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Ashdown Gorge Wilderness

General Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws
Photograph taken in  the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness
Credit:
Utah Wilderness Association

Introduction

The United States Congress designated the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness (map) in 1984 and it now has a total of 7,043 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Utah and is managed by the Forest Service.

Description

Sharing the western and northern borders of the desert-like Cedar Breaks National Monument, Ashdown Gorge Wilderness displays eroded, multicolored Wasatch limestone, meadows, and forestland including a significant stand of bristlecone pine, known as the Twisted Forest, in the northern corner. Bristlecones are among the oldest living life-forms. The area is home to a diversity of wildlife that includes mule deer, yellow-bellied marmots, chipmunks, golden-mantled ground squirrels, voles, and mice. Creeks run year-round. Elevations range from 8,000 feet to 10,400 feet, and winter snows often add spectacular highlights to the colorful stone formations.

Within the Wilderness, you'll find less than 10 miles of trails. The Rattlesnake Trail (five miles) traces the northern boundary of the national monument and follows Rattlesnake Creek on an east-to-west path across the Wilderness to meet the Potato Hollow Trail. The latter trail continues south to a trailhead at Cedar Springs. The Potato Hollow Trail (2.5 miles) forks before the trailhead to become the Blowhard Trail, which climbs Blowhard Mountain. There is ample opportunity to find solitude, especially if you hike off-trail (taking care, of course, to create as little impact on the land as possible).

Planning to Visit the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.



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