Hike Ramparts Trail via Spectra Point
Utah › Cedar Breaks National Monument, Ramparts Trailhead
Added by Gaby Colletta
This hike has minimal elevation gain (at 10,350 feet) and there a many reasons to add it to your list including brilliantly colored cliffs that form a natural amphitheater, eroded rock formations that stretch across 3 miles with a depth of over 2,000 feet, badlands filled with spires, hoodoos, bluffs and intricate canyons. This area is less crowded than the neighboring Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, yet equally, if not more stunning
To call this place "breathtaking" would not do it justice. The rusty red, orange, purple colors of million-year-old rock erosion are otherworldly, something you'd imagine on Mars. The Indians named Cedar Breaks the "Circle of Painted Cliffs," and when you see this brilliantly colored coliseum you will understand why. For photographers and nature-lovers alike, this is your spot.
THE TRAIL: Rampart Trail via Spectra Point is a 4-mile roundtrip journey skirting the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The trailhead begins at the south side of the Visitor Center Parking Lot.
Note that there is a $5 per person entrance fee that you pay upon arrival. You will see a small kiosk where you can pay.
The trailhead is clearly marked. Follow it through bristlecone pines and wildflowers, around the rim of the amphitheater. The path is relatively easy, with little elevation change. However, keep in mind you are hiking at 10,350 feet, so it may be more challenging than anticipated. Bring plenty of water and be mindful that elevation sickness is a real thing. The beauty of this hike is that every point has a mind-melting view, so stops along the way are encouraged.
For those who want a shorter hike, not to worry. You can still soak in all the splendor by following this trail halfway to Spectra Point (1.9 miles roundtrip from the trailhead).
GETTING THERE: During the summer months you can access the Visitor Center via Utah State Road 148. Note that this road closes in the winter months due to snow (late October to May).
Park in the lot. You can pay the entrance fee at the Kiosk visible from the parking lot. If you want a preview of your hike, follow the signs for "Point Supreme Overlook" which will lead you straight to a viewing platform of Cedar Breaks.
The trail begins at the South end of the parking lot and is well marked with a sign.
Note: This is close to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park - two beautiful places worth checking out if you have the time!
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- $5 per person entrance fee (7 day pass)
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