6 Things to Do in Duck Creek Village That You Shouldn't Miss

November 25, 2017 Carley Gatson

Duck Creek Village is an unincorporated community in Kane County, Utah, United States. It is located on the edge of Cedar Mountain, with an elevation of 8,507 feet (2,593 m). Although Duck Creek Village is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 84762.
Restaurants in Duck Creek Village

1. Mammoth Caves

Mammoth Creek Road, Highway 14 to Mammoth Creek Road, Duck Creek Village, UT 84762
Excellent
45%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
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4 based on 18 reviews

Mammoth Caves

Reviewed By happy1002016 - San Antonio, Texas

There are two routes that we took. The second was lots of fun, with some tight spots. When you enter the hole in the ground, you can go two ways. To the left (if I remember right) is a cave that will take maybe 15 minutes to go through. We almost didn't notice it since the other entrance in more obvious. There will be few places to stand upright, and a little bit of having to scramble your way through. It is tons of fun, and not too long with an exit point at the end. We saw bats in that one. The other way, the larger cave, you enter through an opening in a metal gate. It is more cavernous, but you still have to watch your head! It gets muddy and I was told that the exit point is no more, so you may have to turn around (unless I was misinformed, but it was too slippery and muddy anyway.) Love the other cave, though. We had children with us and most of them loved it.

2. Cedar Breaks National Monument

State Highway 143, Cedar City, UT 84720 +1 435-586-9451
Excellent
76%
Good
21%
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4.5 based on 989 reviews

Cedar Breaks National Monument

A smaller version of Bryce Canyon, this 2,500-foot deep basin filled with strange limestone formations in a vivid array of colors and hues offers breathtaking views on a five-mile drive along the rim. This naturally formed amphitheater has guided walks in the summer and a few designated hiking trails.

Reviewed By CrankingChick - Tucson, Arizona

We have been to Cedar Breaks on two separate visits 30 years apart, and we love it there. The vibrant vermilion "hoodoo" rock formations are very similar to those at Bryce Canyon National Park, but are concentrated in a smaller area. Cedar Breaks is less well-known and therefore less crowded than Bryce Canyon. I don't think that the commercial tour buses visiting "The Mighty 5" parks stop there, possibly because the roads to get there (Utah State Routes 14 or 143) are curvy two-lane mountain roads. The park is compact; you can spend as little as 30 minutes if you just want to peek at some overlooks, or as much as 1-2 days if you want to camp and hike. We spent about 2.5 hours there to visit all the overlooks and take a hike. The elevation at Cedar Breaks is over 10,000', so the temperatures are much cooler up there than in the surrounding valleys. The park is prone to winter weather, and the scenic access road (Utah State Route 148) is typically closed from late-October through mid-May. [Note that winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiliing are permitted but facilities are closed; see website.] Unless you're planning to visit in summer, I strongly suggest checking the park website to make sure it's open. It was September both times we visited. The first time we went it was the end of the month and the park was open but it was 29 degrees, windy and snowing! On our recent trip, we visited on a Tuesday morning about the second week of the month. There were rain showers in the forecast and it was cool, but pleasant for hiking.

There is not a lodge or restaurant at Cedar Breaks. There's a campground that is open in summer, other than that the closest services are at Brian Head ski area (4-5 miles), Cedar City (20-25 miles), and Duck Creek Village (about 15 miles). We stayed at Cedar City and drove up the mountain on UT14 through Cedar Canyon first thing in the morning. It was a very scenic drive - I wish we had waited until the sun was a little higher in the sky because the canyon was still somewhat shaded by the surrounding mountains. This route passes Cedar Canyon Overlook about 17 miles east of Cedar City, where the Bristlecone Pine Trail leads .3 mile one-way to a panoramic view south toward Zion National Park (not wheelchair accessible).

The scenic access road for Cedar Breaks is UT148, a 7.5 mile, two-lane paved road that runs north-south between UT14 and UT143. It skirts the eastern rim of the massive bowl-shaped amphitheater and leads to 4 overlooks of the enchanting hoodoos below. The visitor center is located at the southern end of the road at Point Supreme Overlook, where visitors are expected to show NPS passes or pay the entrance fee ($6/person, age 15 and under free). It's typically open 9:00am-6pm, providing maps, information, souvenirs and restrooms. The overlooks are all worth the time to stop, offering different vantage points of the amazing geologic formations. Walkways are short, paved and suitable for wheelchairs.

