Cedar Breaks Highlights

Cedar Breaks Utah

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Cedar Breaks National Monument Amphitheater

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Cedar Breaks
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Anyone that visits Cedar Breaks must wonder why such a magnificent place is a monument rather than a national park.  Back in the 1930's it was decided that Cedar Breaks "was simply a series of vistas, which Forest Service officials did not believe required NPS interpretation." In 1933 Cedar Breaks was proclaimed to "protect a remarkable natural amphitheater of eroded limestone and sandstone in southern Utah."  Today there is a new drive by Iron County to give Cedar Breaks the national park status it deserves.  The current proposal would encompass the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness as well as Flanigan Arch.  The Ashdown Gorge Wilderness contains 7,043 acres. Currently it is managed by the Forest Service. Flanigan Arch was discovered in 1916 by William Flanigan.  The arch, at one time, almost became a national monument.

Cedar Breaks Points of Interest

The area is primitive compared to the National Parks of Southern Utah, but for this very reason it is an incomparable gem. The Cedar Breaks Visitor Center is no exception to this rule, it is a charming rustic cabin that is located at Spectra Point. Although small and not over stuffed with books and other souvenirs, is does have a good choice as well as some exhibits. Current schedules for ranger and junior ranger programs are posted at the quaint log cabin. The center opens early June and stays open daily until mid-October, closing usually about 5 - 6 pm.  Of course the Cedar Breaks amphitheater is on the top of the must do list. The coliseum shaped theatre reaches 2,000 ft. in depth and over 3 miles in diameter. Coral colored weather carved rock spires, columns and arches, fill the vast area. A day in Dixie National Forest and Cedar Breaks National Monument is indeed a joy. The temperatures are cool which is a nice escape from the heat of the Southwest desert. You will want to spend some time at Alpine Pond, a spring fed pool in the lush forest. The pool is a favorite water hole for many of the monument's wildlife. A 2.1 mile, easy trail will take you there. Cedar Breaks is the place to enjoy primitive aspects of nature. Also put the Spectra Point - Ramparts Trail on your to do list.  Although the hike through Ashdown Gorge and to the bottom of the hoodoos are spectacular, they require a lot of time.  If you have it, then by all means add those to the top of your list!


Cedar Breaks is surrounded on all sides by the Dixie National Forest and to the west by the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness. Just a few miles in either direction offers a host of activities including hiking, biking, fishing, ATV trails, snowmobiling, boating, camping and much more. Cedar Breaks is the idea location for loads of recreation and adventure.  Driving is one of America's favorite pastimes and Highway 148 is a dream. A 5 mile section of the 8 mile road gives way to four pull-outs that allow sightseers to view the amphitheater from different angles. If you like camping, the Cedar Breaks Campground has 28 sites, which are on a first come basis. The campground is located across the road from the visitor center.  It is closed for the winter starting in September and opens in June.

Cedar Breaks Vacation: Color Country

Zion National Park Map Red Canyon - Dixie National Forest Cedar Mountain - Dixie National Forest Zion National Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes North Rim of the Grand Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument East Zion Welcome Center Bryce Canyon National Park Cedar Breaks National Monument Scenic Byway 89 Scenic Byway 14 Scenic Byway 143 Scenic Byway 12 Scenic Byway 9 - Zion Mt. Carmel Hwy Zion National Park Lodging Zion National Park Lodging

Cedar Breaks is just a short drive from the East side of Zion Park and is a great addition to your vacation plans.

Naturalist NotesNature Notes

The word "breaks" in the name Cedar Breaks is a term that was used to describe places that wagons could not go. Wagons were important to the pioneers, using them to carry people and provisions for five months or more. Much work went into preparing the wagons to withstand the harsh environment and heavy use. Wagons could only travel about 15-20 miles a day so it took long to get anywhere.

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