If you didn't find time to drive up to Cedar Breaks National Monument this year, well, you have missed your opportunity for 2008. With winter closing in on Utah's high country, the roads leading to the colorful monument have been closed for the season.
Still, if you don't mind cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or simply snowshoeing, you'll be able to reach the monument in the months ahead by making Brian Head, Utah, your kicking off point.
A snowstorm that ripped across southern Utah on Monday and Tuesday led to the decision to close Utah 148 as well as the Cedar Breaks Scenic Drive for the winter. Park Superintendent Paul Roelandt says the storm drifted over the scenic drive.
"We have reached that time of year when expected heavy snow accumulations and constant drifting of snow across the road have made it unsafe to keep the road open," he says.
That said, you can reach Brian Head, a ski town located about 5.5 miles from the national monument, from Highway 143.
During the winter months, once there's enough snow cover, Cedar Breaks rangers will mark trails for both snowshoers and skiers from the north park boundary along the north rim of the breaks, and along the Alpine Pond Trail. A snowmobile trail also will be marked; snowmobilers are reminded that they must stay on the route so as not to damage plants and wildlife.
For the latest on winter recreation and road closures, you can call park headquarters at 435-586-9451.