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Cedar Breaks National Monument
Ranked #2 of 40 things to do in Cedar City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A smaller version of Bryce Canyon, this 2,500-foot deep basin filled with strange limestone formations in a vivid array of colors and hues offers breathtaking views on a five-mile drive along the rim. This naturally formed amphitheater has guided walks in the summer and a few designated hiking trails.
Reviewed 6 April 2018

Visited in August 2017 A beautiful scenic place to relax and take a nice uncrowded hike. Rim trail & a trail to bottom of bowl. A must see when you are in the area. A second visit in Feb was unsuccessful due to 148 closed in the winter time. Did a 50+ mile detour around from Ski Resort. Not able to get to the parking area in the winter months due to road closer all winter. So visit from Spring to End of Sept.

Thank apkh0828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"cedar breaks"
in 345 reviews
"bryce canyon"
in 163 reviews
"spectra point"
in 35 reviews
"brian head"
in 82 reviews
"alpine pond"
in 41 reviews
"wildflower festival"
in 19 reviews
"bristlecone pine"
in 15 reviews
"visitor center"
in 47 reviews
"high altitude"
in 23 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 37 reviews
"spectacular views"
in 28 reviews
"ranger station"
in 15 reviews
"scenic drive"
in 24 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 14 reviews
"degrees cooler"
in 10 reviews
"fall colors"
in 10 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 12 reviews

49 - 53 of 1,038 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2018

We have been to Cedar Breaks on two separate visits 30 years apart, and we love it there. The vibrant vermilion "hoodoo" rock formations are very similar to those at Bryce Canyon National Park, but are concentrated in a smaller area. Cedar Breaks is less well-known and therefore less crowded than Bryce Canyon. I don't think that the commercial tour buses visiting "The Mighty 5" parks stop there, possibly because the roads to get there (Utah State Routes 14 or 143) are curvy two-lane mountain roads. The park is compact; you can spend as little as 30 minutes if you just want to peek at some overlooks, or as much as 1-2 days if you want to camp and hike. We spent about 2.5 hours there to visit all the overlooks and take a hike. The elevation at Cedar Breaks is over 10,000', so the temperatures are much cooler up there than in the surrounding valleys. The park is prone to winter weather, and the scenic access road (Utah State Route 148) is typically closed from late-October through mid-May. [Note that winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiliing are permitted but facilities are closed; see website.] Unless you're planning to visit in summer, I strongly suggest checking the park website to make sure it's open. It was September both times we visited. The first time we went it was the end of the month and the park was open but it was 29 degrees, windy and snowing! On our recent trip, we visited on a Tuesday morning about the second week of the month. There were rain showers in the forecast and it was cool, but pleasant for hiking.

There is not a lodge or restaurant at Cedar Breaks. There's a campground that is open in summer, other than that the closest services are at Brian Head ski area (4-5 miles), Cedar City (20-25 miles), and Duck Creek Village (about 15 miles). We stayed at Cedar City and drove up the mountain on UT14 through Cedar Canyon first thing in the morning. It was a very scenic drive - I wish we had waited until the sun was a little higher in the sky because the canyon was still somewhat shaded by the surrounding mountains. This route passes Cedar Canyon Overlook about 17 miles east of Cedar City, where the Bristlecone Pine Trail leads .3 mile one-way to a panoramic view south toward Zion National Park (not wheelchair accessible).

The scenic access road for Cedar Breaks is UT148, a 7.5 mile, two-lane paved road that runs north-south between UT14 and UT143. It skirts the eastern rim of the massive bowl-shaped amphitheater and leads to 4 overlooks of the enchanting hoodoos below. The visitor center is located at the southern end of the road at Point Supreme Overlook, where visitors are expected to show NPS passes or pay the entrance fee ($6/person, age 15 and under free). It's typically open 9:00am-6pm, providing maps, information, souvenirs and restrooms. The overlooks are all worth the time to stop, offering different vantage points of the amazing geologic formations. Walkways are short, paved and suitable for wheelchairs.

We parked at Point Supreme and checked out the overlook and visitor center, then followed the paved trail across the road to the campground and picnic area where we connected to the newly-paved Sunset Trail. This path winds through alpine meadow, evergreen and aspen trees to the Sunset View Overlook. There were wildflowers all along the way, and we were enchanted by the friendly golden-mantled ground squirrels that were scurrying everywhere. It was quiet in the morning - we only saw one other couple the whole way. The walking distance from the visitor center to Sunset View is about 2-2.5 miles round trip. There are some gradual grades but it's suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Before setting off to hike, you should be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, shortness of breath, fatigue). Go slow and drink plenty of fluids. Note that pets are only allowed on the paved trail between the visitor center and campground.

Two additional hiking trails are available in the park (not wheelchair accessible). The Ramparts Trail starts at Point Supreme parking lot and leads along the rim to Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook for views of the amphitheater and bristlecone pine trees (4 miles round-trip, steep grades). The Alpine Pond Trail is a 2-mile loop with trail heads at Chessmen Ridge Overlook on its south end and along the scenic drive on its north end (about a mile north of Chessmen).

After enjoying our hike and all the overlooks at Cedar Breaks, we ventured just about a mile north of the North View Overlook to Brian Head Peak (see separate reviews of Brian Head Peak Observation). This attraction is not part of the National Monument but is right next to it and well-worth the time! Access is via Forest Road 047 which is a dirt and gravel road that climbs steeply around the edge of the mountain peak for 2.7 miles to an elevation of 11,307' for spectacular views of 3 states. After consulting the rangers at Cedar Breaks about road condition, we attempted this drive in a low-clearance 2WD car. The views were worth it, but the road was quite rough and rutted and we had to go very slow.

From Brian Head we set out eastward for Panguitch and Bryce Canyon via the Patchwork Parkway scenic drive (UT143) through the Dixie National Forest; see separate reviews of "Brian Head-Panquitch Lake Scenic Byway".

6  Thank CrankingChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

We passed through not knowing what we were in for. Perhaps one of the most beautiful places we've seen. The wildflower meadows were in full bloom. If I could rank this 6 out of 5 stars I would.

Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

Spent 2 nights camping in Gods High Country. The campground was located just a few miles from the entrance to the & beautiful overlooks of the park. At the campground fire wood available at a low cost. The camp host said we could use as much fire wood as we could burn for the onetime fee, because they had plenty being early in the year. Weather was a bit windy, but that did not dampen the trip. If you are near RT. 143, its worth the stop even if its out of your way.

1  Thank 4734M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 February 2018

The Monument is a marvel of earths forming. You can see where giant faces have collapsed to form this part of the high altitude mountains. You are standing at close to 10,000 feet looking down at this grandeur.

Thank Dave E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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