Shash Jaa

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Shash Jaa is another name for "Bears Ears" and often refers to the area surrounding the Bears Ears buttes. This southeastern portion of Bears Ears National Monument encompasses fascinating geologic features, juniper forests, cultural, historic and prehistoric legacy that includes an abundance of early human and Native American historical artifacts left behind by early Clovis people, then later Ancestral Puebloans, Fremont culture and others. Perhaps of greatest modern interest are the remnants of incredible cliff dwellings, some in remarkably good condition even after hundreds of years of vacancy. Bears Ears National Monument Day Hiking passes are required year-round for day hiking in the Bears Ears National Monument, visit recreation.gov to obtain a pass.

Things to See

Bears Ears Buttes

The Bears Ears formation is most commonly appreciated from afar as they are set back in rising topography of the Manti-La Sal National Forest and the road leading closest to them, Elk Ridge Road, is not suitable for most vehicles. The best place to see the iconic view of the Bears Ears is from State Route 261 traveling north towards Highway 95. 

Cliff Dwellings

Cliff dwellings are the most popular sites in the area. Built with stone and adobe mortar into the sides of mesas, mountains and caves, these structures were used as protection as well as to store grains and seeds for later use. This area is collectively part of the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway.

Travel Advisory

Visitors traveling to the areas surrounding 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. Please review our travel advisory.

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