Ken's Journal
No. 4 - Summer 2004

Cedar City, Iowa - 07/08 - 07/13/2004
Days 12-17 on the road. Part III.

  With three exits off the Interstate and a Super Wal-Mart, Cedar City UT is your typical medium size western town. There are a couple dozen restaurants, a few  motels and campgrounds for the traveler. Just off I15 which runs north/south through Utah, access to the town is easy. Cedar City makes a nice jumping off point for a number of SE Utah attractions. Leaving Cedar City to the East, Utah SR14 is a National Scenic Byway and off side roads, takes you Cedar Breaks NM* and a back entrance to Zion NP*. SR14 also takes you to US89, a major north/south two-lane route through Utah that takes you to Bryce Canyon to the north and to the south, to Lake Powell, Page AZ and Kanab UT, a jumping off point for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

So, anyhow; on my trips up and down SR14, I managed a few pictures and side trips to Cedar Breaks and through a relatively un-traveled part of Zion.


A view on the way up SR14. This pops into view just after a sharp curve.

Yes, the road actually does this!!

Another view from SR14.

This is a lava flow right off SR14. I'm on an un-maintained back-road around the flow. Here I'm coming back after finding the road deteriorated more than I was comfortable with. After I managed to cross a dry stream-bed, the boulders got just a little to large for me.

. . . Going down into the narrows on SR14.


Cedar Breaks NM is relatively unknown but has features similar to Bryce Canyon, but on a smaller scale. Access is easy. Take SR14 East out of Cedar City, turn left on SR143 in 18 miles. The visitor center is on your left in 4 miles.

Along five miles of SR143 are all the parks attractions - trailheads, overlooks and the visitor center. The park is open from early June through mid-October - winter weather starts in October and can be brutal at 10,000 feet!!

There is nothing subtle about the amphitheatre at Cedar Breaks - not the shapes, not the colors! The amphitheatre is some 2000 feet deep and 3 miles in diameter!

A closer look at the shapes and colors.


This is the view into the amphitheatre from the half-way point of a hike around the rim to what's called Spectra Point. The hike is only a mile one-way but the elevation change is 600 feet. You start at 10300 feet and climb to 10900 at the half-way point before descending back to about 10300 feet. I really could have used oxygen on this hike! Two miles took almost two hours!

One feature of Spectra Point is a grove of Bristlecone Pines - the oldest living organisms in the world. This particular specimen is estimated to be 1600 years old! Other specimens have been found in other southwestern states that are estimated to be 4500 years old!



. . . One of my favorite photos. The subtle colors and shading from the clouds overhead made me take this one!
This is just behind Cedar Breaks on the way to Brian Head Ski Resort.
I'm at an elevation of some 10200 feet and that unnamed peak you see tops out at  about 10500 feet.


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* NM = National Monument, NP = National Park