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Cedar Breaks National Monument About to Turn 75


Geology is the main attraction at Cedar Breaks National Monument, which marks its 75th birthday Aug 22-25. NPS photo by Lee Rademaker.

In geologic time, something that's quite evident at Cedar Breaks National Monument, 75 years is pretty insignificant. But that doesn't mean the folks who operate the monument and those who take pride that it's in their backyard aren't going to throw a heck of a birthday party.

In fact, the birthday party will run three days -- August 22, 23 and 24. Throughout the celebration there will be a variety of activities for visitors to partake in. There will a dinner and program Friday evening hosted at the Iron Mission State Park museum. On Saturday there will be a formal program as well as free family fun activities happening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monument officials also plan to unveil a new “way-side” station to commemorate the location of the original Cedar Breaks Lodge.

Handlers also will release a rehabilitated golden eagle back into the wild at the monument.

Located in southern Utah to the north of Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks became part of the National Park System on August 22, 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the requisite paperwork. Four years later a detail of 27 men from the Zion's Civilian Conservation Corps camp began construction on the monument's Visitor Center and Ranger Cabin.

As for the upcoming birthday party, here's a schedule of events:

August 22, 2008 – Friday

Remember the famous chicken dinner of the former Cedar Breaks Lodge? Join past park employees and swap stories of “The Breaks.” Come look back and share the memories of the past from 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. The dinner will be held at the Iron Mission State Park Museum at a cost of $20 per person. A reservation needs to be made with the Iron County Visitor Center at 435-586-5124.

August 23, 2008 – Saturday

10:00 A.M. Welcome – Cedar Breaks Visitor Center – Interactive exhibit

11:00 A.M Wayside unveiling – “Looking back” -Tribute to Cedar Breaks Lodge (a shuttle will be provided from the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center parking lot)

Noon Release of rehabilitated golden eagle back into the wild at Cedar Breaks Visitor Center

12:30 – 2:00 P.M. Box lunch – Famous Chicken Picnic – available for purchase at Cedar Breaks Visitor Center (Please pre-order by calling Bonnie with the Iron County Visitors Center at 435-586-5124)

2:00 P.M. “Sing – Away” program “Canyon View HS Madrigal Choir” (Cedar Breaks Visitor Center parking lot)

1:00 – 3:00 P.M. History Walks / Tour of the Breaks – formal guided tours via shuttle bus (Shuttle bus tours will begin at the Visitor Center parking lot). See where the original Cedar Breaks Lodge, which was razed in 1972, used to sit in the meadow and join past park employees as they tell what it was like to work and live at Cedar Breaks.

1:00 – 5:00 P.M. Family Fun – “Looking Back -Looking Forward” – special activities and walks though out the day.

8:00 P.M. Bonfire and S’mores Brian Head Pavilion. Honor the tradition of “Minnie’s Mansion.” Come sit around the campfire – roast marshmallows, sing your favorite silly camp songs.

August 24, 2008 - Sunday

Take a Sunday drive and see the new wayside station commemorating Cedar Breaks Lodge. Be one of the first to experience the new interactive exhibit. Take the GPS Ranger Tour of Cedar Breaks.

Cedar Breaks National Monument is located 23 miles east of Cedar City, Utah, along Highway 148 between Highway 14 and Brian Head. The park entrance fee will be waived for the three days of this celebration.

Updated 75th Anniversary activities and more are available for downloading at the Cedar Breaks National Monument website.


Thanks for posting about the birthday. I hadn't remembered that. Of, perhaps some minor historic interest: I was NPS manager of CEBR 1967-1970. For those who haven't visited there, it's much like Bryce canyon, just smaller and much higher in elevation. My residence there was,as I recall, 10,350' in elevation. Some of the most prolific and beautiful wildflowers anywhere. Lots of mule deer in the meadows alongside the road (6 miles). Contains bristlecone pines, some very old examples. Easy to visit on a loop incompasing N.Rim of grand canyon, Zion and Bryce. When I was there CEBR was one of 3 NPS units,administered under Zion. During my last year there, a reorganization placed Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Pipe Spring and Cedar Breaks under one "General Superintendent", stationed in Cedar City. (I continued my management role at CEBR and was asst. Gen. Supt.). Incidentally, I was the person who removed the Cedar Breaks Lodge and cabins. These had originally been built by the railroad co. (as in Grand Canyon, etc.) operated as a concession. By the late 60s they were obsolete, and due to the very short season, no longer economic. There was some minor controversy, and I do understand the nostalgic view of the 'old-timers', but I felt we couldn't justify the man-made intrusion. The season, by the way, IS very short, only about 3 months. The snow drifts get to be 40'deep and spring opening is quite a chore. I visited about 4 yrs ago and the beetles were attacking many of the beautiful big trees. (Engleman spruce, alpine fir, mostly) A great little park, though, and a wonderful training ground for an 'entry-level' park manager. Don't know if I can make the events, but I do highly recommend a park visit. Don

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