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Cedar Breaks National Monument

Brian Head   |  Adam Clark
  • Weather: Chance Light Snow, 17F

Hidden within the mountains above Cedar City is the brilliant geology and vibrant environment of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The geologic amphitheater and surrounding environs are home to cool hiking trails, ancient trees, high elevation camping, and over-the-top views along the “Circle of Painted Cliffs.”

Cedar Breaks’ majestic amphitheater is a three-mile-long cirque made up of eroding limestone, shale, and sandstone. Situated on the western edge of the Markagunt Plateau, the raised area of earth located in Southern Utah between Interstate 15 and Highway 89, the monument sits entirely above 10,000 feet. The Amphitheater is like a naturally formed coliseum that plunges 2,000 feet below taking your eyes for a colorful ride through arches, towers, hoodoos, and canyons.

Stunning views are common throughout so keep your camera nearby.

What You’ll Remember

Iron oxides found in the rocks of the Amphitheater are the cause of the red, orange, and yellow colors. Magnesium oxides are responsible for the purple hues. Seeing this rainbow of muted colors within the badlands of Cedar Breaks creates a fantasyland you never could have imagined.

If you have time, a memory not to be missed is finishing the day at Point Supreme. Watching the shadow play across the Amphitheater as the sun sinks below the horizon is sure to put a smile on your face. Head back to camp and enjoy a delicious meal as the beauty of the Milky Way lights up the astral sky above.

The outrageous scenery of Cedar Breaks is candy for your eyes. Hiking the trails is perfect for those with a base level of fitness and suitable for a wide age group. If you like gorgeous alpine settings with great hiking, superb camping, and a lack of crowds Cedar Breaks National Monument is the place for you. The national monument is open from late May to mid-October, with camping available from mid-June to mid-September. There is a wildflower festival in July followed by some of the best autumn foliage in Utah.

During the winter season, Cedar Breaks is a premier cross-country skiing and snowmobiling destination with access from Brian Head Ski Resort. Also check the park calendar for parties in one of America’s top dark sky parks and when temperatures and snow conditions permit, a winter day use yurt/ranger station staffed on weekends by volunteers offering free hot chocolate to warm your snowy adventures.

GPS Coordinates, Parking, and Regulations

GPS coordinates of visitor center parking lot:

(37.612127, -112.837309)

Directions:

Traveling south on I-15: Take exit 78 to Parowan. Travel south on Main Street for 1.3 miles. Turn left onto E. Center Street. Travel 0.3 Miles. Turn right onto Utah Highway 143 East. Continue approximately 15 miles to Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Traveling north on I-15: Take exit 57 to Cedar City. Travel north on Main Street for 2.2 miles. Turn right onto E Center Street/Utah Highway 14. Continue east on Utah Highway 14 for approximately 18 miles. Turn left onto Utah Highway 148 and continue 4 miles to Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Cedar Breaks National Monument requires an entrance fee: $10/person, valid for seven days. (Annual Pass: $35)

$24/night at Point Supreme Campground. (Senior/Access: $12/night)

(435) 586-9451 or (435) 586-0787

 

The Patchwork Parkway Scenic Byway (S.R. 143)

Steeped in pioneer history and painted with some of Southern Utah's most stunning and unexpected scenic desert beauty, Utah's state Route 143, the Patchwork Parkway, is a designated national scenic byway

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