In Cedar Breaks National Monument a huge natural amphitheater has been eroded from the variegated Pink Cliffs (Claron Formation) near Cedar City, Utah. The rocks and erosional features here are similar to those at Bryce Canyon National Park, 35 miles due east. Millions of years ago, one continuous, unbroken deposit covered the two areas. The Sevier fault has since caused these two plateaus to stand at different elevations, with Cedar Breaks almost 2,000 feet higher than Bryce Canyon.
Millions of years of sedimentation, uplift and erosion have created this deep amphitheater (not a true canyon) of rock walls, fins, spires and columns; it spans 3 miles and is over 2,000 feet deep. A vast array of colorful hoodoos stand sentinel at Cedar Breaks, much as they do at Bryce Canyon. The rim of the "canyon" is over 10,000 feet above sea level and is forested with islands of Englemann Spruce, subalpine fir and aspen, separated by meadows of brilliant summertime wildflowers. Stands of rare and extremely old Bristlecone Pine are also endemic to the area.
Rates & Fees
- Private vehicle: $4.00 for a 7-day permit
- Pedestrians and bicyclists: $2.00 per person for a 7-day permit
- Camping: $9.00 per site
Seasons / Hours
All visitor facilities closed during the winter season (mid-October through late May).
- Location: 23 miles east of Cedar City, Utah
- Hours: Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the visitor center is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. From Labor Day until mid- October, it is open 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Visitor center is open from Memorial Day through mid October. The visitor center has a bookstore operated by the Zion Natural History Association.
Programs & Events
Geology talks are given during the summer, Monday through Friday at 10:00 AM, and daily at 2:30 PM, at the Point Supreme Overlook. Join a Cedar Breaks ranger to learn about the basic geologic story of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater. During inclement weather, this presentation will be held inside the visitor center.
Evening campfire programs are given each evening during the summer through Labor Day, at the campground amphitheater (in case of rain, the programs will be held inside the visitor center). Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Times and subjects vary throughout the week, so stop by the visitor center or call 435-586-9451 to check on what program will be presented at the time of your visit.
Ranger Nature Tours
Guided nature walks given during the summer, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 AM, weather and trail conditions permitting. Meet at the Spectra Point trailhead in the visitor center parking lot. This two-mile round-trip hike will take you along the rim of the geologic amphitheater to a stand of Bristlecone pines, one of the world's longest living tree species. A ranger will lead the hike out to Spectra Point, and along the way you will learn more of the geology of the park and the plant and animal life of Cedar Breaks. This is a moderately strenuous hike at elevations of 10,500 feet. It is NOT recommended for persons with cardiac or pulmonary health problems. Bring adequate footwear for hiking and something to protect you from the cool winds.
No food or supplies are available within the park. The nearby towns of Brian Head, Cedar City, Parowan, Duck Creek Village and Panguitch have stores and restaurants.
The visitor center, comfort stations, overlooks, picnic area and campground are wheelchair accessible.
Rules, Regulations, Precautions
It is the visitor's responsibility to know and obey park rules. Regulations are designed for visitors' protection and to protect natural resources.
- No pets are allowed on trails
- Park only in designated parking areas
Cedar Breaks National Monument is located in southwestern Utah about 25 miles north of the Zion National Park Kolob District. It is perched on the western rim of the Markagunt Plateau between the Sevier and Hurricane faults at an elevation over 10,000 feet. It is about 2 miles east to west and 3 miles north to south. It has many geological geological features similar to those at Bryce Canyon National Park, formed from the erosional action on shales and sandstone of the Claron formation.
All visitor facilities and the scenic rim drive are located over 10,000 feet above sea level. This means summer days have highs in the upper 50s to upper 60s. Summer overnight lows are in the upper 30s to lower 50s. Subfreezing temperatures, snow and high winds can occur at any time of the year. Afternoon thunderstorms are common through July and August. Winter visitors, who enter the park via skis or snowmobiles, must be prepared for extreme winter conditions. Visitors should bring a jacket and comfortable walking shoes or sturdy hiking boots, if planning to hike on either of the park's two hiking trails. The highest number of visitors occurs in July and August; the lowest in January and February.
