Utah Journals

On the Plateau, Part V: Crossing Utah's Backroads and Badlands

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A June 2006 trip to Utah by callen60

Utah 95 near Fry Canyon Photo, Utah, United States More Photos
Quote: Leaving Monument Valley, we arced across the beautiful, empty, forbidding country of southern Utah.

On the Plateau, Part V: Crossing Utah's Backroads and Badlands

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Overview

Vista at Cedar Breaks Photo, Utah, United States
Quote:
Southern Utah is full of primary destinations: five National Parks provide plenty of reason to travel the beautiful, nearly empty country. But as you head to or from Zion on the western side, Arches and Canyonlands in the east, or Monument Valley along the Arizona border, you’ll travel among wonders as amazing as those that lured you here. Point Supreme, Cedar BreaksJust outside Cedar City is Cedar Breaks National Monument, once the equal of Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon as a destination. The demise of railroads changed that, but the colors and gra...Read More

Holiday Inn Express Suites Cedar Cit

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cedar City"

Holiday Inn Express Suites Cedar Cit Photo, Utah, United States
Quote:
Given my druthers, I’d stay at some place historic, rustic, or in a national park every night of an entire vacation. But the parameters for this trip were: go west, go cheap. Or at least cheaper—I promised to bring in our lodging costs at an average of $100 a night, a figure we didn’t come close to on our swing through Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Teton. The cabins at Grand Canyon fit perfectly—$100 a night—but Monument Valley and Bryce (~$150/night) meant looking for cheaper lodging on the other nights.Enter brand loyalty. Having racked up enough points through Holiday Inn’s Priority Club, we cashed them in for a room here. We arrived around 5pm, with vacation fatigue clearly beginning to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Holiday Inn Express Suites Cedar Cit
1555 S Old Highway 91
Cedar City, Utah 84720
(435) 865-7799

Iceberg Drive Inn

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Restaurant

Iceberg Drive Inn Photo, St. George, Utah
Quote:
OK, I admit it: I’m a sucker for drive-ins. I still remember the excitement of pulling into the A&W in the small town where I went to kindergarten, and ordering the appropriately sized mug of root beer for everyone (Papa, Mama, and Baby Mug). Great Falls, MT; Torrey, UT; on our travels, we’ve found some local places serving great food and holding out against the complete homogenization of the franchise culture.Iceberg is somewhere in between family-run and fully franchised. Its current owners, who purchased it in 1996 from the original owners, began franchising in 2000. They’re up to 11 Utah locations, and will soon be in Phoenix and Palm Desert....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 21, 2006

Iceberg Drive Inn
222 E. St. George Blvd
Salt Lake City, Utah 84770
(435) 656-3625

Cedar Breaks National Monument

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Attraction

Cedar Breaks National Monument Photo, Cedar City, Utah
Quote:
This place is truly a step back in time, a taste of what a national park visit used to be like. In an ironic twist, Cedar Breaks probably enjoys less prominence now than it did years ago: in the glory days of railroad-promoted park travel, The Utah Parks Company (a Union Pacific subsidiary) offered escorted rail/road trips to Zion, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, and Cedar Breaks, just 40 miles away from the end of the line at Cedar City. Gilbert Stanley Underwood designed lodges and cabins at each site for the railroad, all in the style now associated with national park architecture: timber structures with a central lodge surrounded by similarly styled cabins. Like all but Bryce, the orig...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Cedar Breaks National Monument
Highway 148
Cedar City, Utah
(435) 586-9451

Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm

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Attraction | "Dinosaur Discovery at Johnson's Farm"

Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm Photo, St. George, Utah
Quote:
This was one of those serendipitous experiences that becomes one of your best trip memories, partly because of the destination, and partly because you never saw it coming. With a whole day to reach Las Vegas from Cedar City, we pulled into St. George in late morning after a stop and hike at Zion’s little-visited Kolob Canyons. We’d passed on several dinosaur opportunities already—footprints near Tuba City (see rubylu’s journal of a recent visit) on the way to Monument Valley and trackways south of Hurricane....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 21, 2006

Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm
2180 East Riverside
St. George, Utah 84790
(435) 574-3466

Dwellings at Anasazi State Park. Photo, Utah, United States
Quote:
Although pathfinders and settlers viewed the Colorado Plateau as empty, they were of course not the first ones here. Scattered across the southwest is the evidence of a large number of native peoples, a fair amount of it preserved in national monuments and state parks in barely accessible locations: Hovenweep NM in Colorado; Navajo and Canyon de Chelly NMs in Arizona, and Chaco Canyon in New Mexico are just a few of the tens of thousands of sites of the ‘Anasazi’ and others.Several of southern Utah’s State Parks preserve dwellings and other evidence of this vanished civilization: Edge of the Cedars in Blanding is the central museum for Southeast Utah; our decision to take the Mo...Read More

Cedar City: Victim of Circumstances?

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Like St. George, its neighbor to the south, Cedar City is a small town that’s exploding as a well-to-do leisure society moves in to places previously reserved for the direct descendants of western pioneers. As we rested in the Queen’s Garden at Bryce, enjoying some rare spots of shade, we chatted with a pleasant couple from Cedar City. Or Ohio, via St. George—they’d left the Midwest some time ago, having fallen in love with southwest Utah, the American Southwest, and the climate and access that Cedar City provides.Cedar City was our last stop before returning to Las Vegas, at the end of a day that began in Bryce Canyon, climbed to the heights of Cedar Breaks, and descended the steep road d...Read More
Vista at Cedar Breaks Photo, Utah, United States
Quote:
It’s easy to think that the wonderful areas set aside as National Parks are simply of a different character than the rest of the country—whether you’re thinking of ‘country’ in a broad, nation-state sort of way, or just ‘the general area around here’. A trip to any of Utah’s National Parks will soon disabuse you of that notion: the places you pass through are often sculpted by the same processes, with the end result often nearly as noteworthy as those set aside as a public trust.Bryce is famous for the richly colored hoodoos lining its natural amphitheatre for dozens of miles—but hoodoos are found in a number of places on the Colorado Plateau. The last, lonely remnants of buttes and mesas ...Read More