Cedar Breaks + Red Canyon

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Cedar Breaks + Red Canyon

If you need a break from the heat in Bryce Canyon or Zion, head up into the mountains to Cedar Breaks National Monument. Standing at over 10,000 feet of elevation, the weather is drastically cooler than the surrounding parks. I was reluctant to make the trip at first, after reading reviews online saying the monument was just a miniature version of Bryce, which we’d already seen. That’s not accurate though, because while the erosion isn’t on the scale of Bryce, there is a completely different landscape surrounding the park.

We had the good fortune to have visited on the same day as the annual wildflower festival! Rangers handed out “Wildflower Bingo” checklists to the kids, and once completed, they exchanged them for lovely posters. Besides seeing an impressive variety of wildflowers, we were also entertained by the antics of chipmunks, squirrels, and even a few marmots sightings.

Note our long sleeves and jackets, even in the middle of July.
Southern Ligusticum
Colorado Columbine

At this point in our Utah stay, we’d moved our camper from near Orderville, up to a boondocking site in the Dixie National Forest, just east of the Red Canyon Visitors Center. Our only neighbors were cows that would graze nearby, and walk through our campsite a few times a day.

Our view out the front door

At Red Canyon we took a short hike through the red hoodoos and pinyon pine trees. The visitor center was small, but had interesting displays, and excellent advice from the friendly attendants, complete with detailed hiking maps.

We met a celebrity.
The darker caprock is more resistant to erosion than the softer red sandstone.
Some of the cliff faces were yellow with patches of pink and sparkling quartz.
Beautiful glittering patches of quartz in the colorful sandstone
Sniffing trees–did you know that Pinyon Pines smell like butterscotch?!
A dying pinyon pine shows us how they grow, twisting upward.


    • Charlene Day-
    • June 11, 2019 at 5:51 pm-

    Very cool! I love looking at the photos. Beautiful and educational. 🙂

    • Marian Truax-
    • June 11, 2019 at 9:37 pm-

    I agree with your mom. So interesting and photos are beautiful. Your kids are really getting an education first hand.