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Cedar Breaks National Monument

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Point Supreme viewpoint, Cedar Breaks National Monument
If you take a quick glance at Cedar Breaks National Monument, you might think that you're looking at images of Bryce Canyon National Park. In a way, you are, but you're 50 miles away on the other side of the Markagunt / Paunsaugunt Plateau, where the same soft sandstone layer of rock is exposed and similarly eroded. The main difference, is the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater faces West, instead of those at Bryce that faces (primarily) East. You're also about 1000 feet higher in elevation, though I've personally found that once above 7,500 feet or so, it doesn't matter, there's just not enough oxygen. :-)

Cedar Breaks is technically on the other side of the Grand Staircase, if you look at Brian's Head as the Staircase "Divide", but it's part of the same uplift that occured 65-70 million years ago. That also means it faces West, so my early morning shots have the near portion of the amphitheater in shadow. If you can, Noon to early afternoon might be the best time to go. Back to Top

Cedar Breaks is on the other side of the Markagunt Plateau from Bryce Canyon, but exposes the same layer of rock.
Cedar Breaks never got a fair shake from me. I only stopped there in 1997, completely bypassing the park in 2008, since we had other things on our agenda. We were there somewhat early in the morning, it was windy (well, it always seems windy when you're at 10,000 feet in altitude), and cold. So cold that we had to get out our winter jackets that were in the back of the trunk. We had just seen the South and North rims of the Grand Canyon, a full double rainbow over Lake Powell in Glen Canyon, and all three access points to Zion. So Cedar Breaks became nothing more than a brief picture taking opportunity.

I do find it interesting that Cedar Breaks didn't have the same "Wow" factor that Bryce Canyon did later in the day. That's why I didn't go back when I was close in 2008... Back to Top

Cedar Breaks National Monument Map
Cropped map of the Cedar Breaks. Click on the map for a larger view.
North View Overlook
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Markagunt Plateau
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Point Supreme Overlook
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Sunset View Overlook
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Chessmen Ridge Overlook
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Related Links

US-89, the US Highway that touches or comes close to over a dozen National Park system Parks, is 25 miles from Cedar Breaks, close enough (for me) to be included here. And while Cedar Breaks is just on the other side of the Grand Staircase, it's still part of the same uplift that created the geologic wonder 65-70 million years ago.

US-89 Link US-89 is a remarkable road that follows some of the most scenic areas of the West from Canada to Arizona, and along the way passes through (or comes within a few miles of) over a half dozen major Western Parks. Glacier to Yellowstone to Grand Teton, Bryce, Zion, Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon.

I've actually frequented this road quite a bit, but in a disjointed, non-continuous fashion.

Visited Various

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Grand Staircase-Escalante NM Link Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is actually larger than the state of Delaware, but has a population close to the number of visitors in the park.

The GSENM page starts with an overview of what the Grand Staircase actually is, a geologic wonderland stretching from the Aquaritus Plateau at Bryce Canyon to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This 8,000 foot drop in elevation in almost discreet steps holds some of the most breathtaking scenery in America.
Near Escalante, Utah / 33 Images Visited Sept 1997, Sep 2008.
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Trip Report: Sep 1997.

Return to: State Index Utah State Page National Monuments

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