As we headed south to Arizona from Lake Powell, our friends headed north to explore more of southern Utah. They called to tell us about Cedar Breaks National Monument, which they described as one of the most beautiful places they’ve seen in the area. That was enough of an endorsement for us to set our course from Sedona. We’re glad we did!
Cedar Breaks is a gigantic rock amphitheater that’s over 2,000 feet deep and 3 miles in diameter, with nearly 270 degrees of rim opening up toward the west. It’s filled with a series of smaller canyons, each filled with more crazy-shaped rock structures than the last. Most remarkable are the bold colors – reds, yellows and purples – layered among the bright whites and grays, and topped by the bright green junipers (not cedars – the original settlers made a mistake and the name stuck) of the 10,000 foot high Markagunt Plateau. And the snow.
All of the hiking trails at Cedar Breaks are along the rim and were still closed due to snow cover which could be slick and cause a hiker to slide over the edge of the rim, which we would not enjoy. However, we did find a way to bushwhack to a sun-exposed, dry area of the rim to gain a new perspective on the amphitheater. We were treated to more views along the scenic drive allowing us to get way too many pix that all look like a giant rock amphitheater.
For anyone interested in more rock amphitheater pix…