Monday, July 27, 2015

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah ~ Part 2 - Sunset View & Chessmen Ridge Overlook!

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     Cedar Breaks National Monument - Sunset View & Chessmen Ridge Overlook!
     The Cedar Break National Monument - Part 1 article featured views from the Point Supreme Scenic Overlook.  From that vantage point, the entire panoramic view of Cedar Breaks, the snow capped mountains and the green lower elevations can be seen.  A description of Cedar Breaks and the location is mentioned in the first article too.
     It might seem odd seeing snow drifts and snow capped mountains in the Cedar Breaks photos, especially when considering the present day is late in the month of July.  The reason being is that after I graduated the 4 year college BA degree program in May, I took more than 2 weeks of vacation time to do some traveling in the Southwest.  During three separate travel excursions, I covered a lot of ground and I still have over 20 destinations to write about.  I visited just about every point of interest between Lake Tahoe, the Grand Canyon and southern Utah.
     After the vacation trips were over and I got my fill of fresh air, I published a few articles about travel destinations in the lower elevations through early June, before the outdoor temperatures climbed over the 100ºF mark.  The Hualapai Skywalk and the Kingman, Arizona, articles are two examples of lower elevation places that were written about, before the extreme heat of the Mojave Desert summer set in.
     Now that the outdoor temperatures are over 110ºF in the Mojave Desert region, trying to promote travelers to visit destinations in the low desert is kind of like pulling teeth.  Most travelers prefer places that offer comfortable temperatures this time of year.
     "Utah - Life Elevated!" is the state motto.  A prime example of life elevated is Cedar Breaks National Monument, which happens to be over 10,000 feet above sea level.  The temperatures at the 2 mile high elevation are usually 30ºF cooler than the low desert this time of year, so Cedar Breaks definitely is a prime summertime Southwestern travel destination!
     The photos of Cedar Breaks were taken in late May and there was still plenty of snow in the ground.  Obviously now that it is July, the snow drifts from last season are probably all gone.  Even so, looking at pictures of snow does provide some mental relief from the hot summer temperatures.  If there was snow at Cedar Breaks in late May, it is easy to imagine how cool and comfortable the temperatures must be right now.  So, pack it up and go!    
     Cedar Breaks is a vast geologic amphitheater formation that was created by frost erosion.  The views of the bright red cedar color splintered sandstone bluffs and hoodoos are spectacular.
     There are several scenic overlook areas along the rim of Cedar Breaks that offer ample parking, picnic tables and restroom facilities.  Views from Sunset View & Chessmen Ridge are featured in today's article.  The photos were taken in the early evening hours when the rays of sunlight shine on Cedar Breaks in a way that intensifies the colors and shadows.  The storm clouds were clearing up just as the photos were shot at these two scenic overlooks and the light rain made the sandstone colors even more vivid.  Moments like this are perfect for photographing a colorful landscape like Cedar Breaks!
     There is far more to do at Cedar Breaks than just take pictures with a camera.  There are plenty of hiking trails and campsites.  Most of the hiking trails are suitable for all skill levels.  Hikers should keep in mind that the air is thin at this high elevation and it does take time to adjust.  At the first sign of feeling dizzy, it is best to sit down and take a break.  Staying hydrated also helps to keep the dizzy spells away.
     There are primitive campsites along the crest of Cedar Breaks that overlook the mountain meadows.  There is a modern campground nearby that is suitable for Recreational Vehicles and travel trailer campers.  Camping out at this high elevation above the clouds offers crystal clear views of the stars at night.  The fresh mountain air sure does rejuvenate a city dweller's body and mind.
     The vast mountain meadows that surround Cedar Breaks are a prime feeding ground for Mule Deer and Elk.  Eagles and hawks can be seen hunting for field mice and rabbits nearly any time of day.  The meadows at Cedar Breaks definitely are a prime wildlife viewing area.  Packing some high power binoculars is a must!
     All it takes is looking at a few photos of Cedar Breaks National Monument to be convinced.  Cedar Breaks is one of the most unique natural wonders on earth and the memories of the panoramic views will last a lifetime!

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