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Rattlesnake Creek - Ashdown Gorge Trail

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Ashdown Gorge Wilderness

Rattlesnake Creek - Ashdown Gorge Trail is a 11.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Cedar City, Utah that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,494 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash




Did the hike in 6 hrs, but felt very rushed. It's more like a 8-10 hr hike to view and enjoy all it has to offer.

2 days ago

Awesome hike. If you decided to go down the side canyons to see the waterfalls, it's a bit more than 14 miles.

6 days ago

The route shown on here is not the correct ashdown via rattlesnake so dont follow it exactly. Once you hit the watercourse turn down and follow the water out rather than following the track that actuay leads you to moots hollow.

9 months ago

Beautiful trail. hiked from bottom up to waterfalls and back. you zigzag through the stream. every turn a surprising view. only saw one couple the whole hike.

Tue Jun 18 2019

FYI: The first mile of this trail is private property and is technically trespassing. There is no official trail or trailhead for this reason. Because of the hike in, its way harder than most reviewers state. Do not attempt unless you have really fit knees. There's no real trail to get down the 300ft ridge to the creek, so you boulder hop your way. Also there's poison ivy you should look out for. And a small rockfall almost killed us when we did it. There are more sketchy rock faces (overhangs) waiting to fall on you in this canyon than any I've seen. Someday, someone will die here, I guarantee it. Also the hike out is killer. 300 ft up big boulders. There's a lot of much better options out there....

Tue Jul 10 2018

I did this starting from the trailhead off of Hwy 143, just before you enter Cedar Breaks National Monument, which is the popular method for people who have left a car on Hwy 14 at the end of the trail. I did not have a car at the bottom, so I went about 3.3 miles downhill and turned around after walking through a long grassy meadow, just before starting a steep descent. Going back up was harder than I though it was going to be, maybe because of the altitude. There are many, many trees down across the trail, but nothing you can't get around fairly easily. The next day I tried to find the start of the trail off of Hwy 14, so I could climb up to the point where I turned around the day before. But as the person below says, that was a gate for a jeep road posted as the SUU Mountain Center. Later, looking carefully at the maps, this does appear to be the lower access point to the trail, and I guess you can park somewhere along the road.

Thu Dec 28 2017

Did this in the early fall with amazing fall colors. Had someone with us who could show us Flannigan's arch. Amazing! Enjoyed the almost slot like canyons, the water, the aspens, and the views of Cedar Canyon and of Cedar Breaks.

Tue Aug 15 2017

I was really excited to hike this trail but I couldn't find where it starts. I drove to the spot where Google maps took me and it was an suu gate. was I at the right spot? can someone help me out? thanks!

Sat Jul 08 2017

One of my favorite. I've backpacked it as well as jammed it out in one day. Relatively easy as it's mostly downhill, and then the second half of river crossing is refreshing. Stunning scenery and different climates every few minutes. Highly recommend. Just make sure you know your markers. And yes, you need to shuttle it unless you're a crazy person and want to hike back up it.

Fri Apr 28 2017

I would do it only in the summer when the trail is clear. Fun times but we got lost on several occasions just due to all the snow.

Fri Oct 16 2015

This 3,200 foot decent throught the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness area is a great location when the summer sun pushes daytime temperatures in the desert national parks above 100 degrees. I enjoyed the Rattlesnake portion of the hike. The Ashdown Gorge not so much, hiking below towering walls of weak limestone with ample evidence of fresh debris at you feet is a little unnerving.

Mon Aug 20 2012

An outstanding hike! Make sure you have someone to shuttle you to the top and leave a car at the end of the trail. The trail starts out along the edges of Cedar Break NP. It winds down through thick forests and meadows. Plenty to see. As you descend in elevation you come across Rattlesnake creek and follow it for sometime and then cross over to make the final descent to Ash Down Gorge. The trail here is quite narrow and very steep. Watch your footing! Soon you will see Ash Down Gorge and will enter the river bed. As you follow the river down make sure to look all around because the views are amazing. When you reach Tom's head at the confluence of Rattlesnake Creek and Ash Down make sure you take the time and go up to the waterfalls. There are two spectacular falls at the end of each. One is Rattlesnake creek Falls and the other is Lake Creek Falls. There are also some great little slot canyons here. When you retrace your steps back to Ash Down you will see a different view of Tom's head. A good place to stop and filter some water. You will continue down the river and make sure to keep an eye to the right above or you will miss Flanigan's Arch. About another mile or two down stream the canyon opens up. We encountered a minor problem at the trail end. Since the large landslide in 2011 the trail no longer exists. A large dam was created and we had to scrambled up the slide through fallen trees, holes, and a lot of debris. Be prepared for the final ascent out. A well worth hike and makes for a long day. Make sure your shoes are sturdy enough to handle all the terrains. We only seen two other people on this hike which made it very pleasant.

Sun Jul 12 2009

This is a great hike and an excellent way to see Cedar Breaks Monument if you are an active tourist in need of a good workout! As you set out, the trial is innocuous passing through a grassy field covered in wild flowers, giving you the feeling of an easy stroll. Then, you hit two breathtaking overlooks of Cedar Breaks amphitheatre and you can wander out onto a precipice as far as your fears will let you. After that, it's straight down a loose, steep hill to another ridge with more breathtaking views of the other side of the canyon. After that it's a bit of a more rational descent on steep switchbacks to a meadow that looks like something out of a fairy tale with wild flowers everywhere. Views again in two directions. After another descent you cross the creek and meander for miles up and down the rolling trail alongside the creek. We didn't go past the junction with the Alpine Trail out to the road as thunderstorms were brewing and we had only one car (it was a spontaneous day hike on the way home to Southern California). However, I think that would make the hike even more fun. The only downside for me is there was no point in the first 6 miles in, where I was surrounded by narrow canyon walls on either side. Surprisingly, hiking back up the ridiculously steep trail to the top wasn't as hard as we thought it would be. We powered back up without much trouble. However, we'd been traveling between 6000-8000 feet for a week and this was our fifth hike to altitudes 10K or more (the trail head is at 10K). So, bear that in mind, as it is very steep going back up. THe views on the way up are even better as you are facing the canyon walls as you ascend.

Fri Jun 28 2019

Tue Jun 25 2019