This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Cedar City • Cedar Breaks National Monument will open Friday, weeks after its traditional spring debut.
This year's heavy snowpack delayed the opening of the park 25 miles east of Cedar City for three weeks and still persists: Snow in the park, known for its soaring redrock amphitheater, is still three to four feet deep.
The delay was due primarily to the need to clear State Road 148, which is not maintained in the winter. The park sits at 10,000 feet and normally is buried by deep snow each year. This year's snowpack was exceptional, however, at about 350 percent of normal.
Cedar Breaks is the last of the state and national parks in Utah to finally open, although high water is affecting activities in some state parks.
Rangers at Cedar Breaks are taking advantage of the snowpack, offering snowshoe tours to visitors at noon and 2 p.m. daily while the snow lasts. The park has a limited number of snowshoes and visitors who want to take a tour are asked to sign in at the park's fee booth.
"For the next couple of weeks, while the snow remains in significant quantities, visitors can experience a little of what winter brings to Cedar Breaks," said park superintendent Paul Roelandt.
Park trails and Point Supreme Campground remain closed until the snow melts and the annual Wildflower Festival has been delayed until July 8-24.
State Parks spokeswoman Deena Loyola said all 43 state parks are now open but high water is limiting access at some of them.
"We've had a very late spring… there are some flooding concerns," she said.
The heavy snow year means water levels are high in reservoirs. "We're looking forward to a great boating season," Loyola said.
Water still affecting some parks
All national and state parks are now open with high water still affecting activities in some state parks:
East Canyon State Park • High water has washed out the road to Rivers Edge Campground on the south end of the reservoir making it inaccessible. The main campground and day-use area are open.
Fremont Indian State Park and Museum • Clear Creek flooding has covered much of the group day-use area and is threatening to take out the new bridges, which access the area.
Green River State Park • The river is flowing at 46,000 cubic feet per second and is currently impacting the golf course and parts of the campground. However, most of the campground and day-use areas are open.
Utah Lake State Park • High water has closed the north and south jetties, south boat ramps and affected day-use and camping areas. Other camping and day-use areas remain open.
Check before you go
Before you head out to a state park or national forest, it's a good idea to check conditions:
Utah State Parks • The reservation call center is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Call 800-322-3770 toll-free outside Salt Lake City and 801-322-3770 within the city; or visit stateparks.utah.gov.
National forests • Visit fs.fed.us.