Visitors traveling to the area of Bears Ears National Monument should be aware that the designation of monument status has not allowed for the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to develop their management plan, nor create new services or facilities. Don’t expect the same level of infrastructure as Arches, Canyonlands or Zion national parks. Much of the land in the area is rugged, wild and remote, and requires greater preparation, fitness and respect.
Before you visit Bears Ears National Monument, make sure you are prepared with the most up-to-date information about the area by calling or stopping by the BLM Monticello Field Office or the Kane Gulch Ranger Station (contact information provided below). The Bears Ears Education Center in Bluff or the Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding also offer good context and resources for your visit to the area.
Stop Archaelogical Vandalism
When visiting sensitive archaeological sites on federal, state, and tribal lands, always visit with respect to keep the area Forever Mighty. Looting and vandalism of resources on federal, state, and tribal lands is against state and federal law.
Tips for visiting archaeological sites, include:
1. Leave artifacts in their place.
2. Stay on trails, and keep pets leashed.
3. Hands off rock imagery.
4. Help inform others.
If you see someone looting an archaeological site, don’t approach them. Take notes and pictures if it’s safe, and remember where you were. If someone is damaging an archaeological site because they don’t know any better, you can kindly ask them to stop if you feel comfortable. Otherwise, take photographs and take note of where you are. You can anonymously report new damage or call 800 722 3998.
Keep the Area Forever Mighty
We encourage all travelers to familiarize themselves with the principles of Forever Mighty to make sure you can maximize your experience while minimizing your impact.
With increasing visitation, human waste is a growing concern in the Bears Ears area. The recommendation is to pack out all your waste — watch the video below for tips on where to find portable waste bags and how to use them. (Read: "How to Poop in the Outdoors")
There is no official visitor center in the area, thought these places will have information on visiting areas within and around the monument and current conditions.
Kane Gulch BLM Ranger Station
36 miles west of Blanding
March 1–June 15, September 1–October 31
8 a.m.–noon, 7 days a week
The Kane Gulch Ranger Station is located along Utah Highway 261 about four miles south of Highway 95, not far from Natural Bridges National Monument
BLM Field Office, Visitor and Permit Information
365 North Main, Monticello, UT 84535
8 a.m.–noon, Monday–Friday
Blanding Visitor Center
12 North Grayson Parkway, Blanding, UT 84511
Travelers on the Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway (S.R. 211) to The Needles District of Canyonlands may find visitor information within Canyonlands or at the Needles Outpost, in season.
The BLM has developed georeferenced maps compatible with any georeferenced map mobile application. These work without cell coverage and are perfect for remote adventure. Find instructions and the latest available maps (Look under Utah, then Monticello)
Weather and Climate
The best time to go is March through mid-June and September through October. The heat of July and August can exceed 100 degrees in some areas, and there are also monsoons, which can bring flash floods. Much of this area is high desert country, often exceeding 6,000 feet above sea level on the plateau. Carry plenty of water at all times and know your limits.
Permits, Fees and Roads
Permits and fees are currently required for several hikes in this area. Some permits are payable at the trailheads, others must be obtained from BLM field offices. Many of the dirt roads in this area are impassable when wet, snowy or muddy. Check at the visitor center or the ranger station before traveling into the backcountry. Permits are needed for both day and overnight trips, and backpackers must make advance reservations.
Mule Canyon/House on Fire requires a hiking permit, which is available at the trailhead. Beginning in March 2018, advance reservations for overnight trips in the Bears Ears area may be obtained on recreation.gov or the Kane Gulch Ranger Station. Please visit the BLM Cedar Mesa Permits webpage for more information. Note there are additional permitting sites on nearby Cedar Mesa.