At over 10,000 feet above sea level, Cedar Breaks offers a unique experience for visitors. However, there are some of the potential hazards to be aware of during your visit to Cedar Breaks. Please become familiar with them, and keep them in mind while visiting.
Altitude sickness is a condition brought on by high elevations often in conjunction with strenuous activity. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, nausea, incoherent speech, and headache. The cure is to descend immediately. Altitude sickness can be life threatening. To avoid altitude sickness, ascend slowly, eat lightly and frequently, and drink plenty of water.
It is easy to become dehydrated when hiking in the dry desert air. Carry plenty of water and drink it!
Note: All surface water should be chemically treated, boiled, or passed through a filter capable of eliminating harmful microbes and parasites, such as giardia, before drinking.
Driving conditions in the park can be hazardous, particularly in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Please obey the posted speed limits. Please stop only at pullouts, driving off road, including into meadows, is prohibited. Watch for wildlife, especially deer and marmots, as well as pedestrians. Congestion near parking areas can lead to accidents.
Cedar Breaks is generally 10-30 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler in temperature than surrounding parks, so visitors often arrive under dressed and risk getting too cold, or Hypothermia. Avoid hypothermia by wearing appropriate, layered clothing. Do not wear cotton, as it stays cold and wet. Carry extra clothes, drink plenty of fluids, and stay dry. Signs of hypothermia include uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness and lack of interest. If someone shows signs of hypothermia, warm them slowly, replace wet clothes with dry ones and give warm liquids (no caffeine or alcohol.)
Lightning injures more people every year than wildlife. Be on the lookout for dark fast moving and the sound of thunder. The safest place to be during a lighting storm in inside a building or inside your vehicle. Move away from exposed ridges and summits. Do not take cover under trees when lightning is imminent. In open areas, crouch low to the ground. Avoid being the tallest object and do not be around other tall objects (i.e. lone trees) when lightning is imminent.
Sunburn is a commonly overlooked problem when hiking at high elevations. The atmosphere is thin and does not filter the sun's rays, so people burn much more quickly. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Be aware that excessive sun exposure, combined with high temperatures, can cause heat stroke.
Wildlife can often appear tame but don’t be fooled! Do not feed any animals or you may be bitten, this includes chipmunks or squirrels. Observe all wildlife at a safe distance and never approach them.
Last updated: February 11, 2021