Cedar Breaks National Monument |

Markagunt Plateau

Hiking Cedar Breaks National Monument - Markagunt PlateauRoadside Attraction Cedar Breaks National Monument - Markagunt Plateau Hiking Cedar Breaks National Monument
Markagunt Plateau

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Easy/Moderate Hikes or Roadside Views
LENGTH: 1+ Hours

Tue

56 | 44

Wed

58 | 42

Thu

59 | 42

Fri

57 | 44

Sat

53 | 38

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall (Cross Country Skiing in the winter)

Tue

56 | 44

Wed

58 | 42

Thu

59 | 42

Fri

57 | 44

Sat

53 | 38

View Full Weather Details
Sunset along the ramparts trail

Sunset along the ramparts trail

Made a national monument in 1933, Cedar Breaks National Monument encompasses a large eroded amphitheater. The monument gives stunning views of the forbidden landscape below. The amphitheater stretches about 3 miles wide and plunges over 2000 feet from the rim to the valley floor. It is an impressive place to visit.

If the views remind you if nearby Bryce Canyon, it is no coincidence. The geologic layers that created Bryce Canyon are the same that created Cedar Breaks, though the colors a bit more muted at Cedar Breaks. The iron and manganese in the rock are what created the reds and oranges, and the led the native peoples to refer to the area as the Circle of Painted Cliffs.

The monument hosts several overlooks, a small visitor center, a campground, and three hiking trails. The west face of the amphitheater lends itself to stunning sunsets. Though many just visit briefly and move on, I recommend staying for a sunset, it is a magical time at the monument.

Full moon over Cedar Breaks

Full moon over Cedar Breaks

Getting There

From Cedar City, travel east on UT-14 for about 18 miles to the junction with UT-148, then follow UT-147 for about 2.5 miles to the monument.

The alpine pond trail

The alpine pond trail

Route

All the overlooks are a must-do stops as they each give a quite unique perspective.

The park has only three hiking trails, with only the Sunset Trail allowing leashed dogs.

The Ramparts Overlook Trail (3.6-ish miles round trip and 700’ of elevation gain/loss)
This trail starts at the same parking area as the visitor center on the south side of the monument. Of the three trails in the monument, it is the most strenuous, but also the most dramatic. This is my top recommendation if you only have time for one trail on your visit.

Note: If you do not have time for the full Ramparts Trail, hiking the first part of the trail visits Spectra Point and is a good shorter destination. Spectra Point and back is about 2 miles round trip.

The Alpine Pond Trail (2-mile loop)
My second recommendation after the Ramparts Overlook Trail is the Alpine Pond Trail. The trail can be started from the north or south and makes a loop around an alpine pond. Though scenic, this trail does not offer many views into the eroded amphitheater. The scenery, however, is forested and lovely particularly at sunset.

The Sunset Trail (1 mile one way)
This is an ADA accessible and pet friendly stroll between the visitor center and Sunset View Overlook. Though near the rim, it does not have the big views of the Ramparts Trail. This was my least favorite trail in the park.


Maps

Ramparts Trail / 3.77 miles / Elevation Range 9,875 - 10,494 ft.
Sunset Trail / 1.08 miles / Elevation Range 10,299 - 10,385 ft.
Alpine Pond / 2.34 miles / Elevation Range 10,414 - 10,610 ft.
Printable Maps:
North View Overlook

12S 338184mE 4169295mN

N37° 39' 24" W112° 50' 04"

Alpine Pond Trailhead

12S 339243mE 4167627mN

N37° 38' 30" W112° 49' 20"

Alpine Pond

12S 339024mE 4167022mN

N37° 38' 10" W112° 49' 28"

Alpine Pond TH / Chessmen Ridge Overlook

12S 338333mE 4166445mN

N37° 37' 51" W112° 49' 56"

Sunset View Overlook

12S 338616mE 4165293mN

N37° 37' 14" W112° 49' 43"

Sunset Trail TH

12S 338647mE 4165280mN

N37° 37' 14" W112° 49' 42"

Point Supreme Overlook

12S 337757mE 4164484mN

N37° 36' 47" W112° 50' 18"

Rampart TH

12S 337804mE 4164347mN

N37° 36' 43" W112° 50' 16"

Spectra Point

12S 337175mE 4164242mN

N37° 36' 39" W112° 50' 41"

Ramparts Overlook

12S 336335mE 4164609mN

N37° 36' 51" W112° 51' 16"

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