Cedar Breaks Monument Vacation
Annual Winter Road Closures
Cedar Breaks National Monument
The small but impressive, Cedar Breaks National Monument, lies close to three magnificent national parks and as a result, it is often forgotten during vacation plans. Some say that "if Cedar Breaks were anywhere but in this region, it would be picked as one of the world's greatest scenic wonders.
A 5 mile rim drive leads to the four view points at the monument: Spectra Point, Sunset View, Chessmen Ridge Overlook and North View. Meadows of wildflowers and a forest of pines and quaking aspens adorn the beautiful national monument. The Cedar Breaks amphitheater spans three miles and is 2500' deep, offering a breathtaking panoramic view. The charming and rustic log cabin, Cedar Breaks Visitor Center, is located at Spectra Point. This is a great place to stop and pick up souvenirs.
Because of the high elevation, Cedar Breaks is usually open from late May until snow forces Utah SR-148 to close sometime after November. From Mount Carmelighway Junction drive north on US-89 to the junction of US-89 & Utah SR-14. Enjoy the incredible scenic drive up SR-14 to SR-148. It's a 20 mile drive into Dixie National Forest and another 25 mile drive to Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Suggested Cedar Breaks Trails
Alpine Pond Trail - When hiking this 2 mile loop, notice the sub-alpine forest all around. In the forest mingle with shade loving firs and a wide variety of delicate alpine flowers. Ancient bristlecone pine and quaking aspen lend a splash of green along the trail. The 10,000' elevation of the forest results in dense and lush vegetation. Enjoy the greenery and showy white columbine, while strolling this trail to the pond at the end of the path.
Spectra Point Trail - Begin this moderate 4 mile hike at Spectra Point, near the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center. Like the Alpine Pond Trail, the path leads through the forest and ends at a stream.
Zion National Park Overlook - The Zion National Park Overlook offers an outstanding, distant view of the park. Look for the marked pull-off on the side of SR-14.
Bristlecone Pine Trail - The Bristlecone Pine Trail is an easy .77 mile hike to a distant view of Zion National Park. Look for the trailhead just east of the Zion National Park Overlook. An interesting tidbit is that the bristlecone pines' seen along this trail and along the Spectra Point Trail are the oldest living things on earth.
Navajo Lake Overlook - Navajo Lake is located at the top of Cedar Mountain, where the air is cool and brisk and the view seems to go on forever. Fishing is allowed on the lake and the far side of the lake is the starting area for the Cascade Falls Trail.
Cascade Falls - Turn at the dirt road to Navajo Lake and follow the road to the end to find the Cascade Falls Trailhead. Cascade Falls is a trail with beautiful views along the entire path. From the trail, hikers look down on the deeply forested land of the Markagunt Plateau. At the end a unique waterfall sits, wedged in the jagged red rocks of Cascade Falls. The trail is .5 mile km hike with few elevation changes.
Navajo Lake Loop Trail - The Navajo Lake Loop Trail or also called the Virgin River Rim Trail is a loop trail that can be biked or hiked. The trailhead is near the Cascade Falls Trail. The loop is 11.5 miles.
Duck Creek and Duck Pond - Besides being the perfect place for a stroll along a picturesque stream, duck creek and duck pond are favorite trout fishing spots.
Strawberry Point - Drive out to the scenic view point of Strawberry Point for spectacular views of forested land and red rock formations. A high clearance vehicle makes this a nicer drive. Duck Pond is 9 miles from the turnoff to Strawberry Point. After turning at the spur, which is a graded dirt and gravel road road, it's another 9 miles to Strawberry Point.
Getting ready for Day 4
If you want more...
Best Bets for the Adventurous Traveler: Strenuous Hiking Trails or Sand Dunes
Coral Pink Sand Dunes - The Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a great place to spend some time after a day in Dixie National Forest.
If more hiking or backpacking in Dixie National Forest is what you have in mind try one of the following trails:
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.