult sections of the canyon above, but for most, this is the turnaround point of the family friendly section of the Red Reef Trail.

Relax at the pools and enjoy the scenery before returning the way you came. Round trip mileage is approximately 1.5 miles.

Rules and Regulations

A day use fee of $5 per vehicle is required. Pay fees at the self-pay station near the entrance to the campground. You may use Federal Inter-agency Annual, Access, and Senior Passes for day use fees. Stop by the self-pay station for more information. 

All pets must be on leash no longer than 6 feet.

No littering.

Pack out what you pack in.

Special Considerations

Quail Creek has high potential for flash flooding. Do not enter the canyon if it is raining, if the creek is flowing swiftly, or if there is a high chance of precipitation. If you notice a sudden change in water clarity or flow, seek higher ground.

The depth of the pools can vary, especially after flood events. Never jump into a pool without first verifying depth.

Area: Red Cliffs

Nearest Town: Washington, UT

Difficulty: Easy*

Distance: 1.5 miles round trip

Dog Friendly: Yes, leashes required

Optimum Season: Year round

Latitude: 37.224395

Longitude: -113.406284

Usage: Heavy


This trail guide  by Backcountry Post.

Lower Calf Creek Falls

Trail Head GPS:37.793607, -111.415004

This in n' out 5 mile hike is one that you will remember forever. Wonderful hike for the whole family to take. The entire trail is sand which will slow your pace down, but children 5+ should not have too many issues. Remember, your legs are just a bit longer than the kids so don't rush too fast.  Along the trail there are 14 markers / information stops (Points of interest include; Fremont Indian granaries, petroglyphs, and wildlife).  These work great to gauge your distance as number 14 is the end of the trail where it meets the Lower Falls. The hike, for the most part, follows Calf Creek through a beautiful red rock canyon.  At the end of the trail is the 126 foot Lower Calf Creek waterfall.  The pool is roughly 10-15 feet at it's deepest point and the water feels like one degree above freezing when you first jump in. Pack a lunch and relax on the beach in the middle of a canyon in Escalante, UT.

Parking: Just off of highway 12 near Escalante, UT. The trailhead is located within Calf Creek Campground. Day use parking is $5.00 and overnight camping is $15.00/day. The trail is very popular and parking can become an issue during holidays.  Best to start this hike early morning so you beat the heat and the rush of other hikers.

Family Tree



we take a look at

requirement #6 of the Genealogy Merit Badge

.  I have heard on a few occasions that you do not know where your going unless you know where you have been. This is very true when it comes to genealogy.  You do not fully know who you are until you know who you came from.  For some it might be knowing why and how your family is really good at making raspberry jam. For me, it's understanding why there is a love of working with your hands and gardening.  Usually we tend to like and do the same things that our parents like and do... and where did they start?  Traditions in my mind define our families. In a good way our traditions separate us from others (how boring would it be if everyone was good at everything) and make us unique in this big melting pot of a world.

One why of showing your lineage is through a Family Tree or using a Fan Chart.  An excellent resource on creating these images is

.  This website is owned and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Another great website is

Family Tree

Family Fan Chart

Difference Between Frogs and Toads




Imagine crossing a swampy area in your canoe and you hear the distance rib-it rib-its.  Do you know if it is a frog or a toad?... The hint is in the area where you hear the croaking. Since you are in a swampy area, the chances are extremely high that you just heard a frog.  Even though frogs and toads are of the same animal group they are very different animals.  Below are some ways to identify between a frog and a toad.


  • Narrow Bodies
  • Eyes are large, round, and high on the head
  • Skin is smooth and moist
  • Habitat is near water
  • Longer hind legs
  • Able to jump high and long distances
  • Many predators


  • Do not require their home to be near water
  • Wider / flatter bodies
  • Hind legs are shorter and less powerful
  • Will take small hops and sometimes will run rather than jump
  • Skin is dry, bumpy, and rough
  • Eyes are lower on the head and almost "football" shaped
  • Not many predators. Their skin lets out a bitter taste and smell that burns the eyes and nostrils of its predators.

