Cedar Breaks National Monument - history
Ever wondered why the monument is called Cedar Breaks when there are no cedar trees around? Simple error is why. Early settlers mistook the Utah junipers, found at lower elevations, for Cedar trees. When the area was named by the early pioneers it was common to call badlands "breaks" and thus, the name Cedar Breaks was given. Prior to this, the Paiutes named the Cedar Breaks amphitheater "Circle of Painted Cliffs" or "un-cap-i-un-ump." Although the "Circle of Painted Cliffs" was the first name, it is Cedar Breaks that stuck.
1919 the first vehicle traveled to the Breaks
Cedar Breaks: Human History - Indians lived in the area for thousands of years before they were disturbed by the white man. There are many archeological records that attest to their presence. It was the Southern Paiutes (Pah-Utes) that were the first to meet the early pioneers. Mormon settlers moved into Cedar Breaks in 1851, forging a wagon trail to transport logs. Life was hard in those days and the "break" in the road added to the hardships. Thus the term "break" was used often when referring to the amphitheater. Life as these Southern Paiute's knew it changed when their land was taken and disease was brought to the area. The traditional ways of life slowly changed and more white men came to the forest.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