Shooting Star Creek
and Bartizan Arch
Most of the trails and view points at Cedar Breaks tend to congregate around the amphitheater, but this route will take you off the beaten path to see a small but unique triple arch called Bartizan Arch. The rarely seen structure was named for the lofty promontory that stretches out toward the western boundary. Along the way hikers will also get a glimpse of the stair-stepped cascade of Shooting Star Creek as it splashes down a vertical rim-rock sending water on its way into the riparian void far below.
At a Glance Photo Album:Photos Trail Maps:Map Day Hike: Yes Distance: 4.5 miles round-trip. Average Hiking Time: 4 hours round-trip. Equipment: Bring 2 -3 liters of water per person, sunscreen, supportive hiking shoes, sun protective clothing, emergency supplies. Difficulty: Strenuous hiking. Sun Exposure: You will be in full sun most of the hike. Trail Usage: The trail will be well traveled to the end of the Ramparts Trail, but then few venture beyond that section of the path where the trek becomes more of a route-finding adventure. Permits: Not required.
Trail Conditions: The long dirt path has several elevation changes and you will be required to do some route finding in a forested area. Trailhead: Cedar Breaks Visitor Center parking lot. Trailend: Same as trailhead Trail Access: Check road conditions before heading to the monument in the fall and winter. U-148 closes in the winter, but the Monument remains open to cross country skiers and snowmobiles. Snowmobiles are limited to roads. Highways are not plowed after the first large snowfall, which may occur as early as October. Normally the roads open again in May. Best Season: This route is best done in the summer or fall before winter storms make hiking hazardous near the creek and arch. Elevation Loss and Gain: 700 feet
Trailhead - Begin at the parking area where the toll booth and Visitor Center are located. Spectra Point and the Ramparts Trail share the same trailhead and trail. From the parking area the path ascends a short distance north, leading to the rim, then skirts the edge of the canyon to the southwest as it approaches some water tanks and then descends to Spectra Point. Do a quick jaunt to Spectra Point for an amazing view into the depths of Cedar Breaks and then backtrack a short distance to the Ramparts Trail and walk westerly as the path continues to descend until its end.
Shooting Star Creek - From the end of the Rampart Trail, continue west, staying near the rim for about a quarter of a mile. When the terrain becomes steeper, bear left, leaving the rim and heading into the vegetation. The creek will be on your left as you head downward through the thick vegetation. Chose your path carefully, picking the clearest route through the foliage. Travel will be downhill in a southwest direction, descending toward the creek. Do not go all the way into the bottom of Shooting Star Creek, instead bear to the right and contour above the drainage bottom. Choose the easiest path to follow downstream as it approaches the rim until arriving at the 40 foot high spillover. You will have hiked almost 2 miles at this point. Be cautious approaching the edge where the limestone is unstable. Whenever rock is wet it is even more apt to break, but wet or dry, avoid getting too close to the rim. Walk to the north side of the cascade for a good place to see the multi-stepped waterfall. The water should be running most of the year after a high snowfall season, but it may dry up in the late summer or fall.
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.
The Bartizan Arch at Cedar Breaks is off the beaten path, but certainly worth the effort to get there. This waterfall can be found along the way.
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.
Bartizan Arch - From the cascade hunt for a game trail that leads farther west-north-west. This path will drop in and climb out of several small drainages. The Bartizan is the peak at the end of the ridge that resembles a turret, visible about .2 miles from the cascade. You should be able to see the southern side of the structure and a short distance to the south or left of the high point, poised on the rim edge, you should be able to identify two arcs of the arch. There is a small third arc but it is only visible from the backside. The best area to get photos is near the Shooting Star cascade, however all three arc's cannot be seen from there. Scramble toward the arches, being careful while traversing the loose limestone scree slopes. From the arch bear north to arrive atop the Bartizan. There are flat areas there offering shade, making an ideal spot to eat lunch and relax as well as to take unique shots of the amphitheater from a different perspective before the mostly uphill return trip. Return the same way you came.
Shooting Star Creek Cascade
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
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