May 31, 2012

Flannigan Arch: The Almost-National Monument

Located near Cedar City, this 550 foot high natural arch was almost made a national monument.  In 1917, efforts to recommend Flannigan Arch as a national monument were dropped once officials determined that financial resources should not be taken from the  Mukuntuweap National Monument (better known as Zion National Park). Nevertheless, Flannigan Arch is a spectacular (though less known)  feature in the Southern Utah landscape.

To see the arch, local expert Steven Heath, recommends the Ashdown Gorge hike. ” This hike begins on U- 14 between mile markers seven and eight, just below the slide area.  After descending to Coal Creek, proceed upstream, until you come to the junction of Ashdown Creek and Crow Creek.  U-14 follows Crow Creek up Cedar Canyon to Wood’s Ranch and on to the top of the mountain.  Follow Ahsdown Creek into the gorge.  About one-and-a-half miles up the gorge is a large alcove with vertical cliffs on each side.  Flannigan Arch sits on the the north wall, about 550 feet above the canyon floor.  You will need to look up frequently in this area to see the arch, since there is only a 100 to 150 foot section of the canyon bottom where it is visible. ”

“There are two pracitical ways to hike up to the arch, but both are difficult.  One is to go downstream about a quarter of a mile, then hike up the steep rocky slide to the rim of the canyon and walk in an upstream direction until you locate the arch.  It will be about 100 feet below the rim of the canyon.  The second way is to walk up the gorge until it tops out, then walk downstream along the edge of the canyon until you find the arch.”

Steven Heath; Cedar City, Utah, Community Update; May 2012

Our friendly front desk staff at the Abbey Inn can help you with driving directions and maps of the area.  If you are coming to Southern Utah to visit the national parks, you won’t want to miss this one.

Filed under: Main — admin @ 5:08 pm

May 25, 2012

In Memory of Our Fallen Soldiers

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

“In Flanders Fields” was written by John McRae (1872-1918) a Canadian physician who fought on the Western Front in 1914 and was transferred to the medical corp and assigned to a hospital in France.  He died of pneumonia while on active duty in 1918.  (

Filed under: Main — admin @ 5:27 pm

May 24, 2012

S.R. 14 Opens Memorial Day Weekend

Today May 24th, S.R. 14 is finally opening to allow traffic through to Cedar Breaks abd Duck Creek Village.  The Southern Utah community has been looking forward to this since last October when a massive landslide wiped out 800 feet of the popular scenic roadway.

The road will not yet be paved so motorists will be traveling on road base (dirt/gravel) during this time. The road will open at 3:00pm on Thursday, May 24, and will remain open until 7:00am on Tuesday, May 29. After that time, the road will be closed during the day and opened each night from 7:00pm to 7:00am, except on Friday when the road will open at 5:00pm and remain open through the weekend until Monday at 7:00am. This will continue to be the schedule now through the month of July.

 Distant view of SR 14 in October 2011.  Thank you UDOT for moving all of that!

Filed under: Main — admin @ 7:25 pm

May 20, 2012

Lake at the Hills Opens Memorial Day Weekend


When:  May 26th , 11 AM- 3 PM

Where:  Lake at the Hills on Leigh Hill

Activities Include: Free kayaking, races, games, prizes, and food!

Cost: FREE

The Lake at the Hills is an 11-acre resevoir on Leigh Hill.  It opened in 2010, and we’re looking forward to another great year of swimming, fishing, and fun! 

The resevoir is stocked with rainbow trout, catfish, large and small mouth bass, and blue gill.  The limit is two fish/person, and anyone older than 12 is required to have a fishing license.

The Lake is open during daylight hours and is free to the public.

Filed under: Main — admin @ 3:33 pm

May 15, 2012

Safely View the Solar Eclipse

Sunday May 20th, thousands of people will be gathering in Southern Utah to view the spectacular sight of a solar eclipse.  The eclipse will begin at 6:22 PM and finish at 8:37 PM.  The annular will be visible from 7:31-7:36.

We want to make sure that all of our guests have a fun and safe experience, so we thought we’d share a few safety tips and options for viewing.

1.  Eclipse glasses are an inexpensive and safe way to view an eclipse.  Make sure the glasses have “CE” printed on them, showing that they are safety certified.  Visitors can order them online at or pick them up at the Iron County Visitor’s Center for FREE (first come, first served.)  Inspect your glasses for any damage before looking directly at the sun.

2.  If you are using a telescope filter, DO NOT use one that fits over the eye piece.  This can seriously damage your eyes.  Instead, be sure to use a filter that fits over the FRONT END of the telescope.  Devices such as binoculars and telescopes concentrate energy from the sun in a similar way to magnifying glasses.  (Picture the little pyromaniac child that tortures ants and burns leaves.)  So if you don’t want your eyes to suffer the same fate as those ants, make sure you are using a proper telescope filter.

3.  A number 14 welders glass can be used.  However, you should not layer glasses of smaller numbers that add up to 14.  A stack of two 7 glasses to does not provide the same protection as a 14 glass!

4.  The classic pinhole projection is a guaranteed safe way to view the eclipse.  Instructions for making one can be found at

No matter how you decide to view this amazing phenomenon, make sure you protect your eyes first and foremost…..

….And be sure you book your room with us soon.  We are already sold out for Saturday the 19th but still have a handful of rooms for Sunday the 20th.

Filed under: Area Events and Info,Main — admin @ 9:55 pm

May 11, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day!

From all of us here at the Abbey Inn, Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms!  We love you and our grateful for your goodness.

Filed under: Main — admin @ 5:58 pm

May 10, 2012

What is a hoodoo?

When visitors come to Bryce Canyon or Cedar Breaks National Monument, they come to see the curious geological features called hoodoos. Also called goblins, tent rocks, fairy chimneys, and demoiselles coiffees (ladies with hairdos), these unique formations capture the fascination and imagination of people worldwide.  According to Paiute mythology, the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon are Legend People who the trickster coyote turned to stone.  They were called “Anka-ku-was-awits” which means “red painted faces.”

Bryce Canyon has one of the world’s highest concentrations of hoodoos which can range from 5-150 feet.  Some of the most famous examples are: Thor’s Hammer, Queen Victoria, and The Hunter.

These magnificent structures are composed of soft sedimentary rock that was topped with harder, less easily eroded stone that protects the column from the elements.  The brown, pink, and red colors are from the mineral hematite (iron oxide), the yellow from limonite, and purple from pyrolusite.  These colors are even more vibrant after a rain storm, and provide a stark contrast to the gleaming white snow during the winter.  The delicate features are the result of erosion cause by wind, water, and ice.  The erosion rate is 2-4 feet/100 years.

In order to protect these amazing structures for as long as possible, visitors are expected to keep to the designated hiking trails.

Be sure to include Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks National Monument in your next Southern Utah adventure.

Filed under: National and State Parks — admin @ 7:26 pm