Safety

Two people hiking along the cliff rim of Cedar Breaks.
Two people hiking along the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument.

NPS Photo by Paul Roelandt

At over 10,000 feet above sea level, Cedar Breaks offers a unique experience for visitors. We want your experience be safe and enjoyable. Below are some of the potential hazards you may experience while in Cedar Breaks. Please become familiar with them, and keep them in mind while visiting.

Cell Phone Reception
Cell phone reception is not reliable in the park and surrounding areas. In case of an emergency, contact a park ranger or campground host.

Lightning
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.

Sun Exposure
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.

Altitude Sickness
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.

Hypothermia
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.)

Dehydration
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.

Wildlife
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.

Driving
Driving conditions in the park can be hazardous. Please obey the posted speed limits. When driving down Cedar Canyon, use lower gears on long downhill sections to prevent overheated brakes. Use of seatbelts is required in both Utah and the within the monument. Please stop only at pullouts. Watch for wildlife (especially deer on the Scenic Drive and marmots)and pedestrians. Congestion in the visitor center parking areas can lead to accidents.

Campfires
Campfires are permitted in fire rings and barbecue grills only. Campfires must be attended at all times, and must be completely out before leaving the area. Exercise caution when using gas stoves, charcoal grills, and cigarettes. Collection of dead and down wood is not allowed. Chain saws are not permitted anywhere in the park.

Last updated: January 22, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cedar Breaks National Monument: Administrative Office
2390 West Highway 56
Suite #11

Cedar City, UT 84720

Phone:

(435) 586-9451 x4420

Contact Us