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Cedar Breaks National Monument is one of the lesser-known gems of Southern Utah. In is a similar formation to the better-known and much larger Bryce Canyon National Park. The photograph overlooks the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater from the South. I had deliberately planned a sunset hike on the Specter Point Trail to take photographs of Cedar Breaks, the Bristlecone Pines that abound here, and the hoodoos that make up the formation. This photograph was taken as the last light illuminated the formation and brought out the spectator colors of the eroded limestone. Of the multitude of photographs, I took on this trip, many of which are wonderful, this was the best.
I have been to Cedar Breaks in all the seasons, at differing times of day, and a multitude of weather conditions, and the photography never fails to amaze me. I have another trip planned this evening to shoot the alpine wildflowers.
The Specter Point Trail, also known as the South Rim Trail, leads to Specter Point and then to Ramparts Point and is 5 miles for the roundtrip. The National Park service rates trail as moderately difficult, primarily because the trail is all over 10,000 feet in altitude and has significant altitude gain. Sunset is by far the best time to photograph from the trail. Even in mid-Summer, when temperatures in the valley are hot, a jacket is needed. Bring a headlamp, the trip back will be in the dark. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer and often provide spectacular photographs as they often clear just about sunset.
Note for the editor. I can provide a 2nd last light photograph after a thunderstorm, if requested.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor