Cedar City Hiking

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Cedar City Hiking | Cedar City Hiking TrailsCedar Breaks National Monument

Considered a miniature version of Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument boasts a 2,500 feet deep, three-mile long giant amphitheater of colorful rock spires, pinnacles, arches and columns. Millions of years of erosion and uplift carved the natural masterpiece, which the local Indians called the “Circle of Painted Cliffs.” Situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet and only a half-hour drive east of Cedar City, the park is home to bristlecone pine, one of the world’s oldest trees, as well as ponderosa pine, quaking aspen and a variety of wildflowers. Popular recreational activities within the park include sightseeing, photography, picnicking, camping, and hiking its two two-mile trails, the Alpine Pond Trail and Spectra Point Trail.

Contact Information:
2390 W. Hwy 56, Suite 11
Cedar City, UT 84720
435-586-9451
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Kolob Canyons

Located just off Interstate 15, 18 miles south of Cedar City, Kolob Canyons allows visitors to see Zion National Park without the crowding common in Zion Canyon, the most popular section of the park, which lies over an hour to the southeast. This northwestern portion of the park boasts a collection of red-rock monoliths and narrow canyons viewed along a five-mile scenic drive. Kolob Canyons features a visitor center and several hiking trails. The Taylor Creek Trail (7.5 miles round trip) follows a stream to the Double Arch Alcove, an overhang in the canyon wall that exhibits hanging gardens of wildflowers and colorful streaks of mineral-laden water. The Laverkin Creek Trail (14 miles round trip) rewards hikers with views of Kolob Arch, one of the largest natural arches in the world.

Contact Information:
Kolob Canyons
Zion National Park
Kolob Canyon, UT 84720
435-586-9548
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Parowan Gap

A narrow pass traveled by Native Americans for centuries, the Parowan Gap exhibits petroglyphs these ancient people carved on their way through. In 1849, an exploring party led by Mormon Apostle Parley P. Pratt became the first white men to see the petroglyphs. They drew depictions of the chiseled images in their journals. Archaeologists believe the petroglyphs are the work of several different cultures and are unsure exactly what the designs mean. They speculate the images were part of a hunting ritual or a religious activity. The petroglyphs, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are not the only distinct aspect of the Parowan Gap. It is an unusual geologic formation – a classic example of a wind gap, where an ancient river cut a 600-foot-deep notch in the red stone.

Contact Information:
176 E. D.L. Sargent Dr.
Cedar City, UT 84720
435-586-2401
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Cedar City Hiking | Cedar City Hiking TrailsThree Peaks Recreation Area

Located nine miles northwest of Cedar City, Three Peaks Recreation Area offers visitors picnicking and camping among a backdrop of volcanic rock formations and rolling hills. The area boasts miles of mountain bike and ATV trails and hosts several 4X4 rock crawling competitions throughout the year. Guests may reserve one of the area’s two picnic pavilions at the Iron County Visitor Center.

Contact Information:
Iron County Visitor Center
581 N. Main
Cedar City, UT 84720
435-586-4484
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Cedar Breaks Area

Alpine Pond Trail

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Change:20 feet

Walking time: 1.5 hours

Difficulty rating : Moderate

Accessed at the Alpine Pond Trailhead or Chessmen Ridge Overlook, approximately two miles north of the visitor center, this loop trail runs for a mile along the rim, which boasts a plethora of scenic viewpoints. The other mile meanders through a forest of fir, spruce and quaking aspen and wildflower-filled meadows. As the name suggests, located near the center of the trail is Alpine Pond. One of the trail’s other attractions is many large, reddish boulders of volcanic rock. A trail guide, obtained at either access point for a nominal fee, expounds on the trail’s geology, and flora and fauna through a series of markers along the path. This is an ideal hike for the whole family.

Bristlecone Pine Trail

Distance:0.77 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Change:200 feet

Walking time: 30 minutes

Difficulty rating : Easy

This short, easy loop trail is ideal for all ages. Located 18 miles east of Cedar City on UT 14, the trail meanders through a spruce and fir forest. The main attractions, however, are the Bristlecone pines along a ridge of cliffs, which provide an excellent view of the north end of Zion National Park. Bristlecones are thought to be the oldest living organisms on earth.

Rattlesnake Creek – Ashdown Gorge Trail

Distance:9.8 miles

Trail Type: One way (shuttle car required)

Elevation Change: 3,460 feet

Walking time: 6 hours

Difficulty rating : Strenuous

This hike for more adventurous souls boasts scenery anyone can appreciate, from high, forested wilderness to a narrow creek gorge. The best way to traverse this trail is to leave a shuttle car at the end of the trail, which is 7.8 miles east of Cedar City’s Main Street/Center Street intersection on State Highway 14 at a large pullout area on the left side of the road. The trail begins five miles north of the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center on highway 143. The well-marked trailhead lies just north of the park boundary. The most memorable part of the trail is the last 3.4 miles, which leads through a narrow, limestone gorge whose walls rise to 600 feet. This section includes a 100-foot tall monolith called Tom’s Head and Flanigan Arch, which spans 200 feet. Hikers must wade through the creek in the gorge.

Spectra Point

Distance: 2 miles

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change: 400 feet

Walking time: 1.5 hours

Difficulty rating : Moderate

The two-mile (round trip) Spectra Point Trail, accessed from the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center parking lot, runs along the south rim of the national monument’s natural amphitheater of colorful hoodoos. Spectra Point offers a spectacular view of the amphitheater. Just before reaching the viewpoint, hikers pass a stand of bristlecone pine, the oldest living organisms on earth. One bristlecone pine along the trail is 1,600 years old! Serious hikers can choose to proceed one mile beyond Spectra Point, descending 300 feet in elevation via switchbacks, to another panoramic vista, Ramparts Overlook.

Cedar City Area

Coal Creek Trail

Distance:2 miles

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change:N/A

Walking time: 1 hour

Difficulty rating : Easy

Accessed from Cedar City’s West Canyon Park, near the mouth of Cedar Canyon, this paved trail is a favorite spot for local walkers and joggers. The trail parallels Coal Creek and boasts benches and water fountains along the route. It displays native plants, trees and wildflowers.

Cascade Falls Trail

Distance: 1.23 miles

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change:514 feet

Walking time: 1 hour

Difficulty rating : Moderate

This short, scenic trail, overlooking the pink cliffs and forests of the Markagunt Plateau and the distant canyons and monoliths of Zion National Park, leads to a waterfall that gushes out of the rock, the head of the North Fork of the Virgin River. A wooden deck provides a fantastic vista of the falls. The trailhead is located in Dixie National Forest, 28 miles east of Cedar City on State Highway 14. To access the trailhead, turn off the highway at the road to Navajo Lake. Instead of heading to the lake, take the left fork of the road past the dumpsters and follow the signs to the trailhead.

Echo Canyon Trail

Distance:2.5 miles

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change: 640 feet

Walking time: 2 hours

Difficulty rating : Moderate

Accessed at the Cascade Falls trailhead, on the other side of the restroom building, this trail is a short section of the 32.5-mile Virgin River Rim Trail that provides superb views of the area’s pink cliffs and pine forests. Sitting atop the Markagunt Plateau, hikers can see the canyons of northern Zion National Park in the distance. The highlight of the trail is when it nears Strawberry Point, where hikers will be delighted with a new perspective at every turn.

Kolob Canyons/Kanarraville Area

Kanarra Creek Canyon

Distance: 3.2 miles

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change: 470 feet

Walking time: 4 hours

Difficulty rating : Moderate

A miniature version of the Zion Narrows, this incredible narrow canyon requires hikers to wade through the stream and climb up ladders to navigate past several waterfalls. The canyon is extremely photogenic, but difficult to capture a good picture in many locations because of its lack of light. To access the trailhead, drive south of Cedar City 12 miles on I-15/Old U.S. 91 to Kanarraville. From the main highway, take a left onto 100 North and follow it east up the canyon to the trailhead.

Kolob Arch (LaVerkin Creek Trail)

Distance: 14 miles

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change: 2,000 feet

Walking time: 7 hours

Difficulty rating : Strenuous

One of the largest natural arches in the world, Kolob Arch, located 700 feet above the canyon floor, spans approximately 310 feet. Hikers can choose to make this a long day hike or may camp overnight in one of 15 designated campsites along the trail (Permits are required for overnight trips). Hikers may access the trail at the Lee Pass Trailhead, four miles from the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center. The last two miles until the spur trail that leads to the arch follow LaVerkin Creek, which is full of swimming holes for hikers seeking to cool off during the summer. Hikers can also access Kolob Arch from the Hop Valley Trailhead along the Kolob Terrace Road.

Middle Fork of Taylor Creek (Taylor Creek Trail)

Distance: 5.4 miles

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change: 560 feet

Walking time: 3-4 hours

Difficulty rating : Moderate

The most popular trail in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, the Taylor Creek Trail traverses a narrow, colorful finger canyon to a double arch alcove, a deep overhang where water seeps through the colorful rock. The relatively level path passes two historic cabins. An alternative hike up the North Fork of Taylor Creek from the Larson Cabin (the first cabin along the trail) leads to a view of Pico Rosado Arch beneath Horse Ranch Mountain, whose summit is the highest point in Zion National Park (8,726 feet). Hikers access the trail from Taylor Creek Trailhead, approximately two miles east of the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center.

Timber Creek Overlook Trail

Distance: 1 mile

Trail Type: Up and back

Elevation Change:100 feet

Walking time: ½ hour

Difficulty rating : Easy

Located at the end of the Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive, the Timber Creek Trail provides views of Kolob Terrace, Timber Creek and the Pine Valley Mountains. On a clear day, hikers can see Arizona’s Mount Trumbull, 100 miles southwest. This is an ideal trail for children.

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