We parked at Point Supreme and checked out the overlook and visitor center, then followed the paved trail across the road to the campground and picnic area where we connected to the newly-paved Sunset Trail. This path winds through alpine meadow, evergreen and aspen trees to the Sunset View Overlook. There were wildflowers all along the way, and we were enchanted by the friendly golden-mantled ground squirrels that were scurrying everywhere. It was quiet in the morning - we only saw one other couple the whole way. The walking distance from the visitor center to Sunset View is about 2-2.5 miles round trip. There are some gradual grades but it's suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Before setting off to hike, you should be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, shortness of breath, fatigue). Go slow and drink plenty of fluids. Note that pets are only allowed on the paved trail between the visitor center and campground.

Two additional hiking trails are available in the park (not wheelchair accessible). The Ramparts Trail starts at Point Supreme parking lot and leads along the rim to Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook for views of the amphitheater and bristlecone pine trees (4 miles round-trip, steep grades). The Alpine Pond Trail is a 2-mile loop with trail heads at Chessmen Ridge Overlook on its south end and along the scenic drive on its north end (about a mile north of Chessmen).

After enjoying our hike and all the overlooks at Cedar Breaks, we ventured just about a mile north of the North View Overlook to Brian Head Peak (see separate reviews of Brian Head Peak Observation). This attraction is not part of the National Monument but is right next to it and well-worth the time! Access is via Forest Road 047 which is a dirt and gravel road that climbs steeply around the edge of the mountain peak for 2.7 miles to an elevation of 11,307' for spectacular views of 3 states. After consulting the rangers at Cedar Breaks about road condition, we attempted this drive in a low-clearance 2WD car. The views were worth it, but the road was quite rough and rutted and we had to go very slow.

From Brian Head we set out eastward for Panguitch and Bryce Canyon via the Patchwork Parkway scenic drive (UT143) through the Dixie National Forest; see separate reviews of "Brian Head-Panquitch Lake Scenic Byway".

3. Aspen Mirror Lake

Highway 14 east, Duck Creek Village, UT 84762
Excellent
88%
Good
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5 based on 8 reviews

Aspen Mirror Lake

Reviewed By Chuck2010 - PA

When we visited, we hoped to be there during peak fall foliage. But, we missed by a week or so on October 17. Aspen Trees line the ends of the lake so I can see why it would be Aspen Mirror Lake. First week in October should have been super.

Well marked off Highway 14 near Duck Creek Village. Short gravel road drive back to lake and then a short trail to the lake.

We saw young families with children all fishing at the lake.

4. Dixie National Forest

Cedar City, UT +1 800-733-5263
Excellent
73%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 283 reviews

Dixie National Forest

A two-million acre national forest replete with natural wonders, "The Dixie" has deep canyons, fascinating rock formations, mountains, lakes and towering ponderosa pines. Visitors can hike, fish, camp or simply immerse themselves in the natural beauty.

Reviewed By CrankingChick - Tucson, Arizona

Dixie National Forest covers a huge area of public land in southwestern Utah and includes some of its best-loved attractions. The forest is divided into four diverse districts: Pine Valley, Cedar City, Powell and Escalante. [Note that while this Tripadvisor page has Dixie Forest listed under Things to Do in Cedar City, only the Pine Valley and Cedar City Districts are close to that town.] We had the pleasure of taking a road trip through the area for several days in mid-September. The weather was perfect that time of year and the scenery was spectacular! Dixie has something for everyone: pine and aspen forest, lakes, rocky canyons, waterfalls, alpine mountain peaks, historic sites, and colorful rock formations. There are many opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing, horseback riding, skiing and OHV and back-country touring. We didn't experience any bad traffic congestion, and the only crowds of tourists we encountered were at Bryce Canyon*. Don't be in a rush when traveling this area; the roads are two-lane with some sections of grades and mountain curves.