Auto: Access the Monument by Interstate 15 or U.S. Highway 89 to Utah Highways 14, 143 and 148.
- Visitors traveling south on I-15, exit at Parowan, then take Utah Highway 143 east, to Cedar Breaks National Monument.
- Visitors traveling north on I-15 exit at Cedar City, then take Utah Highway 14 east for 18 miles, then Utah Highway 148 north, 4 miles to Cedar Breaks National Monument.
- Visitors traveling north/south on U.S. Highway 89 can take either Utah Highway 143 from Panguitch to Cedar Breaks, or Utah Highway 14 west to Utah Highway 148, and north to Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Transportation: Air and bus service is available to Cedar City, which is serviced by a municipal airport with scheduled passenger service and by various bus lines.
Camping & Lodging
There is no lodging available within the monument. Nearby Cedar City, Utah offers a large variety of accommodations. Brian Head, just to the north of the monument, has year-round lodging, restaurants, gasoline and groceries. For more information and a complete list. Click City for rates, availability and reservation on line
Cedar Breaks has one 30-site campground with a picnic area. There are no group sites. There is a limit of 8 persons per site. Fee is $9.00 per night. The campground has water, restrooms, tables, fire grills and an outdoor amphitheater where evening programs are given. Near the campground is a picnic area with water, tables and grills. Fires are permitted only in campground and picnic area grills.
Things To Do
Picnicking and camping are permitted in designated locations.
A 5-mile road through the high country of Cedar Breaks is the main route to the park's scenic attractions. Point Supreme Overlook is adjacent to the visitor center. Three additional developed overlooks are located along a five-mile scenic drive. Scenic overlooks, trailheads,and all visitor services are located along this road or on short side roads. Use designated roadside parking areas only.
There are 2 hiking trails within the monument. No pets are allowed on trails.
Spectra Point/Ramparts Trail: 2 to 4 miles round trip along the plateau rim passes a stand of ancient Bristlecone pine at Spectra Point and ends at a viewpoint overlooking the Cedar Breaks amphitheater.
Alpine Pond Trail: Self-guided nature tour, 2-mile loop leads to a picturesque forest glade and pond. A trail guide is available at the trailhead or the visitor center.
Resources & Nearby Attractions
The monument is surrounded on all sides by the Dixie National Forest and to the west by the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area. Brian Head Resort is located three miles north of the park, and during the summer the Utah Shakespearean Festival is held in Cedar City. Fishing opportunities are available at nearby Navajo Lake (11 miles), Duck Creek (15 miles) and Panguitch Lake (13 miles). Several national and state parks are within a 100-mile radius of the monument.
Cities & Towns
- Brian Head, Utah: 3 miles north.
- Cedar City, Utah: 20 miles west.
- Beaver, Utah: 52 miles north.
- St. George, Utah: 71 miles southeast.
- Panguitch, Utah: 48 miles northeast.
- Long Valley, Utah: 22 miles east.
- Parowan, Utah: 18 miles north.
- Mt. Carmel, Utah: 44 miles southeast.
Parks & Monuments
- Zion National Park: 45 miles south (Kolob Visitor Center).
- Bryce Canyon National Park: 58 miles west.
- Iron Mission State Park: 28 miles west.
- Snow Canyon State Park: 60 miles southwest.
- Quail Lake State Park: 60 miles south.
- Minersville State Park: 69 miles north.
Recreation & Wilderness Areas
- Dixie National Forest: Abuts the Monument.
- Fishlake National Forest: 50 miles north.
Historic & Points of Interest
- Pioneer Museum (Beaver): 52 miles north.
- Paunsagunt Wildlife Museum (Panguitch): 26 miles northeast.