Popular Cedar Breaks overlook closed as construction begins on new visitor contact station

CEDAR CITY — The Point Supreme Overlook in Cedar Breaks National Monument is now closed to visitor access in order to prepare the site for the construction of a new visitor center. However, despite the closure, monthly festivals and regular programming will continue through the summer.

A view from the overlook at Point Supreme, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Brian Head, Utah, Aug. 11, 2020 | Photo by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

The closure, which started Monday and will last through the end of the 2022 season, includes the shutdown of the popular overlook point as well as approximately two-thirds of the nearby parking lot, according to a recent news release from National Park Service.

A limited number of parking spaces will still be available at the South Rim Trailhead – formerly known as Ramparts or Spectra Trail. 

To help visitors plan for visiting Cedar Breaks this summer, a new 2021 visitor guide webpage will include information about ranger programs, information booths, entrance pass sales, campground operations and restrooms. The page is scheduled to be updated regularly as the season progresses to provide visitors with the most up-to-date information available. 

As previously reported in Cedar City News, the new visitor contact station at Cedar Breaks will supersede the existing 650-square foot cabin at the overlook that has served as the visitor center for the past several decades.

Image of the small cabin which acts as a bookstore and visitor information area at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah, Aug. 25, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News / Cedar City News

The historic cabin will be preserved and used as an educational facility for interpretive, self-guided learning, park officials said. 

The new visitor contact station will serve an increasing number of visitors to the national monument through an expanded indoor contact space, exhibits and park store, new restroom facility and sheltered outdoor space for public programming.  The construction contract was awarded to E-Corp, a small business based in Layton, Utah. 

Design and construction of the new facility is part of the Centennial Challenge initiative, which leverages public-private partnerships to fund major improvements within the national park system. Private fundraising for the new facility was spearheaded by Zion Forever Project, the official philanthropic partner of Cedar Breaks National Monument, with matching funds coming from National Park Service. Iron County is also a partner.

“We’re so happy to finally move dirt on that project,” Zion Forever Project executive director Mark Preiss recently told Cedar City News. “It restores the monument’s heritage as the gateway to Southwest Utah’s high country.”

An artist rendering of the planned new visitor contact station for Cedar Breaks National Monument.| Rendering courtesy of National Park Service, St George News / Cedar City News

For more information about the new Cedar Breaks visitor center project, visit Zion Forever’s webpage. For more information about the park itself, visit its official website.

Despite the closure of the Point Supreme Overlook, other areas of Cedar Breaks remain open to visitors.

According to a separate news release, the park will be hosting regular monthly festivals June through September, starting with the annual BioBlast event, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes special programming and additional activities for visitors of all ages to learn about the various animal species of Cedar Breaks. 

In addition to ranger-led programs at North View Overlook, there will be a wildlife activity table from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the overlook with furs, animal tracks and more. On Sunday, the Southern Utah Museum of Art will host a children’s art activity focused on park birds at the Chessmen Ridge Overlook. Pop-up wildlife viewing opportunities will be available throughout the park on both days. 

St. George News reporter Chris Reed contributed to this story.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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