(* indicates Tripadvisor has a separate review page for this attraction)

After visiting the north rim of Grand Canyon* and Zion National Park*, we stayed overnight at Cedar City. From there we took the scenic drive east into the forest on Utah State Route 14, which climbs steadily through the sandstone cliffs of Cedar Canyon and past the the coral-striped ridges of Blowhard Mountain to Cedar Canyon Overlook. There, the Bristlecone Pine Trail leads .3 mile one-way to a panoramic view south toward Zion National Park (not wheelchair accessible, but there were views from the road). We drove State Route 148 north and spent the morning hiking and enjoying the overlooks at Cedar Breaks National Monument* and Brian Head Observation Point*. Next we followed State Route 143, the Patchwork Parkway Scenic Byway (listed on Tripadvisor as "Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway"), east through the aspen trees passing lava fields and Panguitch Lake. It was sad to see the aftermath of the devastating Brian Head fire last summer, but fortunately some of the forest survived the blaze. After eating lunch in Panguitch, where the whole town center is a historic district, we took US89 south to Highway 12 Scenic Byway* and headed east. This incredibly beautiful route passes through the stunning Red Canyon*, where we stopped at the visitor center and hiked among splendid orange rock formations. We spent the entire next day exploring the renowned Bryce Canyon National Park* before pressing eastward on Highway 12. It ventures through more awesome scenery as it passes through sections of Dixie Forest and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument*.

This part of the country is rich with amazing, extraordinary landscapes, and it's easy to see why it has been preserved for everyone to enjoy. We have taken numerous road trips all over the U.S. and this territory remains one of our utmost favorite regions.

5. Ice Caves

E HWY 14 Duck Creek Village UT, Duck Creek Village, UT 84762 +1 435-682-2432
Excellent
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4 based on 7 reviews

Ice Caves

Reviewed By H C

This cave was an easy drive on forest road with minimal walking. Even though temperature was in the 70's, inside the cave felt like low 40's or 30's. The limestone was vividly colored and part of the ground was actually covered with ice close to the inner cave wall. We wore head lights which is a must have to really see the cave walls and the ground to avoid the soft muddy areas. It's a cool spot to check out.

6. Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway

Highway 143, UT
Excellent
69%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 22 reviews

Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway

A 55-mile scenic drive cutting across the Dixie National Forest.

Reviewed By CrankingChick - Tucson, Arizona

Utah State Route 143, also known as Patchwork Parkway Scenic Byway, winds through the Dixie National Forest for 50 miles between the historical towns of Parowan and Panguitch. Beginning at an elevation of about 6000' at Parowan, the byway climbs eastward through Parowan Canyon to 10,000' near the Brian Head ski resort. After passing the spectacular Cedar Break National Monument, it descends again through pine and aspen forest to 6600' at Panguitch.

Some Points of interest along this route (*indicates separate Tripadvisor page):
Old Rock Church Museum* in Parowan
Dixie National Forest*: Wilderness and outdoor recreation
Hidden Haven: 1 mile hike to 20' waterfall located 8-9 miles west of Parowan
Brian Head Ski Resort*: Skiing, hiking, mountain biking
Brian Head Peak Observation Point*: 2.5 mile dirt road to 11,307' viewpoint
Cedar Breaks National Monument*: Colorful geologic formations, trails, (closed winter)
Lava flows: East of the highway between Forest Road 047 and Panguitch Lake
Panguitch Lake*: Boating, camping and fishing
Historical Downtown Panguitch: Entire town center on Register of Historic Places

We drove the section between Cedar Breaks and Panguitch in mid-September. The weather was perfect then and the trees were beginning to change color. The byway is a two-lane curvy mountain road, but there was no traffic congestion on a Tuesday morning. For us, the best scenery was at the higher elevations around Cedar Breaks and Brian Head Peak. (Note that this area is prone to winter weather and check forecast and road conditions.) There was evidence of the devastating Brian Head fire last summer, but some of the forest survived the blaze and it didn't ruin all the scenery. The lava flow area was interesting, but we didn't see a pull-out or any exhibit to highlight or explain it. Panguitch Lake wasn't especially scenic; just a body of water surrounded by grassy hills and pine trees. This route is definitely a pretty drive, but I think it's possible we were jaded. After seeing so much extraordinary scenery in northern Arizona and southern Utah over the previous days, this territory failed to make a big impression on us. However, if you're headed to Bryce Canyon, Zion or Cedar Breaks then this route is definitely more scenic and interesting than an interstate.

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