Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument

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Cedar Breaks National Monument

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Cedar Breaks Hiking

Escape the crowds and hit the Cedar Breaks trails. Savor the streams, meadows, mountains, wildflowers and rock formations. Vegetation is lush in the alpine forest providing shade to the already cool climate on the mountain making hiking comfortable in the summer. Most visitors have never experienced anything like Cedar Breaks. Some hikers will just want to meander along the easy rim trails: Alpine Pond Trail or the Spectra Point and Wasatch Ramparts Trail. Others will want to challenge the Ashdown Gorge - Rattlesnake and Cedar Breaks Bottoms routes, which are strenuous and time consuming.  Both take a roundabout way to the bowels of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater.  Flanigan Arch can be seen along the Ashdown Gorge route. The arch has a span of about 50 ft. and is about 100 ft. high. Due to its location it is difficult to spot unless you know where to look.

Cedar Breaks Lodging

Hiking above the Rim

Alpine Pond Trail
This is a delightful trail and different from most that you may have hiked in the nearby parks. The hike is an easy 2.1 mile trail with only a 20 ft. elevation gain that leads to a charming pond in the forest. There are two trailheads to choose from to begin the hike, either the Chessman Overlook or the Alpine Pond Trailhead. Starting at the Chessman Overlook adds an extra mile to the 2.1 Alpine Pond mileage. This path follows the rim for a mile before heading into the forest. You will pass  a talus slope and eventually loop back to where the trail started. This is a great hike for kids and families.

Spectra Point & Wasatch Ramparts Trail
This is a 2-4 mile loop depending on the path you choose. It begins at Spectra Point, then stops near the visitor center. This is a moderately difficult hike that follows the south rim of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater to an overlook point and then rambles through an old growth forest where Bristlecone Pine grow. One tree at Spectra Point is over 1,600 years old. An interesting tidbit is that the Bristlecone are the oldest living things on the planet! Continue on the trail to a nice stream and the end of Wasatch Ramparts. This is a fun hike with some elevation changes.

Bristlecone Pine Meander
Children will enjoy exploring the start of this hike as it wanders through pines, including the Bristlecone Pine trees. Don't attempt to drop down into Rattlesnake Creek unless you are prepared for that hike. To find the trailhead, drive through the monument and park just outside the Cedar Breaks boundary headed toward Brianhead Ski Resort. There is a trailhead sign for the Ashdown Creek Route at the pull-out.  The Bristlecone Pine Trail, located near, but outside the monument is another easy hike that families will enjoy.

Detailed Hiking Guide

Below the Rim Hiking

Cedar Breaks Bottoms is a wonderful hike that will take you down to the bed of the elusive Cedar Breaks hoodoos. The trail begins on Cedar Mountain and travels past Crystal Spring to the hoodoos.  If weather permits, hikers can exit via Ashdown Gorge, but this does require setting up a car shuttle or hitching. If it looks like rain, head back up the very steep path to where you began the hike and avoid the gorge.

Rattlesnake Creek
Ashdown Gorge

Hikers will enjoy this downhill trek into the beauty of Ashdown Gorge. If you set up a car shuttle, then this is a 12 mile downhill route that goes through Ashdown Gorge and out to your awaiting vehicle. There is an option to take a sneak at the Cedar Breaks hoodoos that rest at the base of the amphitheater. Consider doing this as a backpack if you are going to do the extra spur. Check with the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center before attempting this route.  Hike this route in the summer or early fall, but not before June when the water is too high.

Zion National Park Vacation: Color Country

Cedar Breaks Map Red Canyon - Dixie National Forest Cedar Mountain - Dixie National Forest Zion National Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes North Rim of the Grand Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument East Zion Welcome Center Bryce Canyon National Park Cedar Breaks National Monument Scenic Byway 89 Scenic Byway 14 Scenic Byway 143 Scenic Byway 12 Scenic Byway 9 - Zion Mt. Carmel Hwy Zion National Park Lodging Zion National Park Lodging

Cedar Breaks is just a short drive from the East side of Zion Park and is a great addition to your vacation plans.

Naturalist NotesNature Notes

Planning to prevent forest fires is a shared task since fires often spread to private land. Fires are not always bad if controlled, they can even be helpful. Many plants and animals have even adapted to them. If there are no small fires then overgrowth becomes dangerous and when a large fire occurs it is ferocious. To prevent this type of tragedy there are prescribed fires. The fire can be designed reduce fire fuel and create habitats.

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