Cedar Breaks National Monument (UT)

Indian paintbrush

Situated in the middle of Dixie National Forest, Cedar Breaks National Monument is a testament to the forces of uplift and erosion. It shares the visual splendor of Bryce Canyon National Park not too far away, but it stands 2,000 ft higher in elevation at over a breathtaking 10,000 ft above sea level. Although both places were linked at one time, a gigantic fault separated them millions of years ago. Hiking at this altitude, even over mild elevation changes, is an exercise in breathing labor. Along certain sections, we were forced to stop, huffing and puffing, to catch our breath almost every 20 steps or so. If you haven’t acclimatized over a few days, you could suffer headaches and nausea.

From the rim trail, the only established one in the monument, you can get spectacular views, not only from the viewpoints but along the trail as well, of the hoodoos, fins, columns and spires in variegated pastel colors that are the hallmark of these unique formations.

Juniper roots itself over rock

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