Cedar City Activities

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1. Cedar Breaks/Navajo Lake/Shakespearean Festival

Morning

Cedar Breaks National Monument

A natural amphitheater of colorful rock spires, called hoodoos, Cedar Breaks is a miniature version of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Directions from Cedar City: Starting from the intersection of Center Street and Main Street, drive up the canyon (east on UT 14) approximately 18 miles until you reach the well-marked turnoff to Cedar Breaks. Turn left (north) on UT 148 and proceed approximately four miles until you come to the Cedar Breaks National Monument Visitor Center, which sits at an elevation of 10,350 feet.

Suggested Activities:

  • Peruse visitor center exhibits/merchandise
  • Take in the awe-inspiring view of the monument's amphitheater of hoodoos at Point Supreme, near the visitor center
  • Hike one or both of the monument's two-mile trails, which require approximately 1.5 hours each to complete:
  • Spectra Point/Ramparts Trail – starting near the visitor center parking lot and running along the amphitheater's south rim, the path offers panoramic vistas and passes through a stand of bristlecone pine, the oldest living organisms on earth.
  • Alpine Pond Trail – a loop that traverses forests and meadows along the east rim of the amphitheater, the path is accessed from the Chessmen Ridge Overlook or Alpine Pond Trailhead a few miles north of the visitor center, the trail features a trail guide that expounds on the park's ecology, geology, flora and fauna.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch at the picnic area adjacent to the monument's campground just east of the visitor center.

 

Afternoon

Cedar City Activities | Activities in Cedar City Utah

Navajo Lake

Aspen, fir and spruce forests, lava beds and wildflower-filled meadows surround this natural lake, whose elevation is approximately 9,100 feet. Indians described its picturesque setting as the "Blue Mirror of Heaven."

Directions from Cedar Breaks: Drive back the way you came on highway 148 until its intersection with highway 14. Make a left on highway 14 heading east towards Navajo Lake. Turn right when you come to the well-marked turnoff to the lake.

Suggested Activities:

  • Relax by the lake – take in some high-altitude sun along its shores or try your hand at skipping rocks
  • Rent a boat or canoe at the Navajo Lake Lodge
  • Fish for brook trout or rainbow trout from a rental boat or the shore
  • Hike a nearby hiking trail, which include Echo Canyon and Cascade Falls
  • Bike the Navajo Lake Loop Trail, which circles the entire lake and is ideal even for young riders.

 

Evening

  • Eat dinner at your favorite local restaurant
  • Attend the Utah Shakespearean Festival Greenshow, which begins nightly (Mon. - Sat.) at 7:15 p.m. in the courtyard just south of the Adams Memorial Shakespeare Theatre. The show features Elizabethan-era music and dance and is an ideal warm-up for Shakespeare plays
  • Attend a play of your choice at the Adams Memorial Shakespeare Theatre, a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, or at the Randall L. Jones Theater.

 

2. Cedar Mountain Loop

The Cedar Mountain Loop, designated a national scenic byway, is one of Utah’s most picturesque drives. It offers views of aspen, fir and spruce forests, wildflower-filled meadows, alpine lakes, lava beds and colorful rock formations. It includes State Highways 14, 143, and 148.

Directions from Cedar City: You can access the loop by driving east on highway 14 up the canyon or by driving north on Interstate 15 to Parowan and taking highway 143 towards Brian Head. Whichever route you choose, you will find a plethora of recreation options that could take up the whole day or more than one day, if you choose.

Highway 14

Bristlecone Pine Trail
This short, easy loop trail is ideal for all ages. Located up Highway 14 18 miles east of Cedar City off a paved pullout, the trail meanders through stands of fir and spruce. The main attractions, however, are the Bristlecone pines along a ridge of cliffs overlooking the canyon and the northern end of Zion National Park in the distance. Bristlecones are the oldest living organisms on earth.

