Explore the beauty of the sub-alpine forests at Cedar Breaks National Monument,
from quaking aspens to abundant, delicate wild flowers. At the 10,000' Cedar
Breaks elevation, there are numerous wild flowers to enjoy when strolling the
trails and wandering among the meadows.
The Sub-alpine Forest of Cedar Breaks
A lush sub-alpine forest of quaking aspens surround Cedar Breaks. High on
the mountain, the oldest living thing, the Bristlecone Pine, shows off its twisted
ancient bark. Quaking Aspen at Cedar Breaks
Quaking Aspen got its name because the "quaking" effect the small
flat leaves exhibit when they are rustling in the wind. Autumn on Cedar Mountain
is spectacular! The aspen leaves turn brilliant gold, and
is all the more dramatic as large groups of aspen crowd together.
It's quite a display with white barked trunks enhancing the image. Beaver
make good use of the bark for food and building dams and lodges.
Lichens & Air Quality at Cedar Breaks
Lichens, a symbiotic plant, are evident in Cedar Breaks. This is important
because these plants are an indication of excellent air quality.
Bristlecone Pine Trees
The seldom seen and ancient bristlecone pines thrive at Cedar Breaks National Monument. These are not only the oldest of all trees, but are the oldest living single organisms. There are bristlecone pine trees at Cedar Breaks that are 1,650 years old and older. These old timers have adapted to living on barren slopes and cliff edges. If unsure which trees are the ancient pines, look for pine needles in groups of five. The needles will be one inch to one and half inches long. Bristlecone pine has a thin, smooth bark. It is grayish white on young stems. As the stems age, the color becomes a reddish brown. The cone is tipped with long bristle seeds.
Bristlecone Pine Trail
The Bristlecone Pine Trailhead is a few miles outside of the monument boundaries on SR-14. This is a nice family hike where the trees can be seen up close.
Directions to Cedar Breaks
U-148 Closure Dates. U-148 to Cedar Breaks closes in the winter due to snow depth.
From Las Vegas: Take I-15 north to Cedar City. Take U-14 east from Cedar City to U-148 and turn left to Cedar Breaks. From Arizona: Take US-89 north through Mount Carmel Junction and turn west on U-14. Turn right at U-148 to Cedar Breaks. From Salt Lake City: Take I-15 south, exit at Parowan. Take U-143 to Cedar Breaks. From Mount Carmel Junction: Take US-89 north to U-14. Follow U-14 to U-148 and Cedar Breaks.
The delicate Colorado columbine flower is a gem that is found along
the Alpine Pond Trail. The columbines found here range from all
white to pale blue.
Lodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.
The "Perfect" Christmas Tree
The Engelmann spruce is an evergreen found at Cedar Breaks, but the beetles
are destroying them. With the end of the drought now a hopeful reality, the
surviving Engelmann spruce might have a chance to live. If not the forest will
become a huge aspen forest. This spruce is the "traditional" Christmas
Tree, due to it's well formed shape and beauty. The cones are at the top of the
tree and hang down.
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.
This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park
Contact Tanya to report errors: Email