border

Cedar Breaks BottomBeneath the Rim at
Cedar Breaks
Dixie National Forest

Cedar Breaks appears as a magical world where sculpted hoodoos, fins and windows shine in vivid colors. Due to the extreme erosion at the monument the formations have no equal in color or composition. The amphitheater formed long ago, but today the molding and sculpting still continues as water runs down the maze of rock pillars, carving gullies along the way, making this one of the most beautiful and rapidly eroding places in North America. There is a plan to designate Cedar Breaks as a National Park. It certainly deserves that status.

At a Glance
Photo Album:
Photos
Trail Maps: Map
Day Hike:
Yes, but often done as a backpack.
Camping: Backcountry camping is not allowed within the monument boundaries, but you can set up camp in the wilderness area.
Distance: 14-18 miles depending on side trips
Average Hiking Time : 10 hours
Equipment: Water shoes are a must. Be sure to take at least 2-3 quarts of water for each person or equipment for filtering water and plenty of energy snacks for the trip. The best map to purchase for this hike is the "Cedar Mountain/ Pine Valley Mountain" National Geographic-Trails Illustrated.
Difficulty: Moderate hiking plus river hiking.
Sun Exposure: There is full sun during most of the hike.
Trail Usage: Although many would love to hike to the bottom of the hoodoos, few ever do find a way down.
Permits : Not required.
Trail Conditions: Forest downhill path and river hiking. The water can be too high to hike if you hike too early or too late in the season.
Trailhead:
Crystal Springs Trailhead.
Trailend: Cedar Canyon
Trail Access : Highway 14 is open during the times this trail is doable.
Elevation at Trailhead: 8800'
Elevation at Trailend: 7000'
Highest Elevation : 9100'
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Best Season;   The best time of the year is June - October, when the snow pack has melted and water levels are lowest, but be sure to call the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center for current conditions before doing this route.

Cedar Breaks National Park, Utah Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Favorite Hikes in and around Zion, including Dixie National ForestShuttle: Cedar Canyon Trailend - Station one vehicle near the mouth of Ashdown Gorge in Cedar Canyon, just off U-14, 7 miles east of Cedar City or 10.2 miles west of the intersection with U-148.

Shuttle: Cedar Canyon Trailend - Station one vehicle near the mouth of Ashdown Gorge in Cedar Canyon, just off Highway 14, 7 miles east of Cedar City or 10.2 miles west of the intersection with Highway 148. Look for concrete spillways below the highway in Coal Creek just after exiting from the narrowest part of Cedar Canyon or just before entering if you are coming from Cedar City. There is an east-west running dirt road that doubles back to the east just below the highway with parking above Coal Creek.

Crystal Springs Trailhead - Drive your other vehicle about 6 miles east on Highway 14 through Cedar Canyon bypassing the campground, and navigating the tight "S" curves. Just past the bend look for a gate and dirt road (FR361) on the north side of the highway. Park, but do not block the gate.

Depending on the side routes chosen, this hike will be 14-18 miles long and takes about 10 hours to complete. Walk around the gate and up the road for a quarter-mile, passing through a spruce and fir forest. The road begins a gradual descent for the next .75 miles, bypassing the Blowhard Trail and Crystal Spring, then ends at the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Boundary. From the boundary follow the beaten path along the creek for a short distance then it will bear east, climbing a small ridge, it will then continue down the back side of the ridge. Locate the cairn at the end of the small meadow. The "trail" once again ascends 200 feet, leading to the top of the ridge overlooking Ashdown Creek to the north and Cedar Breaks to the east. Head downhill to the creek and Potato Hollow.

Potato Hollow - Once at Potato Hollow the path is faint. Hike along the wash, staying on which ever side has a visible beaten path, for the next .75 miles.

Old Road - Soon the "trail" meets an old road above the creek, turn right, and walk to the posted private property. Turn left, following the property boundary until you get to Ashdown Creek. Cross the creek, then head upstream to the old bunkhouse. . From the bunkhouse follow another road bearing east through the forest, toward Cedar Breaks. If you are not going to the hoodoos, go downstream toward the Ashdown Gorge Narrows

Ashdown Creek and Arch Creek - The next 3 miles are in Ashdown Gorge, crossing back and forth and walking along the banks. While hiking up creek, look for the dilapidated sawmill, about .75 miles north of the bunkhouse, at the confluence of Spring Creek and Ashdown Creek. At 1.6 miles, Adams Canyon Wash (usually dry) enters from the north. Both young and old Bristlecone Pines are a treat as you hike along the bank of the creek. Continue upstream, passing Meadow Hill on its southern flank, until Arch Creek enters from the left.

Chessman Wash and Chessman Ridge - Head left, up Arch Creek, where almost immediately there is a half-mile scramble left, and up Chessman Wash leading to the base of Chessman Ridge. The erosion of limestone rock in this area is photogenic and usually only viewed from above the rim. If you have the time and energy, head back to the confluence of Chessman Canyon and Arch Creek, hiking up Arch Creek where you will find more hoodoos.

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 U-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 - U-148. It's 22 miles from Mt. Carmel Junction to boundary of Dixie National Forest and 45 miles to Cedar Breaks.

