24 July 2015

USA Road Trip | Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Right near the Upper Pools of Zion National Park (check out my Zion posts for more) we bumped in to a lady and got chatting, as you do. We compared routes and discussed the heat, and having just come from Bryce Canyon (where we were headed next) she suggested we stop off at Cedar Breaks on the way through.

She described the massive amphitheatre only a few meters from the car park and how serene the park was, as no-one really gave it a second glance. It sounded like a good idea to us – we’d never heard of it, but it sounded simple enough and after all aren't road trips about taking the long way round?
We talked with our Airbnb host’s daughter about it and she just kept saying “Cedar? It’s just all trees… Go through Zion, you’ll add at least an hour on to your time just for forest.”
Although we were in a rush to get to Bryce Canyon, and conscious that we only had a night there,  when I checked google maps it added literally 15 minutes to our journey – we had nothing to lose.

[Insert all cliché terms here.] 

But seriously, I felt like I had found a secret rainbow where sugar was good for you. It was so peaceful and quiet and I don’t understand why more people do not stop at the park. There are only four trails to choose from, but if nothing else it's a toilet stop with a mighty fine view. The visitor centre is also worth popping in, just to visit the friendly staff.
Forest fires are not only healthy for a forest, they're being prescribed after years of unnatural human interaction.
We walked around 10 minutes along the Spectra Point/Rampant Overlook Trail, clockwise and back again, just to get a new view before driving a little further along and walking part way down the Alpine Pond Nature Trail where we found the diddiest flowers and snow (!!) even though the temperature was hot

Depending on the time of year this area can be carpeted with flowers.

It just goes to show – do your own research, take random advice and don’t be afraid to do your own thing.
Check park openings on the NPS (National Parks Service) website as this park is not open all year round. We visited using our America the Beautiful Pass otherwise entrance is $4 per adult, rather than a flat charge for a car of up to 4 adults. Amazing value!
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