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  • Writer's pictureChasingBuffaloesandBeyond

Explore Cedar Breaks National Monument

Situated atop of the Colorado Plateau, Cedar Breaks National Monument sits at 10,000 feet in elevation and stretches across a three mile amphitheater creating a 'mini Bryce Canyon'. Offering far fewer crowds than nearby Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon National Park, we loved visiting this beautiful park! For those visiting Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon National Park - visiting Cedar Breaks National Monument is a great day trip or can be visited in a few hours as you travel thru the area on the way to your next destination. Due to it's high elevation, summer is the best time to visit Cedar Breaks National Monument as the winter months can bring road closures due to the snowy conditions. Even in the summer time, it can be much cooler here - make sure and have a light jacket handy! Below are some of the highlights to visiting this beautiful park!

Little boy stands along the entrance sign to Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Ready to explore Cedar Breaks National Monument




Arriving to Cedar Breaks National Monument, one of the best places to start your visit is at the Visitor Center. When visiting National Parks we always love to view the 'parkitecture' found in our parks - Cedar Breaks National Monument offers a wonderful example of this 'parkitecture' in the historic two room log building that was built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Stop by to get your National Parks passport stamp and grab a map of the park. From the Visitor Center, the popular trailhead for the Ramparts/Spectra Point Trail heads out offering additional views over the unique hoodoos, spires and rock formations of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater. It's a quick 1.75 miles roundtrip out to Spectra Point and if you want to continue on, hike the entire Ramparts/Spectra Point Trail for a total of 3.2 miles. The trail is listed as moderate with a total of 700 feet of elevation gain.

Historic log cabin Visitor Center at Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Historic log cabin Visitor Center at Cedar Breaks National Monument.



Located right behind the Visitor Center, Point Supreme Overlook is the main overlook found within Cedar Breaks National Monument. From this vantage you are able to look out over the whole of Cedar Breaks National Monument at the hoodoos and rock formations that have formed here over time from the erosion and weather and WHAT A VIEW! The half mile deep amphitheater stretches out before you showcasing the colorful red, orange, & pink rocks and the high elevation forest. Take your time and just soak in the views!



Four main overlooks are available as you drive along the Scenic Drive thru Cedar Breaks National Monument, from the Point Supreme Overlook, we headed north to the next stop at Sunset View Overlook. Make sure and stop at each overlook along the way - as each location offers it's own unique view out over this spectacular landscape. This was actually our favorite spot - grab a seat at the bench and enjoy the view! Named 'Sunset View' as the location is a perfect spot to watch a sunset - I can only imagine the beauty of watching a sunset here - we happened to visit mid-day and did not have this opportunity - but maybe someday!



Located at the highest location in Cedar Breaks National Monument at 10,461 feet in elevation, the Chessman Ridge Overlook is beautiful! In addition to offering the stunning view point, the parking lot at Chessman Ridge Overlook also is where you can head out along the Alpine Pond Trail or the Chessman Loop Trail - both are a quick 2 mile hike with minimal elevation gain and provide an easy walk through the forests to provide great hoodoo and spire views. If you have the time, spend some time enjoying these trails - Cedar Breaks only offers a handful of hiking opportunities and you will most likely be rewarded with complete solitude due to the smaller amount of crowds found at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Looking out over the views from Chessman Ridge Overlook in Cedar Breaks National Monument.
So many amazing viewpoints!



As the name implies - North View Overlook is the most northern overlook in Cedar Breaks National Monument. Bringing an end to our time in Cedar Breaks National Monument, North View Overlook was our last stop. It was just amazing to look and enjoy the natural beauty found here at Cedar Breaks - millions of years of natural forces at work resulting in this stunning area! For those passing thru Utah, taking a break from visiting Utah's 'Big 5' and making time for Cedar Breaks National Monument is well worth it! This was a fantastic park to visit!

Colorful expanse from the North View Overlook at Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Our last stop of the day - enjoying the views from the North View Overlook


Interested in planning your own trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!

Half Day in Cedar Breaks National Monument: Visitor Center, Point Supreme Overlook, Sunset View Overlook, Chessmen Ridge Overlook, North View Overlook. If time, walk the 1.75 miles out to Spectra Point.

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