Utah's Dixie National Forest: Red Canyon
Red Canyon is a unique part of Dixie National Forest that is not only traveled through on the way to Bryce Canyon, but it has eroded hoodoos like Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks. It is found along U-12

Cedar Breaks Road Map - Cedar Mountain Map

Zion National Park Maps
 
Cedar Breaks Bottom

Cedar Breaks Bottom Route

 

Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging 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.

 

gps coordinatesExit - Retrace the 3-miles from the Chessman Canyon confluence back to the bunkhouse. On return to the bunkhouse, if the weather looks threatening and if there is potential for flooding, hike back out the way you came in, otherwise continue down Ashdown Creek and Ashdown Gorge. A little more than a half-mile downstream a "trail" crosses the creek. This is the Rattlesnake Creek-Ashdown Gorge "Trail", descending from Cedar Breaks. Shortly the gorge will narrow and become a true slot canyon for the next 3-miles, so you will be required to cross the stream numerous times and navigate over slippery river boulders as you walk in the creek. Hiking poles are helpful in this section. Farther west the slot becomes deeper and more spectacular. Toms Head, a prominent landmark, is 1.5 miles downstream from the bunkhouse, and is located at the confluence of Ashdown Creek and a creek formed by Rattlesnake Creek and Lake Creek.

Rattlesnake and Lake Creek Waterfalls - It's just over a half-mile to the intersection of these two creeks. The creek entering from the left is Lake Creek and the one from the right is Rattlesnake Creek. It's about 100 to 200 yards to get to the picturesque waterfalls at the end of these two side canyons.

Flanigan Arch - Another mile downstream begin scanning the skyline, to the right, looking for a natural arch. Stay on the left (south) bank whenever possible. When you come to a house-sized black boulder on the left side of the creek, you should be able to see the arch up high.

Coal Creek - From the arch it is now about a mile down Ashdown Gorge to the trailend. Notice the 1940's vehicles that were once used for construction and mining. Crow Creek enters from the left joining Ashdown Creek where the walls begin to open up. It is now a short walk down Coal Creek to your vehicle.

Trail History - Ashdown Creek makes its way through Ashdown Gorge, originating in Cedar Breaks National Monument and it empties into the head of Coal Creek. The gorge is named after George Ashdown and family. In 1898 this family owned a ranch and two sawmills on the creek. This trail is also often called Cedar Breaks Bottoms.

GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Crystal Springs Trailhead
37°35.620 N
112°53.629 W
Elevation 8800'

Ashdown Gorge Wilderness
Boundary at Crystal Springs
37°36.543 N
112°53.788 W
Elevation 8900'

Trail Intersection with Road
at Ashdown Creek
37°38.062 N
112°54.364 W
Elevation 7809'

Bunkhouse at Sawmill
37°38.080 N
112°53.733 W
Elevation 7709'

Sawmill Structures at Spring Creek
37°38.100 N
112°53.127 W
Elevation 7844'

Arch Creek intersects Ashdown Creek
37°37.617 N
112°51.267 W
Elevation 8498'

End of hike up Chessman Canyon
37°37.875 N
112°50.548 W
Elevation 9100'

Ashdown Creek and
Rattlesnake Creek Trail Intersection
37°38.165 N
112°54.190 W
Elevation 7626'

Toms Head
37°38.186 N
112°54.984 W
Elevation 7431'

Flanagan's Arch Viewpoint
37°37.977 N
112°55.622 W
Elevation 7303'

Trailend on U-14
and Ashdown Creek
37°38.048 N
112°56.593 W
Elevation 7000'

GPS coordinates are only references and may or may not be accurate. Do not rely on GPS coordinates as the sole method of navigation. Always have an accurate, detailed map at hand and have the proper map reading and navigation skills before setting out on any hike. Many of the hikes listed in this guide travel into canyons where a GPS has limited capabilities. Always check your position with a detailed map before dropping into a canyon.

Map Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area

 


Web Southwest Parks
 

 

Share

Dixie National Forest, Utah
Cedar Mountain and Red Canyon

Best Western
East Zion Lodge

Reservations
1.888.848.6358

Zion Park Lodging

Zion National Park Lodging

East Zion Lodge
Vacation House
Group Lodging
East Zion Golf
East Zion RV Park
Vacation Packages
Family Reunion
Bus Tours
Business Retreat

Mileage from
Mt. Carmel Jct.

Zion National Park 12
Bryce Canyon 60
Grand Canyon 85
Cedar Breaks 45
Grand Staircase 9
Dixie Forest 22
Sand Dunes 11
Coyote Butte 57
Red Canyon 47
Tuweep 90

Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.

Site Map
Site Map II
Site Map III


Hiking Trails
Bartizan Arch
Spectra Point Trail
Ramparts Trail

Below the Rim
Virgin River Rim
Ashdown Gorge

Easy Trails
Cascade Falls
Bristlecone Pine
Alpine Pond

Dixie National Forest
Ranger programs
Kid's activities
Caving, fishing, hunt History
Flora
Fauna

Maps
Park map
Road map

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
 
border

Zion History
Zion Landmarks
Zion Geology
Zion Geology II
Zion Geology III
Zion Fauna

Zion Rock Art

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
All rights reserved © Copyright Zion National-Park  dot com
Do not use text, photos or maps without permission © Zion National-Park dot com
Contact the Author Tanya Milligan
Map:  Cedar Mountain - Dixie National Forest Southern Utah map Zion National Park Map - Overview of Zion Utah State Road 14 Utah State Road 148