A hike to the Alpine Pond is a great way to stretch the legs. You can follow the lower loop into a forest of spruce trees. Here you are given a close look at the devastation inflicted by the spruce beetle epidemic. Beginning in the mid-1990’s a massive bark beetle outbreak made its way through the monument and surrounding Dixie National Forest, killing over half of the mature trees, adding even more unique color and texture to this fascinating environment. The Alpine Pond Trail takes you through a ghost forest of dead spruce offering views of the amphitheater framed by the skeleton trees. Arriving to the pond you will most likely see marmots sunbathing on its peaceful shore. Beyond the pond the trail will take you to the rim and beneath several bristlecone pine trees. Bristlecone pines are some of the oldest living organisms on earth and some in the monument have been dated to be more than 1,500 years old. The apex of the Alpine Pond Trail is the picturesque vistas of Chessmen Point. Return to the Alpine Pond Trailhead via the upper loop walking through meadows of wildflowers.
Hiking to the Spectra and Rampart Points will take you along the Amphitheater’s rim. Beginning with the scent of wildflowers in your nose you will gradually make your way to the perfect overlook of Spectra Point (1 mile). From here you will get a closer look at the amazing geology of Cedar Breaks. Continuing on to Rampart Point (2 miles, one-way) you will follow an alpine stream through a beautiful forest of grand bristlecone pines. Their elegantly twisted bodies will show you the way.