Cedar Breaks National Monument
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 1920’s 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.
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 spuce tree is becoming a rare sight. The fir beatle has been doing some damage on the mountain lately as well. The bristlecone pine and fir trees dots the landscape in many places on the monument. The bristlecone is thought to be the oldest living thing in the world even though the Aspen, according to some scientist, 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.
A cool, alpine climate.
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.
If visiting the Southwest where there are so many parks and monuments so close to each other, get the National Park pass. This pass is good for every National Park in the USA and it gets you into Cedar Breaks National Monument as well. If you want to pay just the fee for the monument then it is $4 for 7 days.
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.
- Cedar Breaks Ampitheatre from all 5 pull-outs.
- Cedar Breaks Visitor Center. This rustic old building is wonderful!
- Cedar Breaks Campground
- Alpine Pond Trail which is a great family hike through the forest to a nice pond.
- Spectra Point & Wasatch Ramparts Trail is a moderate trail to a nice view of the ampitheatre.
- Cedar Breaks Bottoms is a seldom done trail that begins in Dixie National Forest and ends down at the hoodoos seen from the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument.
- Twisted Forest Trail is a nice meander through the bristcones.
- Ashdown Gorge - Rattlesnake Creek is an impressive hike. It starts as a meander down hill through the bristecone with views of the Cedar Breaks Ampitheatre and ends in the gorge near Cedar City.
There is a nice book store in the rustic visitor center.
There is no food sold inside the monument.
Food sold near Cedar Breaks.
Drinks are not sold inside the monument.
Nearby Communities where drinks are sold:
There is no lodging inside the monument.
There is lodging in nearby communities.
- Cedar Breaks Campground
- Dixie National Forest, Cedar Mountain Campgrounds.
Dixie National Forest and Ashdown Gorge Wildneress surround the monument and lend a vast backcountry area to the monument.
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.
- Zion National Park is a popular Utah National Park. Many that come to visit Zion take the quick jaunt over to visit Cedar Breaks.
Nearby Towns and Communities
This page was last edited at 13:05, on 27 August 2008 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Nick Roux, Frank and Ryan Holliday, Wikitravel user(s) PerryPlanet and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.