Ramparts Trail and Spectra Point
Description: A short trail that follows the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument
Distance: 1.5 Miles One Way
Highest Elevation: 10,492 Feet Above Sea Level
Dangers: High Cliffs; Lightning Strikes
Jurisdiction: Cedar Breaks National Monument
The trailhead for the Ramparts Trail is located at the western side of the Cedar Breaks National Monument Visitor Center parking lot. This simple little hike will offer some stunning views of Cedar Breaks below and of the meadows of the Markagunt Plateau to the south where the deer are often found browsing. Being right on the top of Cedar Breaks and exposed to winds, which in winter are bitterly cold, many of the pine trees along this trail have grown in a twisted and gnarled form, close to the ground. This type of wind-induced growth pattern is known as “krummholz” growth.
After hiking the windy trail for about a mile, there is a spur trail that takes you to Spectra Point, where you will get a fine view of Cedar Breaks’ Chessman Ridge and Bristlecone Ridge from a point of limestone that juts out into the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater. The Spectra Point area is one of the best places to find bristlecone pine, which are a small, extremely slow-growing and hardy pine. The oldest known bristlecone pine tree at Cedar Breaks National Monument is over 1,600 years old and may be seen on Spectra Point. The oldest known bristlecone pine tree in the world is in California and is over 4,500 years old.
The main trail will descend into a wooded area with a clear flowing stream of water and ends at a point with scattered bristlecone pine and a fine view all around you.