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Ashdown Gorge Wilderness
Cedar City, UT 84720
Wilderness: Hike, Snow Sports, Walk
Sharing the western and northern borders of the desert-like Cedar Breaks National Monument, Ashdown Gorge Wilderness displays eroded, multicolored Wasatch limestone, meadows, and forestland including a significant stand of bristlecone pine, known as the Twisted Forest, in the northern corner. Bristlecones are among the oldest living life-forms. The area is home to a diversity of wildlife that includes mule deer, yellow-bellied marmots, chipmunks, golden-mantled ground squirrels, voles, and mice. Creeks run year-round. Elevations range from 8,000 feet to 10,400 feet, and winter snows often add spectacular highlights to the colorful stone formations. Within the Wilderness, you’ll find less than 10 miles of trails. The Rattlesnake Trail (five miles) traces the northern boundary of the national monument and follows Rattlesnake Creek on an east-to-west path across the Wilderness to meet the Potato Hollow Trail. The latter trail continues south to a trailhead at Cedar Springs. The Potato Hollow Trail (2.5 miles) forks before the trailhead to become the Blowhard Trail, which climbs Blowhard Mountain. There is ample opportunity to find solitude, especially if you hike off-trail (taking care, of course, to create as little impact on the land as possible).