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 east section of the Azimuth, or the first trail intersection reached on the Meridian, takes guests .9 miles (1.8 miles round-trip) on moderate rolling terrain, climbing over 100 feet over and up to the Inverted Portal by Ensamble Studio.
The west section of the Azimuth trail is 1.25 miles (2.5 miles round-trip) and descends into Murphy Canyon before climbing back up over 190 feet to a sweeping bowl in the hills beyond the Beartooth Portal by Ensamble Studio. From here, guests can return the way they came, or take the Andesite Trail to the Beartooth Portal, another 1.5 miles away.
The Andesite trail can be followed in either direction. It connects the Beartooth Portal by Ensamble Studio with the Azimuth. Gaining or descending over 170 feet in 1.5 miles, this trail takes guests along the rim of Murphy Canyon while climbing up to the ridge above the Beartooth Portal or down to the intersection with the Azimuth trail.
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 taken 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.