I have been home 2 hours from one of the best weekend I have ever had. Now you are wondering what happened, but this story cannot be told in just one post so here we go.
Now first let me introduce everyone to a new found love interest named Brianna. I met her at the beginning of the school year and have been in cloud nine since. Well sorta. There has been one damper and that’s been my knee. It has been restricting me on what I can and cannot do, especially the things I like doing.
The first week of college I was invited, probably 5 times, to play Ultimate Frisbee but I couldn’t due to my knee. I also was limited on my walking, standing, sitting… well just about everything. So for the past month I have been babying the thing like crazy with physical therapy exercises, cartilage strengthening supplements, and lots of not doing anything. Luckily for me I found Brianna, she has helped ease my boredom by being awesome.
Over this past little while of getting to know Bri I have spoken extensively of places I have been and places I want to go. At the time it was all wishful thinking and day dreaming, but as I have been a good boy when it comes to properly taking care of my knee, those dreams are now coming back to reality. So I present you with my first big trip since recovery began, Cedar Breaks.
Cedar Breaks is a national monument that is located just up the mountain from Cedar City on highway 14. It only takes about 30 minutes to get there from the city, so not bad for an amazing place. Upon arrival and parking, there is a 4 dollar admission fee per person, so if you are bringing a lot of people, the cost can become hefty really quick. So keep that in mind.
Now lets talk about the trails that are located at the first stop on your journey into the national monument. As soon as you pay the entrance fee you can walk a few hundred feet to visitor center where just to its left you can get the first breathtaking view of the park. This overlook is called Point Supreme. If you are incapable of any prolonged walking or if the altitude of 10,000 feet is getting to you, I suggest you go and do this. We spent a few minutes here, but soon headed out to the actual trail that follows the rim.
The trail head is located at the parking lot right next to the bathrooms. (By the way, I suggest using these before heading out. There are no others in the area.) The trail begins by going up a small set of stairs that places you right on the rim of the canyon. Here you follow white mud cliffs that give you breathtaking views of the hoodoos that make up the park. The trails length is about .75 miles long and places you at the second lookout point called Spectra Point. This location is more centrally located and gives you spectacular views.
Side Note. As you arrive to the Spectra Point you will notice some crazy looking trees. Take a moment to realize that you are now standing amongst ancients. These are Bristle Cone Pine Trees, the oldest living organisms on the earth. I am not sure how old these trees are right here, but they could easily have been around 1000 years before Christ and still have another 1000 years of growth before they die.
I did not mention this earlier but I had a guest on this trip beside Bri. His name is Scott, and he is a new hiking buddy from school. He is big into geology and outdoor recreation, so you guys will probably be seeing and hearing about him a lot in the future. Now let’s continue with the hike.
Before we began this hike, I was determined to get to Spectra Point. But to go further, that was a judgment call that could only be made by my knee. Well upon arrival it was still happy so I had the green light to go onto the next lookout, Rampart Overlook.
Rampart Overlook trail begins (continues really) from Spectra point. It’s one mile farther along the canyon rim and descends about 700 feet in elevation. The trail winds its way through the woods and periodically pops back out by the rim. Its final stop is on an spine that extend a bit out into the canyon.
This location is probably the best view of the monument. We spent some time here just enjoying the view as the sun set and each others company. After some more pictures and some chit chat we headed back to the car.
Well on the return trip, the altitude once more reminded us that we were only visitors to this place. At 10,000 feet the oxygen levels are much lower then our usual 5,800 feet and we were feeling it. Seven-hundred feet is a lot of elevation to gain, but not a spectacularly huge number. But at this height it became a challenge. We all pushed through and did great, but we were huffing and puffing all the way back to Spectra Point where the trail levels out and returns to relativity flat conditions.