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Cedar Breaks National Monument is a huge natural amphitheater which has been eroded out of the variegated Pink Cliffs (Claron Formation) near Cedar City, Utah. Called a "Breaks" because of its abrupt, broken, and deeply eroded canyon, it is a 3.8-mile-long and 2.5-mile-wide amphitheater containing numerous ridges, cliffs, and spires eroded some 2,000 feet below the 10,300- to 10,500-foot elevation of the canyon. Iron and manganese oxide impurities produce an amazing variety of colors in the limestone cliffs that constantly change with the angle of the sun's rays. In the meadows bordering the six-mile-long rim drive, colorful wildflowers in season provide another resplendent attraction. Additionally, there are fine stands of bristlecone pine trees (Pinus aristala), the oldest of which is more than 1,600 years old.

Located on the Markagunt Plateau, Cedar Breaks can be reached via Utah Highway 14 from U. S. Highway 89, or from Interstate 15 at Cedar City. Highway 143 runs to the area from Parowan and County Road 38 from Panguitch. About 500,000 people visit Cedar Breaks annually.

The park is surrounded on all sides by the Dixie National Forest and to the west by the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area. Brian Head Resort is located three miles north of the park, and during the summer the Utah Shakespearean Festival is held in Cedar City. Fishing opportunities are at nearby Navajo Lake (11 miles), Duck Creek (15 miles), or Panguitch Lake (13 miles). Several national and state parks are within a 100-mile radius of the park, including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Iron Mission State Park, Snow Canyon State Park, and Quail Lake State Park.