Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks

Cedar Breaks National Monument is a United States National Monument that is located in the Dixie region of Utah.

Understand

History

The wild and rugged land compromising the area where Cedar Breaks lies today was known to 1800 Mormon settlers as “Breaks,” due to how difficult it was to travel in the area. In the 1920s Iron and Kane Counties worked together to have a road constructed from Cedar City to Highway 89. A paved road up to Cedar Breaks was also built. President Franklin D. Roosevelt named Cedar Breaks a National Monument on August 22, 1933. The monument is managed today by the National Park Service. In the summer of 2006 parties have worked to have this outstanding monument become a National Park.

Landscape

Impressive! Cedar Breaks is one of those places that is breath taking. The single amphitheater is filled with shapes and the subtle colors of limestone formations that are incredible. Surrounding the amphitheater are high alpine meadows covered in an array of wildflowers.

Flora and fauna

You would think the place would be filled with Cedar trees, but there is not a one in sight. Instead there are juniper trees that the early settlers mistook for Cedar trees. This is a high elevation monument however and although there are junipers, there are many more aspen and spruce. Due to the spruce beetle however, a live and thriving spruce tree is becoming a rare sight. The fir beetle has been doing some damage on the mountain lately as well. The bristlecone pine and fir trees dots the landscape in many places in the monument. The bristlecone is thought to be the oldest living thing in the world even though the Aspen, according to some scientists, might just be older.

At 10,000 feet the fauna living on the mountain must be hardy. Seen around the monument are deer, squirrels, chipmunks, pika and gophers.

Climate

Cedar Breaks

A cool, alpine climate.

Get in

Check road reports before heading to Cedar Breaks in late fall and winter. U-148 closes anywhere from late October and does not usually open again until late May. Cross country skiers and snowmobiles can access the park by skies or snowmobiles.

If traveling on US-89, take Utah 14 west to Utah 148 north to Cedar Breaks National Monument. If traveling north on I-15, take the Cedar City exit and proceed to Utah 14. There will be a signed road to Cedar Breaks. Turn onto Utah 148 and drive 4 miles to Cedar Breaks National Monument. If traveling south on I-15, exit at Parowan, then take Utah 143 east to Cedar Breaks National Monument.

The closest airport is in St. George, about an hour south of Cedar City on I-15. The closest full-service airports are in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, which are connected by I-15.

Fees/Permits

The entrance fee for the monument then it is $4 per person, good for 7 days.

There are several passes that allow free entry for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes are valid at all national parks including Cedar Breaks National Monument:

In 2016 the National Park Service will offer several days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 16-24 (National Park Week), August 25-28 (National Park Service's 100th birthday weekend), September 24 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).

Get around

This is a small monument so it's easy to get around. Along U-148 there is a 5 miles drive with pull outs for visitors to view the amphitheater from different angles. Pull-outs include: Spectra Point, Sunset View, Chessmen Ridge and Point Supreme.

See

Cedar Breaks Visitor Center

Do

Buy

There is a nice book store in the rustic visitor center.

Eat

There is no food sold inside the monument. Nearby towns with restaurants include Duck Creek, Mount Carmel Junction and Cedar City.

Drink

Drinks are not sold inside the monument. Nearby Communities where drinks are sold include Duck Creek, Mount Carmel Junction and Cedar City.

Sleep

Lodging

There is no lodging inside the monument. Nearby communities where lodging is available include Duck Creek, Mount Carmel Junction and Cedar City.

Camping

Additional campgrounds can be found in the Dixie National Forest.

Backcountry

Dixie National Forest and Ashdown Gorge Wildneress surround the monument and lend a vast backcountry area to the monument.

Stay safe

When hiking in the backcountry always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Avoid hiking rainy days if hiking Ashdown Gorge or any other slot canyon.

Go next

Nearby Towns and Communities

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.