Navajo Lake

Pauite Indians called this natural lake the “Blue Mirror of Heaven.” At an elevation of 9,100 feet, it is a nice respite from the summer heat and offers a scenic alpine setting surrounded by meadows, spruce, fir and aspen forests and lava beds. While at the lake, visitors can participate in the following activities:

  • Relax by the lake – skip some rocks, enjoy some high altitude sun or take your shoes and socks off and go wading.
  • Bike the Navajo Lake Loop Trail, an 11.5-mile, packed dirt trail that circumnavigates the lake.
  • Hike one of the area’s nearby trails, such as Cascade Falls and Echo Canyon
  • Rent a canoe or boat from the Navajo Lake Lodge to venture out on the water
  • Fish for rainbow trout and brook trout from the shore or a rental boat

 

Duck Creek Village

Located a short distance up UT 14 from Navajo Lake, Duck Creek Village is a resort community that includes vacation homes, condominiums and several lodges. While there, visitors can:

  • Fish for trout in Duck Creek Pond or Aspen Mirror Lake
  • Enjoy views of nearby meadows
  • Peruse quaint shops
  • Dine at the village’s year-round restaurants, such as Duck Creek Village Inn and Pinewoods Resort Restaurant
  • Take a guided ATV or snowmobile (depending on the season) tour provided by one of the local outfitters

 

Highway 143

Cedar City Activities | Activities in Cedar City Utah

Brian Head Resort

Utah's highest-elevation ski resort, Brian Head annually receives an average of 400 inches of light, powdery snow. It boasts over 50 ski runs for all ability levels spread out over 500 skiable acres. In the winter, the resort also includes a tubing park served by a lift. Brian Head is not only a winter resort, however. In the summer, those traveling to the resort can:

  • Ride a scenic chairlift to incredible panoramic vistas of the area’s unique geographic features. When you reach the top of the lift, you may ride it back down or debark and hike down to the base.
  • Bring your bike (or rent one) to ride down the mountain’s many trails after getting off the lift.
  • Play disc golf at Utah’s longest and highest course. Access to the course is free by hiking to its first hole, which begins at 11,000 feet above sea level.
  • Attend one of the resort’s many free weekend concerts
  • Dine at one of the resort’s restaurants, which include The Bump and Grind, Pizano’s Pizzeria, Navajo Giant Steps Grill and Mountain View Café.

 

Panguitch Lake

A 1,250-acre body of water surrounded by lava flows, ponderosa pines, aspens and spruce, the lake’s name is a Pauite Indian word meaning “big fish.” In the early mornings and late afternoons, visitors to the lake will have a chance of viewing deer and elk. At an elevation of 8,400 feet, Panguitch Lake is located 20 miles south of Panguitch on highway 143. While at the lake, visitors can:

  • Rent a boat from one of the local lodges to venture out onto the lake
  • Fish for brook, brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout from the shore or from a boat
  • Relax by the lake – enjoy high some high altitude sun, skip some rocks, or take your shoes and socks off and go wading.
  • Dine at one of the area’s restaurants, including Bear Paw Lake View Resort, Panguitch Lake Resort or Rustic Lodge

 

Highway 148

Cedar City Activities | Activities in Cedar City UtahCedar Breaks National Monument

Described as a “Circle of Painted Cliffs” by local Indians, Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater of colorful rock spires, arches, pinnacles and columns that is similar to Bryce Canyon National Park. The monument is also home Bristlecone pines, one of the world’s oldest organisms. At Cedar Breaks, visitors can:

  • Check out the visitor center exhibits/merchandise
  • Take in the breathtaking views of the monument’s amphitheater of spires, pinnacles and columns at Point Supreme, near the visitor center
  • Hike one of the monument’s two-mile trails, which require approximately 1.5 hours each to complete:
    • Alpine Pond Trail – a loop that meanders through meadows and forests and along the amphitheater’s east rim, hikers can start the trail from the Alpine Pond Trailhead or Chessmen Ridge Overlook a few miles north of the visitor center. The path includes a trail guide that expounds on the park’s ecology, geology, flora and fauna.
    • Spectra Point/Ramparts Trail – starting at the visitor center parking lot and following the south rim of the amphitheater. The trail provides stunning views and passes through a stand of bristlecone pines.
  • Eat a picnic lunch at the picnic area next to the monument’s campground just east of the visitor center.

