The Dye Clan
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  • TR: Aug 2013
  • TR: Jun 2015

Ashdown Gorge

Jeremy in front of Rattlesnake Creek Falls.

Ashdown Gorge is a river hike down a spectacular canyon. This hike starts at the end of Rattlesnake Creek Trail and ends in Cedar Canyon. Along the way, you will see several huge alcoves, two large waterfalls, spectacularly tall canyon walls, and the 200-foot wide Flanagan's Arch.

Interactive Map

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Waypoints

WaypointLatitudeLongitudeDescription
PARK137.6319391-112.9404988Park your shuttle vehicle here. Some other guides will tell you to park 1 mile west of here, but this is a better spot.
PARK237.6625664-112.8378616Park at the trailhead just north of the entrance to Cedar Breaks. There is a large sign that says Ashdown Gorge Wilderness and then a smaller sign that says Rattlesnake Creek Trail.
JUNC137.6625647-112.8489261Junction #1. Left goes to an overlook. Right is the main trail.
VIEW137.6622568-112.8490205Viewpoint #1. An overlook of Cedar Breaks National Monument.
JUNC237.6621534-112.8515913Junction #2. Left goes to an overlook. Right is the main trail.
VIEW237.6619741-112.8515301Viewpoint #2. An overlook of Cedar Breaks National Monument.
CROSS137.6526058-112.8898820Cross Rattlesnake Creek.
JUNC337.6416587-112.9070692Junction #3. High Mountain Trail goes to the north. Rattlesnake Creek Trail continues to the south.
CROSS237.6414245-112.9070632Cross Rattlesnake Creek over a small waterfall.
JUNC437.6366991-112.9044605Junction #4. End of Rattlesnake Creek Trail. Potato Hollow Trail goes upstream. Ashdown Gorge goes downstream.
SAWMILL37.6347688-112.8956174Historic Ashdown Sawmill.
JUNC537.6365660-112.9165716Junction #5. Tom's Head. Confluence of Rattlesnake Creek and Ashdown Creek.
JUNC637.6409790-112.9100891Junction #6. Confluence of Lake Creek and Rattlesnake Creek.
WF137.6410846-112.9085731Waterfall #1. Rattlesnake Creek Falls. 25 feet tall.
WF237.6417125-112.9098699Waterfall #2. Lake Creek Falls. 20 feet tall.
ARCH37.6331149-112.9270444Flanigan Arch viewpoint. Look at the top of the cliffs high on the right (north). Flanigan Arch is only visible from the south bank of Ashdown Creek.

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Trip Report: August 10, 2013

We hiked down Ashdown Gorge as part of our August Scout camp out. This page is part two of our Rattlesnake Creek / Ashdown Gorge hike. For the first part, jump to the Rattlesnake Creek Trail.

Ashdown Gorge is a pleasant river walk through a deep canyon in the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area of Dixie National Forest. It starts at the end of the Rattlesnake Creek Trail and ends in Cedar Canyon.

On the hike were Jeremy Dye, Jake Bearnson, Elijah Wagner, Dylan Prince, and Reese Barnes.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures. My camera battery died, so these pictures were taken with my phone.

We started the Ashdown Gorge portion of our hike at about 1:15. The weather was partly cloudy. Temperatures in the 80s. The water was nice and refreshing. Cool but not cold.

Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
The boys playing teeter-totter on a log.

It only took us a few minutes before we entered the "Gorge". Steep canyon walls reached over a hundred feet above us on both sides.

Ashdown Gorge
Here is the first alcove we came to. The bright sky and dark canyon walls made this a perfect candidate for an HDR image. Alas, another time. You'll have to settle for a photosynth instead.
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
A lot of the canyon has walls that are more than vertical.
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
This wall had crazy curved layers to it. The walls would peel off. I have no idea how this was formed.
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge

At about 2:15, we arrived at Tom's Head, a 100-foot high limestone monolith that marks the junction of Rattlesnake Creek and Ashdown Creek. From the side, it totally looks like a head.

