Rattlesnake Creek - Ashdown Gorge Trail

Cedar City, Utah 84721

Rattlesnake Creek - Ashdown Gorge Trail

Rattlesnake Creek - Ashdown Gorge Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This diverse hike has something for almost everyone-from high alpine wilderness to a walk through a narrow limestone river gorge. There are also several nice views of the Cedar Breaks along the way. Finally, during most of the summer you will be unlikely to meet other hikers along this trail, and the solitude makes it an even more pleasant way to spend a day.

Although the hike can easily be completed in one day, many people prefer to extend it to a two or three day backpack trip. There is plenty to see."

More Rattlesnake Creek - Ashdown Gorge Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks (Falcon Guides)
Erik Molvar & Tamara Martin
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"A long day hike or short overnight trip down a primitive route from the Markagunt Plateau to the lowlands, followed by a wade through Ashdown Gorge. This rugged route makes a long descent along the edge of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater, then follows a wading route down Ashdown Creek through its spectacular gorge. The highway is plowed free of snow during the wintertime but only during daylight hours. The jewel in the crown of the Markagunt Plateau is Cedar Breaks National Monument."

Rattlesnake Creek - Ashdown Gorge Trail Trip Reports

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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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Trail Information

Cedar City
Nearby City
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
6 hours
Midsummer to mid-fall
10,460 feet
Trailhead Elevation
10,460 feet
Top Elevation
Cedar Breaks National Monument, Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area, Dixie National Forest
Local Contacts
Brian Head (USGS), Flanigan Arch (USGS)
Local Maps