Rattlesnake Creek / Ashdown Gorge this week?


Mar 28, 2012
I haven't been down this route before, and was thinking about taking some older kids (10, 12, 14) through in a couple of days. Anyone know if this seems like a bad idea due to water levels?

We were up at Cedar Breaks today and it was great, coolish of course but most of the snow is gone. We drove within less than a mile of Brian Head Peak before getting blocked by snow, and walked the rest of the way to the top. The wind at the summit was impressive, the roof of the CCC shelter was getting momentarily lifted up against its supports during big gusts, which felt to me in excess of 40 mph, though this kind of thing is hard to judge.
Answering my own question, water levels were fine today, though there was plenty of flow and the water was cold and would likely have caused problems for younger kids. Awesome hike and we saw nobody.
How was the exit?
I've hiked it 3 times over the years and it seems like the section at the end keeps getting worse.
How was the exit?
I've hiked it 3 times over the years and it seems like the section at the end keeps getting worse.

I'm not sure exactly which section you mean, but the gorge itself gets easier and easier as you approach the exit. But then there's a few hundred feet of climbing up angle-of-repose landslide debris at the very end to get up to the road. This certainly sucked but really it was only a couple of minutes out of a 7-hour hike.
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Overall the was an absolutely awesome hike. In the past 12 months I hiked Sulfur Creek in Capitol Reef, the Subway in Zion, and this is at least as good as either of those. Just putting these into the same bucket since they all involve water. I'll dig up a few pics, though there are plenty floating around already.
The first year we hiked it was just after the reconstruction of the highway and we were able to easily hike down to the ramp at the West end of the pull out. The next year the stream bed was filled with down trees and rubble so we took the now popular way out up the rock lined drainage. In 2015? the approach to that drainage was clogged with dead shrubs mixed with downed tree limbs and erosion channels. It took a bit to work our way through it to reach the drainage. My perspective of the exit may be different form yours since my hiking partner hates the exit up the drainage and we do this hike with 2 Border Collies.

We normally do this hike in mid July and that canyon changes every time we hike it. The first year there was a huge rock fall in the canyon that we had to scramble through. The next year it there was no sign of it.

Did you hike up to the waterfalls?
Wow, I hope to keep repeating this route too. I love the changeable nature of canyon country -- though more than once in the past I was mystified to find a new obstacle or a totally missing one!

We had to miss the waterfall, I was bummed. We made super good time on the trail from Cedar Breaks to the head of Ashdown Gorge, but then due to the highish water and the ankle-buster rocks we made poor time in upper Ashdown and I was worried about meeting our ride by the time we got to Tom's Head. What I didn't know is that Ashdown becomes a lot faster below that point and so we ended up sitting around at the parking area for like 45 minutes waiting for my wife to show up! She was already not 100% happy with me for talking her into being our car shuttle (we were down there with just one vehicle). But she and her sister and my younger boy had a good time checking out the petroglyphs at Parowan Gap and really, she's not such a big fan of difficult walking conditions and wouldn't have enjoyed the gorge that much. See how altruistic I am??
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