Established on December 28, 2016

Bears Ears National Monument

Bears Ears National Monument was established by Barack Obama in 2016,

8,700 ft
Bears Ears National Monument in Blanding, Utah is a United States national monument that was designated by President Barack Obama on December 28, 2016. Located in southeastern Utah, the monument protects an area of 1.35 million acres of public land with significant Native American artifacts and archaeological sites. The Bears Ears National Monument encompasses two separate but connected mesas named Dark Canyon and Cedar Mesa, located in San Juan County. The monument is an important cultural resource for the Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Hopi, and Puebloan tribes who have inhabited the area for thousands of years.

Bears Ears National Monument contains a variety of artifacts including cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, pottery shards, and thousands of archaeological sites. The region has long been sacred to many Native American tribes and the monument helps protect this important cultural heritage.

The area is known for its outstanding natural beauty as well. It includes a stunning array of red rock canyons, mesas, buttes, meadows, forests, and deserts that are full of wildlife. These areas offer opportunities for activities such as hiking, camping, mountain biking, and backpacking. The monument also includes an extensive network of roads and trails that provide access to many remote locations.


The geology of Bears Ears National Monument is diverse. The monument includes several different types of rock formations such as limestone, sandstone, and shale that were formed over millions of years by erosion and uplift. There are also many basins and canyons created from ancient river systems.


Bears Ears National Monument in Blanding, Utah has a long and varied history. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have lived in the area for thousands of years, ranging from Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherers to ancestral Puebloan people who built cliff dwellings and left behind pottery shards and other artifacts. In modern times, it was designated as a national monument in 2016 and is co-managed by the five Native American tribes who consider it sacred.


Bears Ears National Monument is home to a wide variety of wildlife. The area includes several species of mammals such as black bears, mountain lions, elk, deer and bighorn sheep. There are also many species of birds that can be found in the monument including golden eagles, American kestrels and turkey vultures.


Bears Ears National Monument in Blanding, Utah is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The area offers numerous activities such as hiking, camping, mountain biking, and backpacking. Those who are looking for an adventure should plan their trip well in advance because some of the remote areas within the monument require a permit to visit. Before heading out, it is also important to check with the local land management office for updates on any new regulations or restrictions that may be in place.

In addition, visitors should plan to pack plenty of supplies and water when visiting the monument as some areas can be very remote. It is also important to practice leave no trace camping principles and respect all cultural artifacts found within the monument.

By following these guidelines and taking the proper precautions, visitors can have an enjoyable and safe trip to Bears Ears National Monument.


There are several options for lodging and camping near Bears Ears National Monument. The nearest town to the monument is Blanding, Utah, which offers a variety of hotels and motels. There are also campgrounds located throughout the area that provide access to various features of the monument. For those looking for an even more remote experience, backcountry camping is also available in some areas with a permit.


Blanding, Utah also offers several dining options for visitors. There are a variety of restaurants that serve local favorites as well as traditional American dishes. In addition, there are several small cafes and bars located in nearby towns offering quick bites and drinks.


Visiting Bears Ears National Monument does not require a fee. However, some activities such as backcountry camping and motorized vehicles do require a permit from the local land management office. It is important to check with the local office before engaging in any activity that may require a permit.


Pets are allowed in the Bears Ears National Monument in Blanding, Utah, however, they must be kept on a leash at all times and their waste must be disposed of properly. Pets are not allowed in any buildings or archaeological sites within the monument.

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