Awesome Critter Video posted on YouTube by NatureNorth of the 7 week hatching and growth cycle of a frog.

Diagrams of Sports Playing Areas

On this #MeritBadgeMonday we take a look at Req. 4c of the Sports Merit Badge

4c. Draw diagrams of the playing areas for your two sports.

With Super Bowl approching us this weekend, it only seemed fitting to have the diagram for Football be our first pick.  As you look through all the diagrams for each sport's playing field ask yourself the following:

What items are similar between each sport?

What makes each sport unique?

How many are played on grass?

How many positions are associated with each sport?

Are numbers always present with each sport?

Which sport are you running the most in?

and any other questions you can ask yourself...








Track and Field


Foam Sword

This #HowToTuesday we are making a fun Foam Sword

Items Needed:

  • Foam Pool Noodle
  • 3/4" PVC Pipe
  • 3/4" PVC End Cap
  • Piece of Leather / Vinyl / or Heavy Fabric
  1. Cut the PVC pipe to the desired length of your sword (this example is 12 inches)
  2. Cut the Foam Pool Noodle 2 inches longer than the length of the PVC pipe you just cut.
  3. Cut the fabric into an oval shape and cut circles on both ends so you can feed it onto the pipe. (this example is 8 inches long)
  4. Place the PVC end cap onto one end of the PVC pipe (this is now the bottom of the sword)
  5. Feed the pvc pipe through the wholes in the fabric (this is your hand shield)
  6. Slide the foam pool noodle onto the PVC pipe
Make different colors for team competitions
The sword can be any length. Just be sure to cut the pool noodle a minimum of 2 inches longer than the PVC pipe.

Diseases and Immunization

Public Health Merit Badge: Requirement 2

With the recent outbreaks of

Measles at Disneyland

and this time of year being the busiest with cases of Influenza, we thought it would be a good time to cover a few things for the Public Health Merit Badge on this #MeritBadgeMonday.


Explain the meaning of


Immunization: A process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.

b. Name five diseases against which a young child should be immunized and two diseases against which everyone should be re-immunized periodically.

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

  • Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis B

  • Influenza (Re-immunize Yearly)

  • Measles

  • Mumps

  • Pertussis (whooping cough)

  • Pneumococcal disease

  • Polio

  • Rubella (German measles)

  • Tetanus/Diphtheria (lockjaw) (Re-immunize Every 10 Years)

  • Rotavirus

  • Varicella (chickenpox)


Using the diseases you chose for requirement 1, discuss the diseases for which there is currently no treatment or immunization.

The of the diseases we found online that many people are being infected with was Malaria.  Ebola and the "common" cold are 


on the top of the list .

Malaria is one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. Each year there are 250 million cases worldwide, and 863,000 deaths. One in five childhood deaths in Africa is from malaria.

Australia was certified as malaria-free in 1981, however there are still hundreds of cases here each year in people who catch it overseas. While there are a number of anti-malaria drugs, malaria parasites in some parts of the world have developed resistance to these.

Symptoms sufferers have a fever, headache, and vomiting, with symptoms usually appearing between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite.

A vaccine?Earlier this month researchers from Griffith University in Queensland said they believed they have discovered a malaria vaccine. PlasProtecT uses low doses of the parasites, put to sleep using a chemical treatment. The first phase of the human trials will take place in the next 12 months.

