Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway
A field of wildflowers along the Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway
Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway (along Utah Highway 148) is only six miles long and runs between U-14 (the Markagunt High Plateau Scenic Byway) and U-143 (Utah's Patchwork Parkway). The byway gives access to the upper rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument including the Visitor Center.
The upper rim of Cedar Breaks rises above 10,000' in elevation, so winter sees this road closed with a locked gate at the intersection with U-143 and another at the southern boundary of Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Just over the hills to the north (off U-143) is Brian Head Ski Resort. Cedar Breaks National Monument drops to the west into Ashdown Gorge Wilderness. To the east and south is the Markaguant Plateau, a major portion of which is included in Dixie National Forest.
Cedar Breaks was created by geological uplift and millions of years of wind and water erosion. Along the byway you'll find access to trailheads and to several scenic overlooks, each presenting the national monument from a different perspective. The upper levels are heavily treed with firs, pines, spruces and aspen, except for those areas of multi-colored rock in the 3-mile-long amphitheater where the elevation drops 2,000 feet very quickly. The lower areas are treed mostly in pinyon pine and Utah juniper with a mix of sagebrush and chaparral in between.
Because of the elevation and clarity of the air, you can easily see into Nevada and Arizona from the top of the hill.
Cedar Breaks from Spectra Point (near the water tank beside the Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway)
Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway area map