Cedar Breaks and Cedar City, Utah

The drive from Vegas to Utah was stunning as we drove through the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona. A taste of views to come!

Imagine our surprise when we set out on May 18th for Cedar Breaks National Monument, only to find that the entrance road and all trails were closed due to snow! From a nearby scenic point, we saw the breathtaking canyons with snow-topped peaks. The formations are similar to Bryce Canyon, but Cedar Breaks is reportedly much less crowded during high season. We’d love to come back in warmer weather and do a lot of hiking.

      

Consoling ourselves, we investigated Scenic Byways 14 and 143. I highly recommend driving this loop and enjoying amazing views of the Markagunt Plateau/canyons and Dixie National Forest (Yankee Meadow and Navajo Lake). Streams were gushing with the snow thaws and the birches were starting to leaf out at lower elevations.

Byway-2

Cedar City seems to be the most vibrant spot in this part of the state, probably due to the presence of Southern Utah University. We think it’d be the best place to stay when going to Cedar Breaks and Zion (especially the Kolob Canyons area)–that is, if you’re not agile enough to book the Zion Lodge in the park a year in advance!

We ate (twice!) at Centro Woodfired Pizzeria. We really enjoyed the pizza, draft beer selection, and salads. They won me over with their homemade gelato and the fact that they are open until 10 in an area that often closes up early. We wanted to visit the winery across the street, but it was never open when we were there. Presumably, they are getting ready to open for summer.

 

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