Friday, July 13, 2012

A Hike We Like: Cedar Breaks

Look at a road map of Utah, and let your eyes drift to the southern 1/3 of the state. Examine the massive expanse of land east of I-15, and south of I-70. Here you will find five National Parks, four National Monuments, and the huge Glen Canyon Recreation Area. Not to mention several National Forests, Primitive Areas, and Wilderness areas. About 20,000 square miles! Nearly the size of West Virginia.

How To Get There:

Come east off I-15 (Exit 59) through Cedar City, Utah (home of the Shakespeare Festival) Take route 14 ESE 18 miles to route 148.Turn North (left) on 148. From miles 2-6 you have several places to stop and walk sections of the trails:

Spectre Point, Ramparts Overlook Trail, Point Supreme, Sunset View, the Visitor Center, The Campground, Chessmen Ridge Overlook, Cedar Breaks Amphitheater, North View, and Alpine Pond Loop Trail.

FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) declared this 9.6 square mile area a National Monument in 1933.

This is an easy hike with many photo opportunities. Mary and I walked several sections of trail along the rim of this canyon. The elevation here is about 10,000 to 10,350 feet, with little elevation change on the trails.

On one side it's dense with Firs, Pines, Spruce, Cedars, wildflowers and shade.  On the other side you're looking into a colorful amphitheater, 2,500 feet deep! The reddish-pinkish-orange color comes from various amounts of iron oxides. The sedimentary rock that you see is limestone.The different formations, hoodoos, fins, arches, and shallow caves are formed by erosion.

The trails are more of a walk than a hike, so as we go, I will show you the vistas and voodoos on one side, and the wildflowers at the edge of the evergreens on the other side. If you see me too close to the edge of the canyon, please grab me. Sometimes I get carried away when I'm taking photographs. Be sure you have lots of water along. Here we go...

Beardstongue (Blue Penstemon) (Penstemon cyaneus)

Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea)

Mountain Blue Bell (Mertensia ciliata)

Lupine (Lupinus sp.)

Indian Paintbrush (Castillega mineata)

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Did you enjoy the views? You know, and I know, that being there, exploring it yourself, and feeling the exhilaration is 1,000 times better than this little bloggy glimpse. But I do know you will be impressed when you take this walk along the rim.

I hope you get an opportunity to experience this "hike we like" in Cedar Breaks National Monument.
It's monumental! And it's in...

Utah !    (Utah)