Cedar Breaks National Monument: An Inviting Summer Destination

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Bristlecone pine atop Cedar Breaks National Monument./Patrick Cone

Editor's note: As some keen readers have discerned, the original photo that was attached to this story was not taken in Cedar Breaks National Monument, but rather at nearby Bryce Canyon National Park. Monument officials sheepishly acknowledged to us that they had somehow gotten Bryce Canyon shots labeled as their amphitheater posted on their website's photo gallery. So, in place of the original photo we offer this Patrick Cone photo of a bristlecone pine on the lip of the monument's amphitheater.

Stunning crimson and brilliant golden sandstone formations paint a truly unique landscape in any season.

Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah is home to such spectacular views within a three-mile wide, half-mile deep natural amphitheater. Visitors are welcome to experience a variety of activities available within the park. Warm summer months sweep hiking trails with vibrant wildflowers from late June through August.

Cedar Breaks celebrates this colorful show by hosting the annual Wildflower Festival, scheduled this year for July 5-20. Sightseers are encouraged to join park specialists daily on guided hikes exploring the variety of wildflowers, or snag a “What’s In Bloom” handout for a self-guided tour. Stroll along the Alpine Pond Nature Trail, a two-mile loop with wildflower meadows, lush forest grounds and breathtaking views of the amphitheater. The spring-fed Alpine Pond stands as the halfway mark in the loop and a charming spot for visitors to soak in the surrounding wildlife.

For those looking for a more strenuous hike, the four-mile round-trip Spectra Point/Ramparts Overlook Trail meanders along the rim of the amphitheater. At 10,500 feet, every turn offers an unforgettable view. Hikers can spot the oldest known bristlecone pine here, rumored to be over 1,600 years old.

The fun doesn’t have to stop at dusk; Cedar Breaks has one of the darkest night skies in the country due to its high elevation and remote location, making it the perfect spot for Star Parties. Join the star experts for a free evening of galaxy gazing every Saturday beginning in July and running through August.

Weather can rapidly change in the park regardless of the season, so come prepared for the seasonal and evening temperature changes.

Cedar Breaks offers activities for any season, from roaming through fields of blossoming wildflowers and hiking against the brilliant colors of fall to exploring a snowcapped winter playground. This national monument is a natural wonder and a beautiful park to experience all year long. For more information, visit the park's website. Come join in the fun!

This article was assembled by Carli Jones, a Traveler intern, using material provided by the National Park Service. A Utah native, Carli grew up exploring the outdoors on family outings, weekend camping trips, and hiking in Zion and beyond. She is a student at the University of Utah studying communication and nutrition. During her spare time she cycles, hikes, rock climbs and snowboards.

Comments

The picture sure looks like Rainbow Point in Bryce.

The picture is not from Cedar Breaks National Monument and looks like Bryce Canyon National Park, as KevenM suggested. The Cedar City - Brian Head Tourism bureau can provide you shots of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater.