Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cedar Breaks Nat'l Monument & Mammoth Creek

May 27, 2016

I had read where the Cedar Breaks National Monument was going to open today after being closed all winter.  We (Gerry, Debbie, Dale and I) decided to drive up there and enjoy the views from 10,500ft.

First we explored a forest road and wound up at a beautiful area with Mammoth Creek running through it.  The creek was full of water from the snow melt above the area.  There were a number of campers along the creek with all their ATVs, kayaks and other playtoys.

Gerry and I along the creek

Debbie & Dale

Mammoth Creek

 The area around the creek was really wild with rough rock roads and was very steep in places.  It made us wish we still had our old Jeep so we could explore more in the area.  There were huge lava fields that were 30-40ft high and miles long.

We reluctantly left the area and headed for Cedar Breaks Nat'l Monument to check it out.  There was a considerable amount of snow in the area with the meadows covered in snow.

Cedar Breaks National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located in the U.S. state of Utah near Cedar City. Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater, stretching across 3 miles (4.8 km), with a depth of over 2,000 feet (610 m). The elevation of the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level. The eroded rock of the amphitheater is more eroded than, but otherwise similar to formations at Bryce Canyon National Park, Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest and select areas of Cedar Mountain (SR-14). Because of its elevation, snow often makes parts of the park inaccessible to vehicles from October through May. Its rim visitor center is open from June through October. Several hundred thousand people visit the monument annually. The monument area is the headwaters of Mammoth Creek, a tributary of the Sevier River.

 I am standing on more than a foot of snow at the sign below.  It was breath taking in more than one way.   It was difficult breathing at that altitude since we weren't used to the thin air up there.

Debbie had me in her sights with a snowball but thankfully she missed me.  

The view from the overlook was beautiful and quite cold considering it was 2pm.  We snapped some pictures and decided to see what else was up there.

Gerry got a laugh out of this sign.  The campground was closed due to heavy snow in the area.  

At Brian Head ski area we saw this house on the top of the mountain.  We couldn't find a road up there or we would have checked it out.  This was a CCC project of years ago.  How would you like to live up there?

Long range view of the house on the mountain to give you a perspective how high up it was.

ATVers having fun in the creek

We drove down the mountain with 8% grades and 15 mph curves.  It was pretty along the way and it was difficult keeping my eye on the road.  I did notice a side road called "2nd Left Turn Canyon" and thought someone had a sense of humor giving the road that moniker.

The road lead up a canyon for a number of miles and we were on the ground floor looking up.  There were many fantastic views with multicolored rocks and large boulders.

 Shortly down the road we came across this creek covering the road.  It was only a foot or so deep so I drove through it hoping there wasn't a thunderstorm above the area.

Nice rock formation with an arch.

These rocks look like they are ready to roll down the hill
 There was a beautiful home along the road with a tennis court and a super setting.  They had this huge mountain lion near the gate to the home. 

Our next destination was the Parowan Gap to check out the petroglyphs there.  There are numerous etchings there that tell many stories of the Hopi Indians that lived there 1500 years ago. 

Notice the space ship design in the upper right side of the picture
 Do you think aliens were in the area many centuries ago?  It makes you wonder if they really were here.

It was getting late and we were a long way from our RV and still had dinner on our schedule.  Cedar City was close by and we picked the All American Grill for dinner.  It turned out to be a great selection and we enjoyed our meals.  They had Country Fried Steak on special for $5.99 and it was delicious.  We walked out of there with full stomachs and recommend it to anyone who is passing through the area.

We still had to drive over a mountain with 8% grades and tight curves to get back to the RV park.  Once again it was a scenic drive with a variety of cliffs, lava fields, mountain lakes, campgrounds.  

Finally, we arrived back home and were exhausted by all the walking and sight seeing.  Tired, but satisfied.

Our brother-in-law Tom M has a birthday on May 28 and we wish him a very Happy Birthday.

That's all for now.  Hope you all have a very nice Memorial Day weekend and celebrate the occasion with the reverence it deserves.

1 comment:

  1. The Lava fields are sure a sight to see. Glad you are enjoying your trip.