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Spectra Point Trail

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, Utah

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Spectra Point Trail

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  • The visitor center, Point Supreme, and the trailheads for Spectra Point and Rampart Overlook.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The first lookout just up the hill.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Overlooks on the Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • This place is amazing, like a mix between Bryce and the Grand Canyon.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Storms, like this one in the distance, can be surprisingly frequent.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Look at the many layers of color. Red and yellow derives from iron oxide, and the purple derives from manganese oxide.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • A vestige left behind by campers after a night on the rim.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Sandstone becomes wet and slippery when wet; be careful.- Spectra Point Trail
  • View from the Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Looking down into the canyons. So many spires and hoodoos!- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • A little unnamed point along the way.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • A small historical cabin built by homesteaders.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Little sunflowers (Helianthella uniflora). These are very common in these parts.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • A species of Indian paintbrush.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Vistas from the the Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The last hill before you get to Spectra Point.- Spectra Point Trail
  • An imminent storm on the Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Storms make for pretty light but terrible hiking conditions on the way back.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The mighty bristlecone pine, the oldest and largest in the park at 1,700 years old.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Bristlecone pine along the Spectra Point Trail.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Spectra Point.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Spectra Point.- Spectra Point Trail
  • The weather changes here by the minute.- Spectra Point Trail
  • Slippery, stormy conditions can make for a treacherous return hike.- Spectra Point Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Crazy views. Bristlecone pine.
Cons: 
Can be very dangerous when wet. Short.
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Region:
Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
220.00 ft (67.06 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,379.00 ft (3,163.52 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Spectra Point Trail is one of the small handful of hikes within Cedar Breaks National Monument. This stunning rim trail takes you out to an outcropping on the southern end of the park. The views to the east and the north are quite spectacular, and so is the giant bristlecone pine that sits near the point. This is the oldest and largest tree in the park, and it is thought to be around 1,700 years old! Iron oxide gives the hills their reds and yellows, while manganese oxide adds tones of purple to the layers of sandstone. It's a beautiful array of colors from the stone to the flowers to the sky.

See the hoodoos of Cedar Breaks in all their glory and come early or late for their shadows to be cast across the canyon. You can get great views of Cedar City to the northwest as well as another 270 degrees of views on almost all sides. There are a plethora of wildflowers along the rim of the trail in summer, including Indian paintbrush, lupine, larkspur, bluebells, and little sunflower. The trail is relatively short, but it does continue to Rampart Viewpoint another mile down from Spectra Point. There is not much elevation gain other than a few hills. There is a historic cabin along the way. With only a few other hiking choices nearby, this is a must for anyone visiting the park.

Please be very careful when hiking here. There are sudden and frequent storms here even on otherwise clear days. The very steep incline of the mountain face at Brian Head, which makes it such a great ski resort, is dangerous during summer rainstorms, when the trail is covered in slippery mud. Flanked by cliffs at least 400 feet high, the risk for falls increases measurably. Should the weather conditions deteriorate, bushwhack south to the road and walk back on the asphalt rather than the steep open-faced trail of mud.

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Location + Directions

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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(38 within a 30 mile radius)

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