Cub Scout Lava Lamp

Items Needed:
  • An inexpensive bottle of cooking oil
  • Empty Cup
  • Cup of Water
  • Food Coloring (you can choose any color)
  • Effervescent Antacid Tablets

How To:
  • Remove 1/4 of oil from the bottle into an empty cup
  • Place about 3-5 drops of food coloring into the cup of water and mix
  • Pour the water / food coloring mixture into the oil bottle leaving about 1/2 inch of air. (you may need to use a funnel)
  • Break up the Effervescent Antacid Tables and drop one piece in at a time.
  • Make sure to never place the lid on the oil bottle as the tablets are dissolving. It will explode and get oil/water everywhere. 
Whats Happening?
You will find that the oil and water will never mix together. The oil naturally will float on top of the water due to the oil having a lower density than the water. The Effervescent antacid tablets release carbon dioxide gas and take some of the water along for the ride as it rises up to the top. The gas escapes as it reaches the top and the water droplets detach and fall back to the bottom. The reason the tablet fizzes in such a way is because it contains citric acid and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), the two react with water to form sodium citrate and carbon dioxide gas (those are the bubbles that carry the colored water to the top of the bottle). Place the lid on the bottle for storing.

Try This
With the lid attached tightly; Tip the bottle form side to side and see what happens.

The Four Whistle Commands Used On A Range And Their Related Verbal Commands

Leaders: As many of you know, your voice can only travel so far.  Especially as a group of Scouts are talking or firing at the shooting sports range. The following (world wide) whistle commands relate to Archery.
  • Two whistle blasts: archers may proceed from the waiting line to the shooting line.
  • One whistle blast: archers may place an arrow on the bowstring and begin shooting.
  • Three whistle blasts: archers may walk forward to the targets and pull their arrows.
  • Four or more whistle blasts: stop shooting immediately.
For Scouts: It is of the most importance of safety to follow the Range Master's commands at all times.

Keep Your Life Jacket On!

Six-fifteen-thirteen (06/15/2013)

At first glance this looks like the combination to my high school locker. In fact, it is the date that was almost on my headstone.

As a family we decided to spend Father’s Day weekend this year in St. George, Utah with Grandma and Grandpa at their condo.  Saturday morning I had the urge to go running and explore the neighborhood a little. To the south of the condo is a golf course that was calling my name.  6:45 a.m. and the temperature was already in the high 70’s.  As I reached the end of the golf course I was only at 1 mile and decided to hit the streets.  After winding through neighborhoods and taking a right onto a major road leading back to the i15, I realized that my 4 mile run had now turned into an 8 mile run.  There was no access through the hill side back to the condo and running on the freeway was not an option.  I turned around and headed back the way I came from.  I remember around mile number 6 I was repeating in my mind the little song that Dori sings during Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”  I finally reached my starting point.

Time to get ready for the water…

One thing that my father-in-law loves to do is to go boating.  Ever since I have known this man he has owned a boat.  I am not talking about a hunting/fishing or ski boat… his boat is a mini rocket that skips on the water. 

We make our way to Sandhallow Reservoir and claimed our spot on the shore line. The Southern Utah scenery is amazing with the contrast of the blue water and the red sand.  After some lunch, a sand castle, and getting use to the water, it’s time to go for a ride in Papa’s boat. I load my three kids into the boat while my wife stays on shore (at this time she is 7 months pregnant). The water is a little choppy as the wind is blowing a little.  There is so much excitement on my kid’s faces as grandpa speeds across the water.  We stop at a little cove that has some rocks that people are jumping off of into the water.  My brother-in-law dives off the back of the boat to cool off and my oldest daughter and I decide we would like to do the same thing. I end up with all three kids in the water bobbing next to the back of the boat.  The two youngest have life jackets on while my oldest daughter and myself do not… I know… stupid idea.  After 5 minutes in the water, I load all the kids back into the boat and we start back to the shore to meet up with the rest of the family.

