Fall colors contrast magnificently with the ruddy foundation of the Markagunt Plateau at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah. If you can work it into your schedule, you can enjoy that contrast as the monument celebrates its Fall Nature Festival this weekend.
The transition to the fall season is well underway at the monument, with splashes of color appearing throughout Cedar Canyon, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and the surrounding area.
At Cedar Breaks, most of the understory plants have turned shades of gold and brown, while aspens are adding their yellows and oranges to the forest. To highlight this remarkable time of year, visitors are invited to participate in Fall Nature Festival activities from 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Family-friendly activities, make-and-take crafts, and special programs will be conducted throughout the two festival days. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Patrick Moore of the U.S. Forest Service will conduct an outdoor program, The Living Forest, that will focus on the subalpine forest of Cedar Breaks. Visitors should meet in the Visitor Center area and be prepared for trail walking and dressed appropriately for the weather.
Also on Saturday at 4 p.m., a program on fire safety will be presented in the campground amphitheater. Participants will be treated to free s’mores!
On Sunday, a guided walk along the Alpine Pond Trail will examine how animals are preparing for winter. Visitors should meet for this one-mile walk at 2 p.m. at the Chessman Ridge Overlook.
Additionally, the park will celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday. This event is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve federal, state, and local public lands. Free admission to all national parks and monuments will be offered to visitors on Saturday.
Visitors to Cedar Breaks will also have an opportunity to participate in a service project. Visitors can “drop in” anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to assist resource managers with collecting native seeds. Specific information about the project location will be available at the monument's fee station on Saturday.
The annual display of fall colors can best be seen at Cedar Breaks by driving the monument's six-mile scenic drive and exploring the Alpine Pond Trail. During the fall, you can access an up-to-date web report on the fall colors found around Brian Head, Panguitch Lake, Cedar Breaks, Duck Creek, Cedar City, Parowan Canyon, Kolob/Zion, and Scenic Byways UT-14 and 143 at this website.
Cedar Breaks National Monument is located 23 miles east of Cedar City, Utah, along State Route 148. Call the park visitor center at 586-0787 or administrative office at 586-9451 for more information.