Scenic USA - Utah

Cedar Breaks

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Cedar Breaks National Monument, Iron County, Utah

Photos by Marilyn Porter
Marilyn's PBase Gallery

  Not quite a canyon, and shaped like a huge amphitheater, Cedar Breaks appears as a "little sister" to its eastern neighbor, Bryce Canyon. Its brightly colored rock layers, dropping down from the rim for nearly 2000 feet, contain an intriguing mix of spires, Traces of a snowfall - Cedar Breaks National Monument, Iron County, Utah pinnacles, natural arches and countless small ravines. A palette of earth tones, ranging from yellows, reds, oranges to deep purples, stains the countless sandstone layers.
  Because of its high elevation, park temperatures remain cool in the summer. Snow comes early and often lingers into late spring. Its skies are some of the darkest in the continental United States. And what better way to celebrate summer at Cedar Breaks National Monument? Staff and astronomy volunteers invite park guests to join them in a star party. Other events at the park included a nature tour, Junior Ranger program, and geology talks. It seems that the star party, led by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society, is one of the Traces of a snowfall - Cedar Breaks National Monument, Iron County, Utah most popular events. Guests receive an impressive introduction to the universe, despite having to brave the chilly night air.
  Itís no surprise that the unusual name, Cedar Breaks, comes from a misunderstanding. Native American called the area circle of painted cliffs, but early settlers focused on the Utah juniper, mistaking them for cedar trees. Badland were called breaks, and the name Cedar Breaks lived on. The park is noted for its photogenic cliffs, hiking trails and camping opportunities. Most of the park trails are easy, but because of the parkís 10,000 foot altitude some visitors may encounter some difficulty. The main trail follows along the canyon rim from the visitor center. A two mile hike leads to Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook. Rattlesnake Creek-Ashdown Gorge Trail leads to the adjacent Ashdown Gorge Wilderness, a section of remote alpine wilderness which conservationists hope will be added to Cedar Breaks someday.

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