The lower section of the Gnomon Trail gently winds its way from Daydreams by Patrick Dougherty to a main 4-way intersection, “the Compass”, one mile away. This family-friendly trail is a great way to ease into an exploration of our trail system, or as a short walk to see the land beyond the Cottonwood Campus. The upper section of the Gnomon Trail takes visitors 1.5 miles (3 miles round-trip) on rolling terrain from the Compass intersection to Satellite #5: Pioneer by Stephen Talasnik. From the visitor center to Satellite #5: Pioneer, the Gnomon is 5 miles round-trip.
Beginning at the Compass, the Meridian trail steadily climbs over 1,140 feet in 3.9 miles to reach its destination at the Domo by Ensamble Studio. While the trail switchbacks throughout the ascent, the climb is moderate to demanding in difficulty depending on physical fitness level. About two-thirds up the trail at 2.4 miles, there is a shade structure that can be used for a picnic spot, or as a rest-stop along the way. From here guests can also choose to take the Azimuth Trail to either Ensamble Studio’s Inverted Portal, seen from the shade structure, or the Beartooth Portal. Another 1.5 miles of ascent on the Meridian will take guests to the Domo. This trail can be explored in either direction, making it a fun descent on the bike or a pleasurable walk back to the visitor center. Round-trip the Meridian is 9.8 miles, making it a great option for an all-day outing.
The Azimuth trail intersects the Meridian and can be used to access the Inverted Portal and the Beartooth Portal. Traveling south east on Azimuth takes guests .9 miles (1.8 miles round-trip) on moderate rolling terrain climbing over 100 feet over and up to the Inverted Portal.
Traveling north west on the Azimuth trail is 2 miles (4 miles round-trip) and descends 400 feet into Murphy Canyon before climbing back up 350 feet to the Beartooth Portal. From here, guests can return the way they came, or descend the gravel road to intersect with the upper section of the Gnomon trail to Satellite #5: Pioneer or returning to the main campus.
Beginning at the Domo, this 3.1-mile loop brings guests to two sculptures by Mark di Suvero: Beethoven’s Quartet and Proverb. While this loop can be done in either direction, we suggest doing it counterclockwise. Along the way, the Ecliptic descends and climbs roughly 600 feet as the trail winds into and out of the scenic Box and Arney Canyons, In Box Canyon and in view of Proverb, there is a small cabin perfect for a picnic or shady resting stop. Eventually returning to the Domo, the Ecliptic loop is a great option for guests wanting to see a variety of sculptures and landscapes.