Known for its wildflowers and some of the best autumn foliage in Utah, more visitors are finding Cedar Breaks National Monument is one of the best kept secrets.
Located just 20 miles east of the TDS community of Cedar City, Utah, Cedar Breaks National Monument is a three-mile-wide, 2000-foot-deep natural amphitheater. At the rim, visitors stand 10,000 feet above sea level. With its colorful rock formations, abundant meadows, and activities for every kind of adventurer, Cedar Breaks is a favorite spot among TDS customers and associates.
About 845,000 people visited the monument last year, which was 46% more than in 2019. This past April was Cedar Breaks’ busiest April on record with nearly 26,000 visitors.
Activities for everyone
Go picnicking – Park visitors love to pack lunches and enjoy the beautiful scenery as they eat. The picnic area of the park has several tables, a main pavilion, and a restroom.
Camp overnight – The Point Supreme Campground features 25 campsites for both tents and RVs, and it is open from mid-June to mid-September. Firewood is free for campers, and restrooms and showers are easily accessible. Check online for availability.
Gaze at the night sky – One of the best parts of being in nature, away from traffic and city lights, is witnessing the beauty of the night sky. Visitors can stargaze from any of the overlooks in the park. On nights when the moon provides sufficient light, you can take nighttime hikes, either on your own or with a ranger.
Take a hike – The park features several hiking trails, offering varying levels of difficulty and different views along the way. The Nature Trail, the shortest path at just over half a mile, is designed for visitors to escape crowds and enjoy the park’s birds and wildlife in a serene setting. Hikers looking for an easy, paved path with several rest stops will enjoy the Sunset Trail. The Alpine Pond Loop Trail provides hikers with magnificent views of the amphitheater, wildflower meadows, ponds, forests, and ancient volcanic deposits. The most challenging trail, the South Rim Trail, is a five-mile trek featuring several viewpoints and is considered moderately strenuous.
Stick to the trails and don’t venture down past the rim. If you want to explore the bottom of the amphitheater, you can do so from Dixie National Forest.
Follow a ranger – Beginning in mid-June, Cedar Breaks park rangers will be leading different programs for kids and adults alike. Be sure to check the park’s schedule to see what is being offered.
Know before you go
Entrance fees – In order to maintain and improve visitor services and facilities in the park, each person over the age of 16 is required to pay a $10 entrance fee. Annual passes are available. All national parks offer several fee-free days throughout the year. The next free-admission day is Aug. 4.
Face mask policy – Face masks are required in restrooms and other buildings and where guests cannot maintain distance from one another.
Weather – Because of the high elevation, the temperature is often 10-20 degrees cooler. Bring a jacket, especially if you’re going early or staying late. During the summer, the daily highs are between 60 and 70 degrees, and afternoon thunderstorms are common.
Leave No Trace
Remember to treat the park with respect. Keep in mind the following seven Leave No Trace principles:
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
Cedar Breaks is open now through the end of October, so don’t wait to plan your visit!
Last September, TDS launched 1Gig speeds in Cedar City, Utah, and then in October was named the Best Internet Provider in town.
Local park enthusiasts are encouraging Cedar Breaks National Monument to become a national park. The main difference between the two designations is a national park is declared by an act of Congress, while a national monument is declared by the president. A national parks designation would mean a new influx of visitors to Cedar Breaks and Cedar City.
On Monday, June 14, construction is set to begin on a new visitor center.
The Point Supreme Overlook will be closed starting June 14 through next year’s season. The Overlook’s parking lot will only run at a one-third capacity. Other parking can be found at the South Rim Trailhead.
The new visitor center at Cedar Breaks will include an expanded indoor contact space, exhibits, and park store, new restroom facility, and sheltered outdoor space for public programming. As the monument expects another busy season, officials are asking visitors to plan ahead and arrive early, but particularly in July and August according to a May statement.
By Hannah Drewieck, TDS Communications Intern