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Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway (U-148)

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Basics
Length:
6 miles (9 km)
Time:
10 minutes
Fees:
Cedar Breaks National Monument charges an entrance fee, as do the campgrounds in the area.

Description

Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway follows a winding road along high elevations in southern Utah. As you drive, take your time to better appreciate the spectrum of scenery found here. From Cedar Breaks National Monument, which provides the byway with its name, to Dixie National Forest, get out of your car and wander around one of Utah's most varied landscapes.

Almost the entire length of the byway lies within Cedar Breaks National Monument, an amphitheatre canyon shaped like a coliseum. Located on the west edge of the Markagaunt Plateau, uplift and erosion carved its 2,000-foot drop and 3-mile diameter over millions of years. The monument is quiet and uncrowded, allowing you to experience the area free from thick crowds of tourists. Along the route, you'll encounter a number of scenic overlooks and trailheads leading to sightseeing and exploration. Four different overlooks provide four different views of the monument. Trailheads traverse the area, showcasing flora and fauna. Wildflowers burst across the bowl-shaped monument in June, bringing a bevy of bright colors to the canyon. You'll likely see a variety of wildlife, which wander throughout the monument. Some of the animals include deer, pikas, marmots, and porcupines.

Dixie National Forest, which encompasses the byway in its entirety, makes for an unusual combination of nature and archaeology. It overlaps the region between the Great Basin and the Colorado River, extending for 170 miles across 2 million acres, making it Utah's largest national forest. Its varying topography covers high and low elevations, from forested plateaus to river-bottomed canyons. Trees that grow here include fir, spruce, and pine in high altitudes and juniper and pinyon pine in mid-range altitudes. As you look out over the canyons carved by the Colorado River, you'll see archaeological remnants of the Anasazi Indians on the canyon walls. These "Ancient Ones" etched petroglyphs and pictographs into stone thousands of years ago. Note many of their pueblo cliff dwellings perched high on inaccessible canyon walls, preserved like their stone etchings.

Follow the Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway through southern Utah, experiencing first-hand the wonder of this multi-faceted route. From the colored coliseum canyon of Cedar Breaks National Monument to the flowered fields of Dixie National Forest, enjoy the variation that this trip promises.

Length:
6 miles (9 km)
Time:
10 minutes
Main Roads:
UT-148 S
Fees:
Cedar Breaks National Monument charges an entrance fee, as do the campgrounds in the area.
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