Cedar Breaks offers three high country hiking trails, each giving a different
perspective of the area. There are more hiking trails just outside of
the monument and a few more in nearby Dixie National Forest.
Rim View Look down into the amphitheater to see the amazing erosion of Cedar Breaks.
Washes develop between rocks allowing water from rain and melting snow to run.
The action of water and gravity can result in rock falling. In extreme
cases, a layer can become saturated with enough water that the slope fails and
the sediments slide as one section.
The Alpine Pond Trail travels through meadows of wildflowers and a sub-alpine
forest to a spring-fed pond that sits in a sump. White and pale blue columbines
peek from the dark vegetation around the pool in brilliant contrast to the green
leaves. Aspen and fir frame
the picturesque setting that wildlife frequents. The path leads
past a volcanic rock area called the Talus Slope before looping back to the trailhead.
There is an informative brochure available
at the trailhead or at the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center that corresponds to the
markers along the trail. About 30-million years ago, active volcano's erupted
at Cedar Breaks sending hot ash across the land. The ash cooled to a reddish
rock which is found along the trail.
Spectra Point Trail
This 2 mile round trip hike has some
elevation changes that make it a moderate hike. The hike begins at the Spectra Point amphitheater,
near the toll booth, and follows its southern rim climbing 142' to the water towers and the site of the old Cedar Breaks Lodge and then drops 207' to Spectra Point. Spectra Point offers an impressive view of hoodoos. Along this trail,
notice the different hues of color in the rock formations.
On one side of the trail are hoodoos and on the other is a beautiful meadow
of wildflowers and fir trees. The Colorado Columbine adds a subtle beauty to this hike. A close up of the white cap rock at Cedar
Breaks is seen as well as ancient Bristlecone pines.
One Bristlecone pine at Spectra point is 1,700 years old!
Ramparts Trail The 4 mile round trip trail shares the first mile of the trip with the Spectra Point Trail. Follow the beaten path to Spectra Point where the beaten path will turn west to continue another mile and descends 333' to the second view point. This route follows the rim and allows hikers to look back toward the view points along the Cedar Breaks scenic drive. There is a refreshing creek, Shooting Star Creek, that runs along part of the trail, but breaks away, dropping off the edge of the rim about a half-mile past the Ramparts View Point.
Directions to Cedar Breaks
U-148 Closure Dates. U-148 to Cedar Breaks closes in the winter due to snow depth.
From Las Vegas: Take I-15 north to Cedar City. Take U-14 east from Cedar City to U-148 and turn left to Cedar Breaks. From Arizona: Take US-89 north through Mount Carmel Junction and turn west on U-14. Turn right at U-148 to Cedar Breaks. From Salt Lake City: Take I-15 south, exit at Parowan. Take U-143 to Cedar Breaks. From Mount Carmel Junction: Take US-89 north to U-14. Follow U-14 to U-148 and Cedar Breaks.
Summer and Kyra Milligan take a rest while hiking in the Cedar Breaks area. This is a great place to introduce kids to hiking. The Alpine Pond Trail is an excellent family hike at Cedar Breaks.
Lodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.
Below the Rim at Cedar Breaks -
This route takes hikers to the bottom of the impressive Cedar Breaks hoodoos. This 10 mile trail is best done with a car shuttle.
Cascade Falls -
The Cascade Falls trail is a half-mile hike, with few elevation changes, overlooking the southern edge of the Markagunt Plateau. The trail ends at a rocky ledge with water tumbling down from a limestone hole. Cascade Falls is the North Fork of the Virgin River.
Bristlecone Pine Trail-
This is an easy .77 mile hike to a view of Zion National Park in the distance. The trail ends in a grove of magnificent bristlecone pines. Look for the trailhead immediately west of the turn-off to Cedar Breaks. An interesting tidbit is that the bristlecone pines are the oldest living things on earth.
Ashdown Gorge - Rattlesnake Creek Route This is a 10 mile hike. The time it takes to hike depends on the water levels and how many side canyons you explore. Plan on 6 hours to a full day of hiking. With so much to see and explore the hike is often stretched out to a 2 or 3 day backpack. The hike is one way and two cars are needed or hitchhike back to your vehicle.
Cedar Breaks Bottoms - This route takes backpackers to the bottom of the impressive Cedar Breaks hoodoos and allows wilderness camping.
Twisted Forest Trail -
This 2 mile trail (roundtrip) is located just past Cedar Breaks National
Monument. Continue on SR 143 toward Brian Head Ski Resort to find the trailhead.
This trail can be hiked or biked. The path meanders past twisted
Bristlecone Pine trees, with cairns to mark the way. At the end of the trail
is a nice view of of the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness and the Cedar Breaks amphitheater.
Utah's Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain
Cedar Breaks National Monument is surrounded by Utah's Dixie National Forest. From Mt. Carmel Junction, drive north on US-89 to the junction with SR-14. SR-14 is known as Cedar Mountain which is the scenic byway to travel to Cedar Breaks. Once on Cedar Mountain, travel through the beautiful forest, and then turn at the signed highway to Cedar Breaks - SR-148.
It's 22 miles from Mt. Carmel Junction to boundary of Dixie National Forest and 45 miles to Cedar Breaks.
This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park
Contact Tanya to report errors: Email