Cedar Breaks National Monument - Fauna
A variety of fauna have adapted to the elevation of Cedar Breaks, where
a lofty 10,000' environment pushes the extremes. Many mammals live in the Cedar Breaks area including ground squirrels, pikas,
marmots chipmunks and deer. Surviving, and thriving, in the extreme cold winters
has resulted in the adaptation of unique characteristics.
Nature's Natural Tillers
Look close at the trunks of many of the trees in Cedar Breaks and surrounding Dixie National Forest. You will see odd shapes or designs dug into the bark. These are beetle tracks. Normally, the beetles only attack dead trees, but when a beetle epidemic hits, large numbers of beetles kill the living trees as well. Although it may seem to be a problem, the killing of these trees makes room for new growth and is nature's way of keeping the forest healthy. The beetles are a native species to the forest, and nature will be allowed to run its course. In the 1920's, the spruce bark beetle killed the spruce trees on Boulder Mountain near Teasdale. The forest is now young and healthy.
Under normal conditions the spruce trees fight off the attack of the beetle, so the beetles are forced to be content with downed trees. When the beetles reach epidemic numbers they are able to kill healthy trees, overpowering the trees natural sap defense, especially if the trees are subject to drought. Dixie National Forest renews itself about every 300-500 years, but it's usually through the process of fire instead of a beetle epidemic. Recently another beetle, called the Fir Engraver, has been found in the forest and is attacking the Fir trees.Utah's Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain
Cedar Breaks National Monument is surrounded by Utah's Dixie National Forest. From Mt. Carmel Junction, drive north on US-89 to the junction with SR-14. SR-14 is known as Cedar Mountain which is the scenic byway to travel to Cedar Breaks. Once on Cedar Mountain, travel through the beautiful forest, and then turn at the signed highway to Cedar Breaks - SR-148. It's 22 miles from Mt. Carmel Junction to boundary of Dixie National Forest and 45 miles to Cedar Breaks.
Utah's Dixie National Forest: Red Canyon
Red Canyon is a unique part of Dixie National Forest that is not only traveled through on the way to Bryce Canyon, but it has eroded hoodoos like Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks. It is found along Scenic Byway 12.
Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah
Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.
Cedar Breaks maps