Bryce Canyon without the crowds
Moderately easy hike along the southern rim of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater. Views are similar to Bryce Canyon, but the amphitheater is more than twice as deep as Bryce. Visitation is a small fraction of the Bryce crowds, which allows for more opportunities to see wildlife.
There are no guardrails along most of the rim edge. Use caution at the edge, as the trail surface can be slippery. Avoid standing on the rim when lightning is nearby.
The trail starts at the western side of the main parking area, south of the restrooms. Head west on the trail and up a short slope. At the top of the slope, the view of the amphitheater spreads out below you. Snap a picture, then head south on the trail where even better views await.
The trail heads south along the edge of the rim, gradually turning southwest and heading uphill towards a water tank perched on the high point of the trail. Along the way, there is a very short spur trail to you left that heads over to a old cabin. There used to be a lodge at this location, but it was torn down decades ago, the cabin is all that remains. Once back on the main trail, continue heading southwest. During the summer, wildflowers abound along this section of the trail.
Once past the water tank, the trail descends and heads northwest towards Spectra Point. There are numerous Bristlecone Pines around Spectra Point, with some signs detailing their history. Many people turn around at Spectra, which makes for a hike of 2 miles and 360' aeg. If you choose to continue, head west on the main trail, which quickly starts to switchback downhill. At the start of the switchbacks, which run along Ashdown Creek, keep an eye out for marmots, which are frequently seen along the rest of the trail.
The trail runs alongside and above the creek for a while, slightly further from the edge of the rim, but you will still get plenty of great views. After just under another mile from Spectra Point, the trail ends at Ramparts Overlook. Enjoy the views, then return to the parking lot on the same trail. The return trip has just as much elevation gain, which you will be very aware of at an elevation of 10,000'. Take your time, and enjoy the views on your return hike.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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