If you’re living in Southern Utah and are looking for a semi-short, scenic and fun drive or hike to take. I highly suggest taking a trip up Cedar Mountain, where you will also find Cedar Breaks National Monument.
I was lucky enough to take a quick trip up the mountain and capture some pretty amazing sights. Enjoying this wonderful and stunning drive. I currently reside in St. George, and had to travel to Cedar for a business meeting. While there I figured I would capture a few shots of Cedar Breaks and Cedar Mountain. Now I have been on Cedar Mountain a few times before at different times of the year (fall being especially gorgeous). Although I’d never been to see Cedar Breaks!
This whole experience was one for the books really. The drive and taking a few short hikes to capture some photos of this sweet mini Bryce was something I have been wanting to do for quite some time!
Entering the canyon from Cedar was beautiful! With the changed fall colors on the aspen trees lining the two lane scenic highway 14, slowly but surely in the distance I would capture glimpses of red rock formations. Soon the canyon walls closed in on the road. Looking around me I was captivated by the pine trees intermixing with the pale aspen trees.
Climbing higher and higher I had to be careful to not wreck as I was so struck by how beautiful my surroundings were. Unfortunately I had missed the peak of the fall colors, but none the less, it was still absolutely gorgeous up there.
At one point, I came around a bend and there was a scenic pull off. WOW was I happy to stop. What a sight (Photo below). This only heightened my excitement to get up to Cedar Breaks and witness it finally!
A little beyond this point on the right you will find yet another stunning overlook where you can actually see a glimpse of Zion National Park. Here is something I suggest if you take this drive, bring binoculars! Especially for this overlook.
I was slightly disappointed as I drove on beyond this point, only because I missed all the fall colors, however, that did not change the fact that this drive only gets better and better.
Even the meadows during the season of death are still alive with beauty in some strange way. I think seeing them, though brown now, set against the ponderosa pines as their background gave me that warm cozy feeling you get when you realize “this is autumn, and I just want a pumpkin spice latte with this scene”.
I kept driving a while, and finally hit one of the spots I had been really looking forward to! The over look to Navajo Lake. My goodness, people are not joking when they talk about how stunning that lake is. Even low, and the fall trees long gone it still is quite a sight. So blue and crisp. Absolutely beautiful!
From this point I made my way to Cedar Breaks, finally. I was so beyond excited to get to the overlooks and see what all the fuss was about. I pulled up, and there were several short and simple hiking options for different angled viewpoints. There I decided to first check out Spectra Point. This is where I fell in love with what I was seeing. I had a full panoramic view of stunning red rock formations on either side of me that shifted down into a forrest of pines in the middle. Absolutely stunning. Here I found the most adorable girl visiting from Chicago. I asked her if I could photograph her looking over the scene before us, and she was very obliged. (her attire fit the ambiance perfectly!).
The hike up to this viewpoint was less than a mile and was very easy and maintained well. Be careful once to the viewpoint as there are now guards to keep you from falling.
From this point I walked around to the next view point, Point Supreme, which in my opinion was a little too guarded and made taking photos a little more challenging, never the less, it was such a beautiful scene! Here was where I really could see why they called it a “mini Bryce Canyon.” From here you can see into the Cedar Breaks naturally made amphitheater and stunning red rock Hoodoos.
All in all, I would say that this was by far one of the most enjoyable scenic drives that I have been on in a minute. I have been to Zion many times. Having traveled around and all over, and would have to say that this is one of my favorites.