 

3. Red Canyon/Bryce Canyon National Park

Morning

Red Canyon

Red Canyon boasts colorful spires, and pinnacles similar to those found in Bryce Canyon National Park, which is only nine miles up the highway. The drive through the canyon passes through two manmade, drive-through tunnels, which have appeared in many television commercials.

Directions from Cedar City: From the Main St./Center St. (University Blvd.) intersection, drive east on UT 14 for 40.4 miles until you reach U.S. 89. Turn left (north) on Highway 89 and continue 20.6 miles until reaching UT 12, then turn left (east) on UT 12, which leads straight into Red Canyon after approximately three miles.

Suggested Activities:

  • Hike one of the canyon's many short trails, such as the Tunnel Trail, Birdseye Trail, and Pink Ledges Trail, to get a closer look at its many hoodoos. Inquire at the Red Canyon Visitor Center (open Memorial Day through Labor Day), located near the mouth of the canyon, for detailed information on hiking trails.
  • Ride your bike on the canyon's cycle track, which parallels the road.
  • Stop in one of the canyon’s many pullouts for photo opportunities.

 

Late Morning/Afternoon/Evening

Bryce Canyon National Park

 

Located on the Paunsaugunt Plateau at elevations ranging from 8,000 to 9,000 feet, Bryce Canyon National Park is a series of large, natural amphitheaters that display colorful rock formations of all shapes and sizes. These “hoodoos,” as they are known, will capture your imagination as you decide what shape some of them most resemble.

Directions from Red Canyon: Continue driving up Red Canyon until you reach its intersection with UT 63. Turn right (south) on Highway 63 until you reach the park entrance, only a few miles down.

Suggested Activities:

  • Peruse the visitor center’s exhibits and merchandise. While there, ask one of the interpretive rangers any questions you have about the park and its hiking trails.
  • Hike along the park’s more than 50 miles of hiking trails, including:
    • Rim Trail – this paved trail’s most frequented section from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point is a leisurely 1-mile stroll offering sweeping views of the park’s main amphitheater.
    • Queens Garden Trail – considered the easiest trail into the inner canyon, this 1.8-mile trail offers views of many hoodoos, including one that looks like Queen Victoria at the very end. Its trailhead is Sunrise Point
    • Navajo Trail – this moderate, 1.3-mile trail descends to the canyon floor and provides views of formations such as Thor’s Hammer and Two Bridges. Beginning at Sunset Point, the trail can be combined with the Queens Garden Trail to make a loop
    • Fairyland Loop – if you want to avoid the crowds, this is the trail to hike. An eight-mile, strenuous loop meandering through many tall hoodoos and formations such as Tower Bridge and China Wall, Fairyland Loop’s trailhead lies off a one-mile spur road just south of the park entrance.
  • Dine at one of the area’s restaurants, including Bryce Canyon Dining Room at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, or Cowboy’s Buffet & Steak Room and the Canyon Diner atRuby’s Inn, located just north of the park’s entrance.
  • Explore the Paunsaugunt Wildlife Museum, which displays over 450 species of animals from around the globe in life-like dioramas. It is located near the intersection of highways 12 and 63.
  • Take a guided ATV or horseback ride from one of the outfitters at Ruby’s Inn.
  • Attend the Bryce Canyon Country Rodeo at Ruby’s Inn, which takes place Wednesday through Saturday evenings during the summer.

 

4. Zion National Park (Zion Canyon)

Cedar City Activities | Activities in Cedar City Utah

Zion Canyon, Zion National Park’s most-visited area, is a showcase of awe-inspiring rock formations and ecological diversity, including hanging gardens, meadows, stands of large cottonwoods, and a variety of wildlife, including deer, squirrels and lizards. Its numerous towers of stone bear names such as Court of the Patriarchs, Angels Landing and The Great White Throne, quite possibly the most photographed formation in the park.

