Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cedar Breaks National Monument

When I planned out our itinerary for our road trip, I knew that we’d be leaving Hurricane (where we stayed for our family reunion) around noon. We didn’t want to drive all the way to Provo that day, so I looked for a state or national park we could stop at along the way.

I found Cedar Breaks NP, which is just over an hour from Hurricane. I’d originally planned on having time to explore the park, but since we stopped and hiked to Kanarra Falls before driving to Cedar Breaks, we didn’t have time to explore.

This is a shame, as we discovered a gem, and we will definitely be returning to Cedar Breaks.

When I made the campground reservation, I saw a mention of 10,000 foot elevation, but I had a lot going on right then, and didn’t think too much of it. I should have, so we could have been better prepared.

We weren’t ready for the 18 miles of climbing after we left I-15 at Cedar City. The elevation change was hard on the RV since we were towing the Camry, which made the RV's engine work much harder than it needed to. We learned our lesson though, and unhitched the Camry next time we came to a steep grade.

We’re used to elevations of a couple hundred feet, and while we’d been at higher elevations for the previous five days, we still weren’t accustomed to such high elevations. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep as well as we’d have liked as our bodies struggled for oxygen.

The cooler temps were welcome though.

The park was hosting a night skies presentation that night, and while we briefly thought about attending, we were just too tired. All the hiking we’d done that day and the day before, combined with thinner air, left us too exhausted for anything other than crashing in our beds as soon as we could.

the view from our campsite

We’d love to go back and do some hiking and star gazing. The scenery is beautiful.

another view from our campsite

As you drive up 14 from Cedar City, you transition from arid desert scrub and sandstone to alpine peaks and pine trees.  Cedar Breaks itself is an interesting mix of sheer sandstone cliffs and tall pine trees (see the pic at the top of the post). 

We hadn't even heard of this park before I made the reservations, but it's definitely worth visiting if you're in the area. We'll be spending more time there next time we visit.

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