Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah

Forests of stone and trees

According to ehuacom, Cedar Breaks National Monument is located in southwestern Utah, United States, about 30 kilometers from the city of Cedar City. The size of Cedar Breaks National Monument is 25 km². The Cedar Break Conservation Area was established in 1933. Up to half a million people visit the high-altitude Utah Conservation Area every year. Due to the extreme altitude of the region, it rarely gets warmer than 20°C in summer. The Cedar Breaks are only safely accessible from May to October. Because of the altitude, snow falls early in the year and stays there for a long time in spring. The roads are mostly impassable for vehicles during the winter. The protected area is at an altitude of 2,500 to 3,000 meters above sea level.

Colored rocks and adapted flora and fauna

The Native Americans called the Cedar Breaks National Monument area the “Circle of Colorful Cliffs.” The approximately 5 km wide landscape formed by erosion looks like an oversized amphitheater. Instead of spectators, countless limestone busts, pinnacles, turrets and trees now populate the rocky landscape along the walls of the open canyon. The colors of the rocks range from white to rusty red, from yellow to violet. The canyon is up to 600 meters deep and appears like a miniature version of nearby Bryce Canyon. A creek called Mammoth Creek meanders through the canyon region. The largest mammals in the region are mule deer and porcupines, at times also mountain lions, as well as numerous smaller mammals and rodents. The bristlecone pine and spruce are the dominant tree species of the southwestern Utah region.

The woods of the Dixie National Forest

On the plateau above the canyon there are spruce forests and meadow areas. In summer, the wildflowers bloom there in bright colors. You can then see lupins, evening primroses, Colorado columbines, buttercups and other more or less conspicuous flowering plants. Cedar Breaks National Monument is within the Conservation Area of ​​Dixie National Forest. The subalpine forests are beautiful, very old, gnarled trees can be found there.

Trails of the strenuous kind

Along the rim of the crater runs an approximately 8 km long panoramic trail with beautiful vantage points. The approximately 3 km long Wasatch Rampart Trail begins at the Visitor Center and ends at Spectra Point. The Alpine Pond Trail is another hiking trail on Cedar Break Canyon. If you want to walk the individual hiking trails, you should be in good health. The paths are not easy, and the thin mountain air puts a lot of strain on the body. The best vantage point on the canyon is Point Supreme.

Cedar Breaks National Monument – Camping

Camping is available near Cedar Breaks National Monument. The campground is named “Supreme Point Campground”. It has 28 pitches. It is not possible to reserve a parking space. If you’re late, you’re out of luck. You can stay there for a maximum of seven days. The site is not “full hook-up”, meaning it is not a luxury campsite with sewage disposal. Running water and toilets are available. Only a few of the pitches are suitable for the larger RV’s (mobile homes).

Dinosaur National Monument – Utah

Resting place of primeval dinosaurs

The Dinosaur National Monument region is located in northeastern Utah right on the border with neighboring state Colorado. The sites are in the southeastern foothills of the Uinta Mountains. At the beginning of the 20th century, at the confluence of the Yampa River and the Green River in Colorado and Utah discovered numerous ancient fossils, including very well preserved dinosaur skeletons and skeletal parts. The Dinosaur National Monument in Utah has existed since 1915. In 1938 it was significantly enlarged again in order to emphasize the unique landscapes and landforms around the archaeological sites and to preserve them for scientific research. The Conservation Area is a transboundary monument, divided between Utah and Colorado.

First class fossils

The archaeological finds probably date from the Jurassic period, around 150 million years ago. Today’s finds were once sunk in the sediments at the bottom of a river, which shaped the landscape of the region at the time. In 2019, the transboundary National Monument received Dark Sky Park designation, a place free from light pollution at night. No wonder, where there is nothing, nothing can shine even at night. There are a total of around 800 sites in the entire protected area. Remains of various dinosaur species were discovered there, as well as smaller creatures from the age of dinosaurs and plants. Attention was drawn to the archaeological finds after the forces of erosion, wind and weather had uncovered the first finds over the course of thousands of years.

Drawings and settlement remains of the Fremont people

Numerous Native American settlement finds were also discovered in the region. At that time, people lived in caves under rocky outcrops or in small settlements. They are attributed to the Fremont culture. At that time, people subsisted on some farming and hunting, mostly on small mammals. They probably left the region in the 14th century. Climate fluctuations and periods of drought made life in the otherwise rather barren and “stone-rich” landscape impossible. Without water there’s no life.

Dinosaur National Monument - Utah