Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument

History

Southern Paiute Indians

Their range covered from the Great Basin to southern California.  These desert dwellers lived beside water sources and would eat things such as grass seeds, pine nuts, agave stalks, crickets, rabbits, and other wild foods. They would grow corn and go out hunting for deer, elk, and other large mammals. The land that the Paiutes used was eventually taken by the Mormons’ to use for their crops, livestock, and settlements. The Paiute’s decline occurred from European diseases and unfamiliarity with the traditions of the Mormon populations. The Paiutes, however, left their impact on the land. Many of the land features in this area became named from various Paiute words: Markagunt Plateau.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

The Civilian Conservation Corps was established in 1933. It was designed to provide work for unemployed men during the Great Depression. In 1937, a detail of 27 men from the Zion CCC camp began construction on the VisitorCenter and Ranger Cabin at CedarBreaksNational Monument. These structures exhibit the classic National Park Service rustic architecture. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. Make sure to stop at the VisitorCenter to see this historic structure.

Cedar Breaks Historic Lodge

This lodge was built in 1924 and owned by the Utah Parks Company (a part of the Union Pacific Railroad).  These lodges were built within the parks in hopes of attracting rail passengers to visit these various parks and to attract more people to ride the trains. A tour was offered of Zion, Bryce, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Cedar Breaks. All of the lodges in the Utah Parks Company were designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood. The lodge at Cedar Breaks was the smallest out of all the lodges visited. The Cedar Break Lodge was well known for its chicken dinners. People from CedarCity would drive up to the lodge just for the dinners. In 1970, the Utah Parks Company donated all of the lodges to the National Park Service. It was determined that Cedar Breaks Lodge was uneconomical to maintain, and it was removed in 1972. After the lodge was torn down, there were so many protests that the National Park Service decided to keep the lodges at the other parks. Although one cannot see the lodge today at Cedar Breaks, one can feel comfort in knowing that because Cedar Breaks Lodge was torn down, the rest will remain because of the importance they are to the park visitors.