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This summer we spent a lot of time in Kanab and would usually just decide what to do after we got our coffee and juice. One day we decided it was time we visit Cedar Breaks National Monument so off we went to this mini Bryce Canyon.
Before going I knew the wildflower festival was a thing but I didn’t know when it was. Turns out we caught it with just a couple days to spare! The festival isn’t like, Coachella festival, but just an event around the blooming of all the wildflowers in the park.
I don’t actually know if anything was really going on for it this year, but we did still get to see flowers blooming, which is really all I’m interested in anyway so it was ok.
Pictures and postcards make it seem like whole meadows are blooming but we didn’t get to see that. They were along the little trails we did though and there were some in the meadows but the color wasn’t as dense as I expected.
We didn’t hike the whole Alpine Pond Trail but did part of the lower loop and part of thee upper loop separately. It was a nice forested trail with some views of the breaks along the way.
It was a nice little area but we both also loved the whole area surrounding Cedar Breaks, especially the drive from Kanab and the drive through the canyon to Cedar City.
While we didn’t do a whole lot here, I still really enjoyed our visit. It’s a nice little park and perfect for getting away from the desert heat below. It’s a great stop for a southern Utah road trip to get away from the bigger park crowds.
What is the Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival?
A few weeks every year the 260 wildflower species in Cedar Breaks National Monument all bloom turning the park into a living rainbow. There are fun activities and ranger programs for the whole family.
In 2020 most of the events were cancelled or altered to allow for social distancing but there was a table set up at the visitor center where you could learn about the wildflowers and find out the best places to view them.
When is the Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival?
The first few weeks of July. In 2019 it was July 7-22 and I think in 2020 it ended around the 25th or 26th, so a mid-July visit could be good.
Where is the Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival?
There is information about wildflowers at the visitor center but the flowers are all over the meadows of the park. It’s about 45 minutes from Cedar City (give or take a bit), about an hour and a half from Kanab, about and hour and fifteen minutes from Bryce Canyon, and about an hour and a half from Zion.
How long is the Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival?
3ish weeks, give or take a bit.
Wildflowers in Cedar Breaks
Here are some of the common wildflowers in Cedar Breaks. You can find a whole list on the Cedar Breaks wildflower app. (If you just search Cedar Breaks wildflowers in the app store it should show up.
- Aspen Bluebell
- Alpine Pennycress
- Basin Groundsel
- Brook Saxifrage
- Clement’s Goldweed
- Coyote Mint
- Elephant Head
- Edible Valerian
- Greenleaf Manzanita
- Heartleaf Bittercress
- Little Sunflower
- Long-stalk Starwort
- Marsh Marigold
- Mountain Locoweed
- Nootka Rose
- Orange Sneezeweed
- Panguitch Buckwheat
- Pretty Cinquefoil
- Rock Columbine
- Rocky Mountain Iris
- Sego Lilly (Utah’s state flower)
- Silvery Lupine
- Tower Mustard
- Waxy Currant
- White Bog Orchid
- Yellow Salsify
What to bring hiking in Cedar Breaks
Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side. They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.
Snacks – These are more important for long hikes, but you never know when you’ll get hungry! I like EPIC bars (kind of like beef jerky but different), Sahale nut mix things, and Moon Cheese. There’s always the good old Clif Bars and trail mix, too.
Light Jacket – Because you just never know. Weather can change quickly depending on where you are and if you’ll be in any slot canyons, they can get cool depending on the time of day and season. I usually use my rain jacket for this.
Hikes in Cedar Breaks
This is a two-mile round-trip, accessible paved trail going between Point Supreme Overlook and Sunset Overlook. This is a nice, easy trail with wonderful views that are perfect for sunset.
This is a one-mile trail (each way, so two miles round-trip) connecting the campground to the visitor center. It’s perfect for viewing wildlife and birds.
Alpine Pond Nature Trail
This is a two-mile douple-loop trail taking you through the forest and meadows. It’s also one of the best trails for seeing the wildflowers. The lower trail has views of the “breaks” and the upper trail is the best for meadows.
Spectra Point & Ramparts Overlook Trail
This is a four-mile round-trip hike following the rim of the canyon meaning you’ll have wonderful views especially at Ramparts Overlook. You’ll even be able to see Bristlecone Pines along this trail!
The elevation is 10,500 feet above sea level, moderately streunuous, so it’s not recommended for people with cardiac or pulmonary problems.
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
This trail isn’t technically in the park but is just outside of the north entrance in the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness. It’s a 9.8 mile point-to-point trail following the creek into the canyons of Cedar Breaks. There are few (or very poor) trail makers, so research and bring maps if you do decide to do this.
Have you been to Cedar Breaks? Was it during the wildflower festival? What did you think of it?