A couple of hours have passed by and it is around 4:30 in the afternoon.  Needless to say, it is really hot! Mother Nature also decided to add a few more elements into the mix as the wind is now gusting and the water is now really choppy.  Grandpa announces that he is going out one more time on the water and all three of my kids start rushing to the boat.  I take a seat with my youngest on my lap and we are again speeding across the lake, this time with my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and 4 kids.  We reach the same destination that we swam in a few hours before and grandpa turns the motor off.  The water is a little choppy, but not too bad for jumping in.  While removing her life jacket, my oldest voices that she wants to jump in again.  In unison, I along with my mother-in-law ask her if she should really take off her life jacket.  She hesitates for a second and says yes since she wants to dive in.  I get into the water with my eight year old son (who has a life jacket on) and hold on to the back of the boat.  We were fully unaware of how the wind was working against us.  My son is now 10 feet away from the boat and my daughter is struggling to bring him in.  Letting go of the boat I get to my kids and help my son. Expecting my oldest daughter to be right behind me, I look back and see that she is now about 20 feet away from the boat.  I let go of the boat again and swim to her to give her aid.  As I reach her I can see that she is struggling a little and ask if she is ok.  I turn to see how far we have to swim and now the boat is about 40 feet away.  Instantly, knowing that we are going to need it, I yell for help.  As I do this, a wave comes from behind me and I end up getting water in my mouth.  I start choking on water and realize that I am actually the one that needs help.  I quickly roll onto my back and start floating with my daughter next to me.  My Father-In-Law acts to my call for help and dives in to assist us (he also does not have a life jacket).  I am struggling to get the water out of my throat and begin wheezing and gasping for air.  My Father-In-Law reaches us very quickly and pushes me up as I feel myself starting to go down. I am arching my back as hard as I can to stay afloat and trying to keep my mouth out of the water.  As he wraps his arm around me to swim me back to the boat I look at him and hook my foot between my Daughters legs who is currently screaming that we are going to die. I was not going to leave my daughter in the water and I am willing to have her saved rather than me.  This whole time my Sister-In-Law and Mother-In-Law are on the boat with the younger kids and yelling for help.

I found myself battling with myself.  My body is going into survival/”freakout” mode while in my mind I was telling myself to “stay calm!” I could see the fear in my Father-In-Law’s eyes as both he and I are losing strength as we battle the water.  I am struggling to even breathe as I am unable to get the water out of my lungs.  Air is slowly wheezing in and out and for some reason all I can hear is my lungs struggling to keep me alive.  Holding my daughter up with my leg and my Father-In-Law holding my upper body, I begin asking my Father in Heaven if this is really it…. What will my family do without me… Please take care of them… Please help us.  As I was conversing with my Father in Heaven and preparing myself for the worst, I remember a calmness coming over me and a voice within my head saying that “all will be well”.  With my head mostly in the water I can hear a motor coming close. My eyes move in the direction of the sound and I see two boats.  As the boats reach us its passengers throw out life jackets and an inner tube in our direction. Instantly all three of us hook an arm onto the inner tube and a couple of men jump in to assist us.  My Father-In-Law was surprised to see that the first man who jumped in to save us was his neighbor (his old Home Teacher) who moved to Southern Utah a couple of years ago. 

After being dropped off from one of the rescue boats to our boat, I collapse in the passenger seat and hold my youngest daughter.  I am very grateful for the quick response of my Father-In-Law.  I am grateful for my Father in Heaven for preserving my life along with my Daughters. 

One Year Later…

Lesson learned… Never, ever, jump in without your life jacket on.  To this day I am still a little hesitant to get into water that is more than 5 feet deep.  I can still vividly remember the sounds and feeling (both physical and mental) associated with this experience.  I am truly grateful for my Father in Heaven for preserving my life.  I am grateful for my opportunity to continue being a father and husband to my family. I am also grateful for the spiritual lifejackets our Father in Heaven has provided us with.  Please do not jump into the “Lake of Life” without your spiritual life jacket on. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and the guidance it give me and my family.  I have also learned that nothing in life matters unless it involves your family.  It does not matter the size of the house, amount of the paycheck, or how many toys you have... all that matters is family.  I love my family with all my heart and grateful that we are able to create many more memories instead of having their last one of me be drowning in Southern Utah.

Photo from my run the morning of 06/15/2013