Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
by Erik Molvar & Tamara Martin (Falcon Guides)
© 2013 Erik Molvar & Tamara Martin/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This is a great hike and an excellent way to see Cedar Breaks Monument if you are an active tourist in need of a good workout! As you set out, the trial is innocuous passing through a grassy field covered in wild flowers, giving you the feeling of an easy stroll. Then, you hit two breathtaking overlooks of Cedar Breaks amphitheatre and you can wander out onto a precipice as far as your fears will let you. After that, it's straight down a loose, steep hill to another ridge with more breathtaking views of the other side of the canyon. After that it's a bit of a more rational descent on steep switchbacks to a meadow that looks like something out of a fairy tale with wild flowers everywhere. Views again in two directions. After another descent you cross the creek and meander for miles up and down the rolling trail alongside the creek. We didn't go past the junction with the Alpine Trail out to the road as thunderstorms were brewing and we had only one car (it was a spontaneous day hike on the way home to Southern California). However, I think that would make the hike even more fun. The only downside for me is there was no point in the first 6 miles in, where I was surrounded by narrow canyon walls on either side. Surprisingly, hiking back up the ridiculously steep trail to the top wasn't as hard as we thought it would be. We powered back up without much trouble. However, we'd been traveling between 6000-8000 feet for a week and this was our fifth hike to altitudes 10K or more (the trail head is at 10K). So, bear that in mind, as it is very steep going back up. THe views on the way up are even better as you are facing the canyon walls as you ascend.
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