This trail has some great views of Cedar Breaks (which is similar to Bryce Canyon National Park), bristlecone pine trees, beautiful flowers, a small historic building, and an optional but undocumented extension to see a double arch.
Distance: 4.83 miles round trip
Time: 3 hours
Start: Cedar Breaks visitor center parking lot
Elevation Gain: 1152 ft
Fees: $10/person for adults (13+) for entrance into Cedar Breaks
While most parks charge by the vehicle, Cedar Breaks charges by the person. At $10/person, you may want to consider purchasing the InterAgency Annual Pass for National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands which is currently $80 which covers up to four adults (children under 16 are free) and is good at quite a few locations. We are planning to go up American Fork canyon more this year and that entrance fee is also included.
Cedar Breaks is a beautiful area, but there isn’t a ton of stuff to do. One partial or full day may be enough to see what this area has to offer. This Spectra Point and Rampart Overlook trail is a great trail which will provide you with many different angles to view the breaks. You can decide how far you go and turn back at any point. The mileage on this trailhead sign is rounded up a bit according to my GPS tracker, so it won’t be quite as far as indicated.
Near the beginning on the hike there is a side trail to a historic building. It is a very short distance to a boarded up building that was forgotten when they tore down the nearby large lodge in 1972. I would have loved to see and/or stay in that lodge – it looks pretty amazing.
We saw many different types of beautiful flowers including Colorado Columbine (White and other colors), Elkweed (tall and very unique), Mountain BlueBell (looks just like it is named), Cushion Flox (looks like snow on the ground), Scarlet Indian Paintbrush (the name says it all) and many more.
The bristlecone pine are some of the oldest trees alive on the planet. They usually live at very high elevations and grow very slowly. This one is very large compared to the ones we saw at Great Basin National Park.
Once you arrive at the Ramparts Overlook there is a sign that indicates the trail has ended. However, we had heard about an arch that was another .8 miles that we decided to see if we could find. There is a smaller trail that you can follow and I think it was well worth the extra trip. The double arch was pretty amazing and you can hike up right on top for views across the entire area.