Cedar Breaks is one of the favorite places to visit of the author. It is an extremely beautiful monument, placed up at 10,000 feet in Southwestern Utah. I have visited the park 3 times in my life, 2 times in July, 1 time in Late August, and I was one of only 30 people in the monument at the time. After visiting parks like Zion or Bryce Canyon, there is nothing better than to be driving through the brisk, cool mountain air, with only you and a handful of other visitors around.
The Facilities located in the park are extremely limited, only a visitor center and a small campground are located within the park. The closest hotel/motel, gas station, or restaurant are back in Cedar City, some 30 miles away. There are some decent hiking trails around the rim of the ampitheater, with decent amount of wildlife visible. One indication of how little visitation that Cedar Breaks gets is the fact that the local wildlife is very skittish when it sees you, even from a hundred yards away. This monument has a feel of a wilderness experience.
The monument's roads are closed during the winter time.
From early June to early September, the visitor center is
open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. From Labor Day until mid-October, it
is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. All visitor facilities are CLOSED
during the winter season (mid-October through late May).
PLANE - Nearest major airport is Salt Lake City.
CAR -Visitors traveling south on I-15, exit at Parowan,
then take Utah Highway 143 east, to Cedar Breaks National Monument. Visitors
traveling north, on I-15 exit at Cedar City, then take Utah Highway 14
east for 18 miles, then Utah Highway 148 north, 4 miles to Cedar Breaks
National Monument. Visitors traveling north/south on U.S. Highway 89,
can take either Utah Highway 143 f rom Panguitch to Cedar Breaks, or Utah
Highway 14 west, to Utah Highway 148, and north to Cedar Breaks National
Weather & Climate
The weather during the summer months rarely gets above 60 degrees, with lows regularly getting below freezing.
Due to its high altitude, the monument experiences signficant snowfall each winter.
The visitor center, comfort stations, overlooks, picnic area and campground are wheelchair accessible.
There is a small campground near the rim and visitor center, it has water, no hook ups and pit toilets. The three times I have visited the park it has been no where near full, but you never know.
There is no hotel lodging within Cedar Breaks National Monument. There is lodging in nearby Bryan's Head Resort and in Cedar City, which is roughly 45 minute drive away.
*Free Local and 800 Calls, Free Wireless Internet Access, Complimentary Morning Coffee, Pets welcome, HBO and ESPN, Guest Laundry, 17 and Under Stay Free, Newly Remodeled Rooms, Convenient Location off I-15
Nearby Attractions: Utah Shakespearean Festival 1/2 mile, Zion National Park 62 Miles, Bryce Canyon National Park 85 Miles
Cedar Breaks 25 Miles, Brian Head Ski Resort 30 Miles, Southern Utah University 1/2 Mile
Cedar Breaks National Monument is a small monument located in the mountains above Cedar City, Utah. The monument is created around a large natural ampitheatre that has been erroded from the mountainside. The park is similar to Bryce Canyon with its impressive display of Hoodoos as well as the colorful ampitheatre.I would only expect to spend 1-2 hours in the actual park, as their is not a whole lot of activities for the visitor. There is a small visitor center to stop in and see exhibits and get quesitons answered by the knowledgable Rangers.
Cedar Breaks is different than Bryce Canyon in that the park does not have any trails down from the rim into the ampitheatre. You will notice in the picture above, that the cliffs are 500 feet or more high, and there is no easy way down. This limits the amount of activities in the park quite dramatically, with mainly a rim trail following the rim.
For those that are more keen in seeing the park from the comfort of their own car, the main park road follows the rim of the Cedar Breaks ampitheatre, and has several observation pullouts along the way. On the opposite side of the road from the rim is a very beautiful high alpine meadow. I have always seen Deer along this road and in the meadow in all of my visits to the Monument.
The immediate area around Cedar Breaks National Monument
is very mountainous and quite beautiful. With altitude reaching up to
10,000 feet, remember to take it easy if you are not used to the altitude.
While you are visiting Cedar Breaks, you should definitely plan on visiting other parks in the area such as Arches National Park, Zion National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park. Each one of these parks offer great opportunities for hiking, camping, photography, and enjoying nature.
Known as the "Festival City", Cedar City is a town built up along the I-15 corridor, but it does contain some quaintness not associated with many towns found along Interstates. Cedar City is a "Major City" for this area of Utah, offering all of the modern conveniences that you find in your hometown, including the wholly grail, a Super Walmart. This comes in quite handy for those that are looking to stock up for a week or camping in Bryce Canyon, Zion, or Cedar Breaks, and do not want to break the bank at a smaller store.
Cedar City also has a plethora of options for lodging, restaurants and shopping. For those of you that are trying to find the closest airport to Bryce Canyon, Zion and Cedar Breaks, you will find it here in Cedar City. The Cedar City Regional Airport is one of the most picturesque small airports that you will find anywhere in the country. The new passenger Terminal was built in 2004 and is modelled after many of the historic National Park lodges. The Terminal has a 3 story tall main atrium with Floor to Ceiling windows and a beautiful fireplace. The only scheduled service to the airport is by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines, and offers daily service to the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Bryan's Head Resort
The Bryan's Head Ski Resort is a wonderful ski resort located on the backside of the mountain from Cedar Breaks National Monument. The resort enjoys some of the great Rocky Mountain snows without the larger crowds or higher expenses of the major Colorado and Central Utah ski resorts.