July 2019 – Cedar Breaks National Monument is a stunning landscape of red rock pinnacles and hoodoos in any kind of weather, but when clouds form and rain starts to fall in the distance, it is truly breathtaking.
As storm clouds began to gather, we made our way out to the main overlook at Point Supreme. What a fabulous drama in the sky was unfolding! Black clouds were dumping torrential rain in the far distance, but our little spot at the overlook remained dry for the moment.
Once in a while the sun peeked out from behind the storm clouds, casting shafts of light across the red rocks. Then the clouds would close ranks around the sun once again, sealing off all but a thin ray from the heavens.
As we set ourselves up to take pics, a gal scurrying back towards her car laughed as she ran by. “This kind of weather is when the photographers come out and when everyone else leaves!” Sure enough, we were soon alone at the overlook as the storm clouds rushed to surround us.
Even Buddy wasn’t so sure about the wisdom of being here in this kind of weather. He took shelter in Mark’s arms and advised him of the best techniques for taking photos of the incoming storm.
Finally, the rain hit us with full force, and we bolted back to the truck. The downpour as we drove through the woods was a deluge!
Even though most mornings were sunny, storm clouds returned to Cedar Breaks with punctual regularity every afternoon. It didn’t always rain, but the bright blue skies of early morning were filled with puffy clouds by noon and were buried under heavy dark clouds filled with heavy raindrops by afternoon.
Visiting the overlooks at the golden hour late in the afternoon, we watched the red rocks take on a brilliant glow. The sun pierced the clouds and bathed Cedar Breaks in a rich orange light.
One evening, as we walked out onto Point Supreme overlook at sunset, we found a group of tourists huddled along the fence watching the show. One brave person was even standing on a fence post!
We explored the other overlooks too: Sunset View, Chessmen Ridge and the North View. Each one offered a unique view of unusual shapes and colors.
Because the road along Cedar Breaks National Monument is a fairly busy highway, we took our truck on each visit. The Polaris RZR side-by-side wasn’t getting much use at all. One day when we called Buddy over to get in the truck, he ran over to the RZR instead and sat next to it, as if to say, “Why can’t we take the RZR this time?”
We did get out into the woods a bit wih the RZR, and Buddy was our little trail scout, as he always loves to be.
Being so high, it is cold and is prone to all kinds of crazy weather. As I mentioned in our last post, we’d seen patches of snow in our wanderings, even during the last few days of July, right in the middle of a heatwave that had engulfed the whole country!
One day while we were out exploring we turned a corner and found a particularly enormous patch of snow.
Buddy loves snow, so we decided to let him play in it for a while.
Oh my, was he in heaven once he figured out what he was standing on! He went wild, running in crazy circles, throwing up snow and ice all around him as he took hairpin turns at top speed and dove into the show head first. He galloped at full speed in sheer joy.
After he had gleefully burned off enough energy for all three of us, we finally told him it was time to go. He was soooo disappointed.
He stood by the edge of the snow and forlornly watched us walking away, making no move to follow. He could have happily stayed at his private summer snow park for a few hours more!
Not far away from the patch of snow we found some beautiful wildflowers in full bloom. The bees were busy gathering pollen in the bell shaped flowers, and despite the nearby snow, the flowers reminded us that it was indeed summertime, even here in Utah’s higher elevations.
Most of southern Utah is in the 4,000 to 7,500 foot range of elevation and is quite warm or even blazingly hot in mid-summer. But for those who love blustery weather and snow, there’s a bit of that waiting for you atop the plateau at Cedar Breaks National Monument.
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More info about Cedar Breaks National Monument:
- Cedar Breaks National Monument Official Website
- National Park Service Map of the Monument
- RV Camping Options
- Location of Cedar Breaks National Monument
Other blog posts from Utah’s Red Rock Parks:
- Arches National Park Utah – A Playground of Soaring Red Rock Bridges! 04/21/16
- Bryce Canyon – Hiking The Rim & Navajo Loop + A Tourist Time-lapse! 09/29/16
- Bryce Canyon in Winter – Snow and Lace on the Red Rock Spires! 01/25/19
- Canyonlands National Park UT – Island in the Sky (and Night Skies!) 04/28/16
- Canyonlands National Park Utah – Hiking in the Needles District! 04/12/16
- Capitol Reef National Park Utah – Awe-inspiring! 06/25/12
- Capitol Reef NP – Cathedral Valley – A Stunning Backcountry Drive in Utah! 09/20/19
- Casto Canyon Trail – A Delightful ATV / UTV Ride! 08/23/19
- Cedar Breaks National Monument – Glorious Amphitheater of Red Rocks! 07/26/19
- Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah – Better Than Bryce? 08/30/11
- Cedar Breaks Wildflowers + Stunning Brian Head Overlook 08/16/19
- Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah – Magical Sunrises! 04/23/16
- Flaming Gorge Utah – Fiery canyons, a cool river, and nearly tame bighorn sheep 10/02/12
- Goblin Valley State Park Utah – One Gigantic Playground! 04/20/18
- Moab Utah – Red Rocks and Snowcapped Mountains 04/14/16
- Natural Bridges National Monument & Utah’s Bicentennial Highway 06/15/12
- Newspaper Rock Utah – Petroglyphs and Rock Art from the Ancients 04/06/16
- Red Canyon – Arches Trail – Windows & Hoodoos in Utah! 08/30/19
- Red Canyon Utah is an Overlooked Treasure 09/02/11
- Sand Hollow State Park, Utah – An Oasis in the Desert! 11/21/17
- Utah Scenic Byway 24 RV Trip – Capitol Reef National Park 04/16/18
- Valley of the Gods & Goosenecks State Park, Utah – Beautiful! 04/04/16
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