Directions from Cedar City: Drive south on Interstate 15 for 30 miles until you reach exit 27 (Toquerville/Hurricane). Take exit 27 and turn left onto UT 17 towards Toquerville. Continue on Highway 17 through Toquerville for 6.8 miles until you reach its intersection with UT 9 in LaVerkin. Take a left onto Highway 9, passing through Virgin and Rockville until you reach Springdale. If you are traveling between April and October, a mandatory shuttle system is the only way to enter Zion Canyon. It is best to park in Springdale and ride the town shuttle to the staging area near the Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theater and cross the pedestrian bridge to the visitor center to board the canyon shuttle. You can park in the 400-space visitor center parking lot, but a parking space will be more difficult to find because it usually fills up by about 10:30 a.m. on busy summer days.

Suggested Activities:

  • Check out the visitor center’s exhibits. While there, ask one of the park’s interpretive rangers any questions you have about the park and its hiking trails.
  • Visit the Zion Human History Museum (first shuttle stop) and peruse its merchandise.
  • Ride the shuttle through the entire canyon to take in the scenery and listen to the bus driver’s informative narration about the park’s geology, history, flora and fauna.
  • Hike one of the canyon’s shorter hiking trails, including:
    • Pa'rus Trail – this paved, 1.7-mile trail runs along the Virgin River from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to the Canyon Junction shuttle stop. Ideal for larger groups, the trail features many river access points.
    • Lower/Middle Emerald Pools Trail – these two paths form a 1.6-mile loop trail that passes by waterfalls, hanging gardens and, as the trail’s name suggests, crystal-clear pools that have a greenish tint. The trailhead is across the road from the Zion Lodge shuttle stop.
    • Weeping Rock – this short ¼-mile climb ends at an overhang where it “rains” year round due to constant seepage of water through the porous sandstone. This abundance of water has created lush, hanging gardens, which are full of ferns and flowers. Signs identify plant life along the trail. Access the trailhead from the Weeping Rock shuttle stop just after the Grotto shuttle stop.
    • Riverside Walk – Otherwise known as the “Gateway to the Narrows,” this paved, one-mile (one-way) walkway runs along the banks of the Virgin River, boasting a variety of vegetation and river access points. If you are feeling adventurous when you reach the end of the trail, wade up the river into the Zion Narrows for a little while. The trailhead is at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop, the last stop in Zion Canyon.
  • Take a guided horseback ride offered by Canyon Trail Rides, originating across from Zion Lodge
  • Dine at one of Zion Lodge's two eateries, the Red Rock Grill and Castle Dome Café, or enjoy a picnic on its spacious lawn.
  • Relax on a wooden rocking chair on Zion Lodge's porch
  • Drive east along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (UT-9), up the switchbacks and through the 1.1-mile Zion Tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, park and hike the mile-longCanyon Overlook Trail. It provides a stunning view of lower Zion Canyon and Pine Creek Canyon.
  • When you have finished exploring Zion, check out Springdale’s gift shops and art galleries, or eat at one of its restaurants.

Scenic return route back to Cedar City: Instead of returning to Cedar City the way you came drive east on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway to Mt. Caramel Junction (approximately 26 miles). Turn left onto U.S. Highway 89 until Long Valley Junction (22.5 miles). At Long Valley Junction, turn left onto UT 14, which passes through spectacular mountain scenery on its way to Cedar City (40.4 miles).

 

5. Kolob Canyons/Cedar Breaks

Morning

Kolob Canyons (Zion National Park)

Much less crowded than Zion Canyon, Kolob Canyons displays red-rock monoliths and narrow canyons viewed from a five-mile, one-way scenic drive.

Directions from Cedar City: Drive south on Interstate 15 for approximately 17 miles until exit 40, where you will get off the freeway and make a left towards the Visitor Center.

