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The Cedar Breaks Lodge
Friday morning Maria Twitchell, the Executive Director of the Tourism Bureau and Visitor Center for Cedar City and Brian Head picked Bonnie Neely and myself up for a much anticipated morning at the Cedar Breaks Lodge Day Spa.
The scenic thirty-minute drive from Cedar City to Brian Head took us past the Cedar Breaks National Monument. As we climbed higher, Maria explained that Utah is in the heart of the Grand Circle of National Parks. Bryce Canyon and Zion were respectively 60 to 90 minutes from Cedar City.
The Cedar Breaks Lodge is a year round resort with 200 hotel rooms as well as time- share accommodations.
There are two restaurants, an indoor swimming pool, two indoor hot tubs, a steam room, sauna, and fitness center. They offer indoor ski/snowmobile/bike storage, winter ski-in/ski-out access, and summer access to bike trails.
Open wooden cross beams create an openness that carries upstairs to the day spa.
Relaxing with a cup of
tea in the waiting area.
While filling out my profile I began with a cup of hot green tea. Kimberly, a young lady who’s been a masseuse for three years led me to one of the comfortable massage rooms. Once I was settled she determined the pressure I prefer and began the Cedar Breaks Specialty Massage (Swedish massage) using a hydrating unscented jojoba lotion that also contains aloe vera, arnica, and vitamin E.
Soft New Age music and dim lighting made the room into a decompression chamber. I relaxed as Kimberly untied knots and unlocked pressure points. Fifty minutes later I had entered a state of calm. Bottled water was offered as we made our way outside to appreciate the view of the mountains and the tall spruce trees, some of which have been attacked and destroyed by the bark beetle.
The Age-Defying Enzyme Replacement
Facial – 50 minute appointment $8
The day spa menu includes Deep Tissue Massage, Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage, In Room Signature Massage, Pre-Natal Massage, the Red Creek Stone Massage, the ultimate Hand and Foot Massage, a warm algae body wrap, the Navajo Mountain mud wrap, host of facials. There is aromatherapy followed by a 50 minute massage, a detoxification special and the delicious sounding Complete Chocolate Decadence. They offer two therapeutic baths, an aromatherapy and exfoliating experience or a sports bath to soothe tired feet, ankles and aching joints.
Prices are reasonable and there is nothing like a good spa experience to alleviate the rigors of travel and exercise. (Opening photo: A relaxing aromatherapy bath with exfoliation – 25 minute appointment $35.)
The pool at Cedar Breaks Lodge.
Calling or faxing ahead for a reservation is recommended, and during the busy winter season, essential. The spa is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 9 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
To make reservations call: 435-677-4225 or fax: 435-677-2211.
After stopping for a refreshing, meditative visit to Cedar Breaks we pressed on to Brian Head, the destination best known for winter sports such as snowboarding. Much like Park City, Utah, Brian Head becomes a summer resort with hiking, disc golf, horseback riding, trout fishing, swimming, mountain bike trails, and a small population that is big on hospitality.
Our first stop is the Mountain View Pizza Pub, a converted grocery store located in the center of town. The informal menu lets visits know that this is the home of Brianberry Pie, a combination of red raspberry and blackberry. The peach pie is sinfully delicious. The menu lists BobnLynn Cream (Banana-Coconut & Chocolate), Peanut Butter Cream.
Champagne powder on a
beer budget at Brian Head.
In keeping with the public’s interest in beer, the pub serves Polygamy Porter, Hefeweizen, and Raspberry Wheat Wasatch on draft. I ordered the homemade mini vegetarian Calzone. Around our table people ordered delicious looking pizza, sandwiches and salads. Bob Whitelaw our gracious host immediately ordered a basket of their special fries. We were all hungry after Cedar Breaks and inhaled them with the pub’s special sauce.
Bob Whitelaw, marketing and public relations for Brian Head knows his mountain top and all of its attributes. From the pub he picked up his three-year-old son and we met at the chair lift. When there’s no snow it’s a wonderful way for mountain bikers to painlessly reach the top of the mountain so that they can take one of many trails down. In our case we wanted to see the spectacular view of the mountains, the cabins, the lake and the huge expanse of open spaces.
When we reached the top of the mountain we walked around marveling at spectacular views in the opposite direction. We imagined how it would be to ski down this mountain. It is easy to understand why Brain Head has become so popular. It’s only three hours from Las Vegas, and it is both a summer and winter resort.
Feeling the altitude we all wound down as Maria drove us back to the Iron Gate Inn for a brief break before taking off for the Parowan Gap to celebrate Summer Solstice.
The Parowan Gap
Perhaps the most interesting segment of this fascinating adventure was being at the Parowan Gap and watching the sun set between the opening in the mountains. The experience began with a young Paiute boy in full Indian garb doing a tribal dance. His mother explained a bit about their heritage. Onlookers kept filling the space, bringing lawn chairs and filling out the acreage behind the petroglyphs.
I’ve been to Lake Powell and I’ve seen petroglyphs in a number of states but I never knew their meaning. The stick figures looked like primitive people – human beings drawn by a primitive hand, guided by a primitive mind. Oh, how mistaken I was.
After the dance, astro-archeologist Nal Morris, a scientist and expert on rock art, was introduced. He spoke passionately about the meaning of the zipper – the lines, the right angles, the calendric symbology that makes these petroglyphs some of the most important artifacts in North America.
Dating back 5000 years these primitive drawings told ancient man, migrating man what time of year it was, what was coming and what they needed to prepare for. What appeared to be simple was highly sophisticated. The more Nal Morris explained, the more I appreciated the information contained in the petroglyphs.
The drive back to Las Vegas was fast and smooth. Cedar City is definitely a destination worth repeating. There are so many beautiful mountains to hike, wild flowers to appreciate, and plays to see. I found prices in southern Utah extremely reasonable. I highly recommend staying at the Iron Gate Inn. The innkeepers are wonderful hosts, the food is delicious, and the old world ambiance carries one back to a kinder, gentler time.
Feature by Linda Lane, Jetsetters Magazine Entertainment Editor.