Ashdown Gorge
Tom's Head from the side.
Ashdown Gorge
Tom's head from the front.

At this point, Jake was getting pretty tired. He wanted to wait at the junction while the rest of us explored up Rattlesnake Creek. So off we went without him.

After about 20 minutes, we arrived at Lower Rattlesnake Creek Falls.

Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge

There was a ladder on the left side of the creek.

Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Here is another photosynth of another alcove, this time along Rattlesnake Creek. Note the vibrant greens of the plants growing on the canyon wall.
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge

After about 40 minutes (0.6 miles), we arrived at the Junction of Lake Creek (left) and Rattlesnake Creek (right). The boys wanted to go up Rattlesnake Creek first so we headed that way first.

Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge

We soon arrived at Rattlesnake Creek Falls, a spectacular 25-foot-tall waterfall.

Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Jeremy in front of Rattlesnake Creek Falls
Ashdown Gorge
Elijah in front of Rattlesnake Creek Falls
Ashdown Gorge

We then had fun standing underneath the waterfall.

Jeremy under Rattlesnake Creek Falls.
Reese, Dylan, and Elijah under Rattlesnake Creek Falls.
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge

When we had our fill with Rattlesnake Creek Falls, we headed back down canyon then over to Lake Creek Falls. Although lake creek falls doesn't have as much water in it, it is still really cool because the water spills down between some large chockstones. You can walk behind the waterfall into a cave-like area.

Ashdown Gorge
Lake Creek Falls.
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Dylan and Elijah behind Lake Creek Falls.
Ashdown Gorge
Jeremy behind Lake Creek Falls.
Ashdown Gorge
Lake Creek Falls from behind.
Elijah and Dylan playing under Lake Creek Falls.

We finished exploring the waterfalls around 3:15 and started making our way back down canyon.

Ashdown Gorge
Jeremy at Lower Rattlesnake Creek Falls.
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Tom's Head from behind.

To the east of Tom's Head is another limestone spire. To me, it bears a striking resemblance to Grizzly Peak in Disneyland. Judge for yourself.

Ashdown Gorge
Grizzly Peak in Disneyland.
Ashdown Gorge
Limestone monolith in Ashdown Gorge.

When we got back to the junction where Jake was supposed to be waiting, we couldn't find him anywhere. We didn't worry too much though because he had said that if he got bored, he might start hiking down by himself. So the three boys and I kept on hiking.

Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Check out this crazy wasp!
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge

About a mile below Tom's Head was Flanigan Arch (incorrectly spelled Flanagan's Arch). Flanigan Arch sits high in the cliffs on the right (north) side and is only visible from a short stretch of river. This natural bridge is rumored to be about 200 feet wide.

Ashdown Gorge
Ashdown Gorge
Flanigan Arch.
Ashdown Gorge
Highway 14 (Cedar Canyon) in the distance.
Ashdown Gorge
Crow Creek coming in from the left (east).
Ashdown Gorge

When we came to the land slide area, we walked up the riprapped drainage to the parking area at the top.

Ashdown Gorge

This would have been the perfect place to park, but we were following an old trail guide that said to park further down the canyon. Rather than hike the last mile to our car on the shoulder of a dangerous road, we hitchhiked down instead.

Ashdown Gorge
Celebration dance.

When we finally made it back to the car, Jake was waiting there for us. He had beat us by about half an hour.

Ashdown Gorge
Dylan's wrinkly feet.
Ashdown Gorge
Elijah's wrinkly feet.

We finished this hike at 6:15 pm, about 9.5 hours (11.25 miles) after we left the Rattlesnake Creek trailhead and about 5 hours (4.6 miles) after starting the Ashdown Gorge portion.

Everyone really enjoyed this hike. It was a lot of fun and very scenic for the whole way. The all-downhill trail made for leisurely hiking, which was perfect for young Scouts. They were worn out by the end of it, but they still had mostly high spirits.

I plan to come back soon with Tara and maybe one or both of our girls.

Trip Report: June 13, 2015