Suggested Activities:

  • Check out the visitor center's exhibits and ask one of the rangers any questions you have about the park and its hiking trails.
  • Drive up the scenic drive, stopping at viewpoints along the way to take in the panoramic views of the towering sandstone formations.
  • Hike one of the area’s trails, including:
    • Taylor Creek Trail – this 5.4-mile round trip hike meanders through a narrow finger canyon, passing two historic cabins along the way. It ends at a scenic double arch alcove. Its trailhead is located along the scenic drive two miles from the visitor center.
    • Timber Creek Overlook Trail – an easy one-mile round trip path, this trail takes hikers to views of Timber Creek, Kolob Terrace and the Pine Valley Mountains. Visitors access the trail at the end of the scenic drive.

 

Afternoon

Cedar City Activities | Activities in Cedar City UtahCedar Breaks National Monument

A natural amphitheater of colorful rock spires, called hoodoos, Cedar Breaks is a miniature version of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Directions from Cedar City: Starting from the intersection of Center Street and Main Street, drive up the canyon (east on UT 14) approximately 18 miles until you reach the well-marked turnoff to Cedar Breaks. Turn left (north) on UT 148 and proceed approximately four miles until you come to the Cedar Breaks National Monument Visitor Center, which sits at an elevation of 10,350 feet.

Suggested Activities:

  • Stop in the visitor center to view its exhibits and merchandise.
  • Stroll to Point Supreme, near the visitor center, for a panoramic vista of the monument’s amphitheater of hoodoos
  • Hike one of the monument's two-mile trails, which both require approximately 1.5 hours to complete:
    • Spectra Point/Ramparts Trail – beginning at the visitor center parking lot, this trail runs along the amphitheater’s south rim. It provides stunning views of the colorful amphitheater and passes through a stand of bristlecone pine, the oldest living organisms on earth
    • Alpine Pond Trail – a loop that passes through meadows and forests along the east rim of the amphitheater, the trail is accessed via the Alpine Pond Trailhead or Chessmen Ridge Overlook a few miles north of the visitor center. The path includes a trail guide that informs visitors about the park’s ecology, geology, flora and fauna.

 

Enjoy a picnic at the picnic area near the monument’s campground, located east of the visitor center.

6. Fishing

Cedar City Activities | Activities in Cedar City UtahThe Cedar City area is full of great fishing lakes and reservoirs. Most of them are located at high elevations and surrounded by evergreen forests. You could spend a few hours, an afternoon, or a whole day at any one of these excellent fishing spots within a 45-mile radius of Cedar City, listed below:

  • Duck Creek Pond/Aspen Mirror Lake – these two small lakes, located near Duck Creek Village, both offer fishing for rainbow trout. Campgrounds, lodges and other facilities lie nearby.
  • Navajo Lake – home to rainbow and brook trout, this natural lake is located 22 miles east of Cedar City on UT 14. The lake’s shore boasts campgrounds, a lodge, picnic areas and boat rentals.
  • Panguitch Lake – a 1,250-acre lake at an elevation of 8,400 feet, the lake draws its name from a Pauite Indian word meaning “big fish.” Stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout, the lake lies approximately 22 miles east of Brian Head Resort on UT 143. It features a boat ramp, boat rentals, a campground and lodges.
  • Paragonah Reservoir – located just east of Paragonah, this 70-acre body of water is a prime spot for landing rainbow trout. In the spring, you can take a hike up Red Creek, which feeds the reservoir, to watch the spawning trout.
  • Newcastle Reservoir – A haven for smallmouth bass and rainbow trout, the reservoir lies west of Cedar City on UT 56 near the town of Newcastle. There are no facilities available.
  • Yankee Meadow – this small, scenic lake is home to brook and rainbow trout. To find the lake, take UT 143 east of Parowan, turn left at Five Mile, and follow the signs to the lake. Camping is available nearby.

 


 




 

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