Markagunt Plateau in Southern Utah

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Markagunt Plateau

The Markagunt Plateau covers 800 square miles of magnificent natural features in South Utah, including Cedar Breaks National Monument and Zion National Park. Read More

  • Markagunt Plateau covers 800 square miles of magnificent natural features reaching a height of 11,315 feet
  • Alpine Pond Trail runs for 2 miles in an easy loop following a self-guide available from Visitor Center
  • There are at least 30 biking trails around the Markagunt Plateau including Blowhard Mountain 4 mile advanced trail

Overview

The Markagunt Plateau Utah is an area of spectacular geological diversity overlooking some of Utah’s most stunning landscapes. It is the source of the Virgin River and includes forests, lava landscapes, extinct volcanoes and cliffs which offer a range of outdoor activities.

Location and Information

Markagunt Plateau UT lies within the Dixie National Forest between I-15 and Hwy 89 in southwest Utah. It is one of the plateaus which make up the larger Colorado Plateau and reaches a height of 11,315 feet. Its name appropriately means “Highland of trees”. As well as the spectacular red rock formations of Zion NP and Cedar Breaks, the Markagunt Plateau includes the winter ski resort of Brian Head.

  • Cedar City Ranger District: 435-865-3700
  • Duck Creek Visitor Center (summer only): 435-682-2432

Hiking Trails

  • Alpine Pond Trail
    2 miles
    Loop
    Easy
    Self-guide available from Visitor Center
  • Blowhard Trail
    4 miles
    Roundtrip
    Intermediate
  • Cascade Falls Trail
    1 mile
    Roundtrip
    Easy
    Ends where water cascades down from a limestone cave to the stream below
  • Spectra Point/Ramparts
    4 miles
    Roundtrip
    Easy
    Starts south of Visitor Center
    Follows the southern rim to Spectra Point Overlook
    Then 1 mile along Ramparts Trail to Ramparts Overlook
  • Rattlesnake Creek
    9 miles
    One way
    Descends from starting point just north of Cedar Breaks National Monument

Biking trails

There are at least 30 biking trails around the Markagunt Plateau including:

  • Blowhard Mountain
    4 miles
    One way
    Advanced
    Starts along edge of Red Canyon down to Crystal Springs Road/Hwy 14
    Elevation change 1800 feet
  • Cedar Breaks Road Ride
    18 miles
    Roundtrip
    Easy
    Elevation change 1000 feet

Fishing

  • Navajo Lake
    1500 acre lake offering excellent fishing for rainbow trout, brook trout and splake.
  • Panguitch Lake
    1250 acre lake which means “Big fish”. Good sized catches of rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout and brown trout

Winter Sports

Brian Head Resort offers excellent downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and snowshoeing.

Wildlife Viewing

Mule deer, elk, jack rabbit, coyote, lizards and many birds can be spotted along the Markagunt Plateau along with threatened and endangered species such as the northern goshawk, Arizona toad and long-billed curlew.

Campgrounds

  • Duck Creek Campground
    28 miles from Cedar City on SR 14
    92 sites
    Flush toilets no showers
    Open Memorial Day to Sept 30
    $12 per night
  • Cedar Canyon Campground
    12 miles from Cedar City on SR 14
    18 sites
    Vault toilets no showers
    Open Memorial Day to Sept 8
    $12 per night

Scenic Drives

Hwy 14 offers 40 miles of spectacular scenery along the Markagunt Plateau from Cedar City to the junction with Hwy 89 passing Navajo Lake, Cascade Falls trail and Duck Creek. It is particularly breathtaking with the fall color.