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

Rattlesnake Creek Trail to Ashdown Gorge

Elijah, Dylan, Reese, and Jake on the Rattlesnake Creek Trail.

The Rattlesnake Creek Trail starts at the north end of Cedar Breaks and ends at the top of Ashdown Gorge. This trail passes through the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness of Dixie National Forest and portions of Cedar Breaks National Monument. Along the trail are views of Cedar Breaks, forests, meadows, and Rattlesnake Creek.

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 the Rattlesnake Creek Trail to Ashdown Gorge as part of our August Scout camp out. On the hike were Jeremy Dye, Jake Bearnson, Elijah Wagner, Dylan Prince, and Reese Barnes.

The Rattlesnake Creek Trail goes through the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness of Dixie National Forest. Ashdown Gorge Wilderness is right next to Cedar Breaks National Monument, and there are two overlooks on the Rattlesnake Creek Trail that allow views into Cedar Breaks.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail

The sign at the trailhead reads:

Ashdown Gorge Wilderness

Established under the Utah Wilderness Act of 1984, which designated 6,750 acres of the Dixie National Forest as the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness.

Elevation ranges from 8,000 to 10,400 feet above sea level. The area was formed through faulting and eroding of hte multi-colored Claron Limestone. Growing on these limestone formations are some of the oldest living things the Bristlecone Pine.

Wilderness area are set aside to protect resources for future generations.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

We started our hike a couple minutes before 9:00.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

After about 20 minutes of hiking, we came to a fork in the trail. The left fork goes to an overlook of Cedar Breaks. The right fork is the main trail.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Cedar Breaks Overlook #1.
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

Then about 5 minutes later was another fork in the trail. Once again, the left fork led to an overlook, and the right fork was the main trail.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Cedar Breaks Overlook #2.
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

Pretty much the entire trail is down hill. There are a few spots where is gets a little steep.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

After about 1.5 hours, we reached Stud Flat

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
A rock cairn marks the trail.

After we hiked through Stud Flat, we came to a bunch of switchbacks.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail

At the bottom of the switchbacks, the trail comes to Rattlesnake Creek.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail

We were slightly confused at this point, because we were under the impression that the trail stayed on the east side of Rattlesnake Creek. However, the trail does cross over Rattlesnake Creek at this point.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

We stopped for lunch around noon. At this point, we had gone almost 5 miles in a little over 3 hours.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

After lunch, we hiked the remaining hundred yards to the trail junction with the High Mountain Trail. The sign at this location says that it is 4 miles back to Cedar Breaks. However the sign is wrong. It is almost exactly 5 miles to this point.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail

We took a left and continued on the Rattlesnake Trail across Rattlesnake Creek.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
A small waterfall on Rattlesnake Creek.

If you were to continue down Rattlesnake Creek for a few hundred feet, you would end up standing at the top of Rattlesnake Creek Falls. You could then potentially rappel down Rattlesnake Creek Falls and shave off 2.5 miles of the trail. However, I wouldn't recommend this strategy because you would miss an awesome section of upper Ashdown Gorge.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail

After crossing Rattlesnake Creek, the trail then climbs up and over the ridge to the south. This is the only real uphill section of the trail, but it's not bad at all.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail
A foreshadow of the hike to come. An alcove in Ashdown Gorge.
Rattlesnake Creek Trail

Rattlesnake Trail then drops down into Ashdown Creek.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail

This is essentially the end of the Rattlesnake Creek Trail. From here, most people choose to continue down Ashdown Gorge (3 miles). However, if the weather is bad, you could you also return back to your car the way you came (6.6 miles). Or you could take the Potato Hollow trail to Crystal Springs (3.9 miles).

We finished this section of our hike by 1:15, a little less than 4.5 hours after we started.

We chose to continue down Ashdown Gorge.

Trip Report: June 13, 2015