Brochure of Bears Ears National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
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BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT Visitor Information - Frequently asked Questions BLM-UTAH Is there a fee for visiting the National Monument? There are no entrance fees to the National Monument. However, day use and overnight permits ($2 to $5 per person) are required for many of the Cedar Mesa Canyons, including Grand Gulch. Permits are also required to float the San Juan River which is partially within the National Monument. Additional information on permits can be found on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Bears Ears National Monument website. https://on.doi.gov/2o8XI60 What is there to see and do in the National Monument? Bears Ears National Monument offers a unique opportunity to visit ancestral Puebloan cultural sites, including spectacular rock art sites and the remains of prehistoric family dwellings, granaries, kivas, towers, and large villages. These sites are fragile and irreplaceable and need to be treated with care. Some sites are accessible by motorized vehicle, while other sites are only accessible by foot. The National Monument contains many rugged areas and road conditions are variable. Even sites that are accessible by vehicle may require high clearance vehicles. In addition to cultural sites, the National Monument includes deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and mountain tops that provide outstanding scenery. Some of the most notable geologic features include Indian Creek, Comb Ridge, White Canyon, Valley 2 of the Gods, the San Juan River, and the Cedar Mesa canyons. Day use and overnight permits are required for many of the Cedar Mesa canyons, including Grand Gulch. This area is managed for a more primitive type of recreation. Permits can be obtained through the BLM Monticello Field Office. Some of the most frequently visited and accessible sites are identified on the existing 2016 Monticello Field Office Recreation Map, available for sale at the Monticello Field Office. Needles and Anticline Overlook - The Needles and Anticline Overlooks provide excellent views of Canyonlands National Park and the Indian Creek area. A marked gravel road off highway 191 about 32 miles south of Moab leads to both viewpoints. Bridges National Monument is a popular canyoneering destination. Additional information on day hikes from Highway 95 can be found at the following location: Indian Creek/Newspaper Rock - Indian Creek Special Recreation Management Area, which can be accessed by Highway 211, is the gateway to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. This scenic area includes world-renowned rock climbing. There are also several side canyons and petroglyph panels. Newspaper rock is the most accessible panel, and includes an abundance of rock art representing a variety of cultures. Kane Gulch - At the Kane Gulch Ranger Station visitors can view a Sand Island petroglyph panel/River House Ruins - The Sand Island petroglyph panel is located in the BLM’s Sand Island Recreational Area, just three miles west of Bluff, Utah. The River House Ruin is a cliff dwelling along the San Juan River that is accessible by river or in a high clearance vehicle. https://on.doi.gov/2mQAEZS rock art exhibit. From the Ranger Station (located on State Route 261), you can hike down the Kane Gulch trail and into Grand Gulch. It is 4 miles one way to the junction of Kane and Grand Gulches and the trail drops approximately 600 feet in elevation. At this intersection, you can view a cliff dwelling called Junction Ruin. If you decide to continue, in the next mile you can see Turkey Pen Ruin and Stimper Arch. Kane Gulch Ranger Station to Stimper Arch is approximately 10 miles roundtrip. It is a full day hike for most people. Valley of the Gods - The Valley of the Gods contains beautiful Cedar Mesa sandstone monoliths, pinnacles and other geologi- Highway 95 - There are several day hikes off of Highway 95 that provide access to ruins including Arch Canyon, Butler Wash, and Mule Canyon. Highway 95 also crosses Comb Ridge and parallels White Canyon. Comb Ridge is a 120-mile long monocline that was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1976. During the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition, Mormon pioneers were required to cross this barrier. White Canyon, which runs through Natural cal features. The 17-mile loop through the Valley of the Gods is a graded gravel and clay surface road. This road can be accessed from either Utah Highway 261 or U.S. Highway 163. Driving time is approximately one to two hours. Where is the National Monument? The National Monument is located in southeast Utah’s canyon country, in San Juan County. Nearby towns include Monticello, Blanding, and Bluff, Utah. 3 Can I ride my ATV or motorcycle in the National Monument? Where can I see the Bears Ears? The National Monument provides outstanding opportunities for motorized recreation. All roads and trails that were open prior to the monument designation (approximately 1,800 miles) continue to be open to motorized use. As part of the management planning process the travel management plan for the area will be updated. This could result in some changes in motorized use. Any changes to the travel management plan will include public involvement. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) manages the Bears Ears Buttes, two prominent land formations that hold important cultural significance for American Indians. The Bears Ears are located in the middle of the national monument, and on the southern end of the USFS-managed land within the national monument. The best place to view the Bears Ears Buttes is from the Elk Ridge Road which passes between the buttes; however, this road may require high clearance or four-wheel drive vehicles. Maps showing routes that are open to motorized vehicle use can be found at the following websites: BLM: https://on.doi.gov/2o8XI60 USFS: http://bit.ly/2l8CrIN Can I ride my mountain bike in the National Monument? Mountain biking is allowed on all designated motorized vehicle routes in the National Monument. Do I need camping permits or climbing permits? Under current management, no permits are required for car camping on BLM-administered lands. Backcountry camping permits are required for many of the canyons on Cedar Mesa. No permits are required for rock climbing. However, climbing gear is not allowed to gain access to archeological sites. There are limits on group sizes in many areas in the National Monument. Large groups interested in visiting the National Monument should contact the BLM Monticello Field Office at (435) 587-1500 for additional information. Commercial guiding must be approved by permit through the Monticello Field Office. 4 Who manages the National Monument? The boundaries of the monument encompass approximately 1.06 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and nearly 290,000 acres of the Manti-La Sal National Forest managed by the USFS. The total acreage under federal management is approximately 1.35 million acres. The western boundary of the National Monument is generally formed by Canyonlands National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Natural Bridges National Monument is wholly contained within the Bears Ears National Monument, but remains managed by the National Park Service. The National Park Service does not manage Bears Ears National Monument. Where can I get additional information about the National Monument? Information about the National Monument can found on at the following websites: BLM: https://on.doi.gov/2o8XI60 USFS: http://bit.ly/2o9okDF Additional visitor information, including purchasable maps, can be obtained by visiting or contacting the following offices: Bureau of Land Management Monticello Field Office 365 North Main Street Monticello, UT 84535 435-587-1500 Kane Gulch Ranger Station Open March 1st thru June 15th and September 1st thru October 31st. Guaranteed hours are daily from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Located on State Route 261, four miles south of US Highway 95 Canyon Country District Office 82 Dogwood Ave Moab, UT 84532 (435) 259-2100 Utah State Office Public Room, Suite 500 440 West 200 South Salt Lake City, UT 84101 (801) 539-4000 5 Are there campgrounds in the National Monument? U.S. Forest Service Manti-La Sal National Forest Supervisor’s Office 599 West Price River Drive Price, UT 84501 (435) 637-2817 Moab Ranger District 62 East 100 North P.O. Box 386 Moab, UT 84352 (435) 259-7155 Monticello Ranger District 496 East Central P.O. Box 820 Monticello, UT 84535 (435) 587-2041 BLM Monticello Field Office The only designated BLM campgrounds in Bears Ears National Monument are located in the Indian Creek area at the northern end of the National Monument. However, dispersed car camping is allowed in many locations throughout the National Monument (see below). https://on.doi.gov/2o8XI60 How do I get to the National Monument? Canyonlands National Park- The Needles District http://bit.ly/2nksXXZ Highways 191, 211, 95, 261, and 163 all provide access to portions of National Monument. Bears Ears National Monument does not currently have a visitor center or main visitor area. The nearest communities are Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, Bluff, Blanding, and Monticello. Natural Bridges National Monument http://bit.ly/2nBlqXc Major commercial airlines serve Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah; Grand Junction, Colorado; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Commercial airlines also serve Moab, Utah and Cortez, Colorado. Where can I stay in the National Monument? Hotels and other accommodations can be found in the nearby communities of Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, Bluff, Blanding, and Monticello. There are no restaurants, supplies, gas stations, lodging or similar services in Bears Ears National Monument. There are a limited number of designated campgrounds located in and near the National Monument. The majority of these campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis; however, some sites are reservable. Only some campgrounds have drinking water. Therefore, you should plan to carry all of the water that you need. In addition, packing out trash and garbage is required at most sites. 6 Manti-La Sal National Forest There are no campgrounds on USFS lands in the National Monument. Designated campgrounds managed by the USFS are located east of the monument boundary in the Abajo Mountains. http://bit.ly/2nwQ0Qe Goosenecks State Park http://bit.ly/2cJXPed Is there dispersed car camping in the National Monument? Dispersed car camping is allowed in most places in the National Monument. There are no fee associated with dispersed car camping. On BLM-administered lands where dispersed camping is allowed, car camping is restricted to previously disturbed areas within 150 feet of designated routes. No new campsites may be created. Dispersed camping is restricted in some high-use areas. Additional information on camping restrictions in the National Monument can be found at the following location: https://on.doi.gov/2o8XI60 What time does the National Monument close? The National Monument does not currently have any entrance stations or entrance gates. Visitors may enter and leave the National Monument at any time. 7 Can I bring my pet to the National Monument? Pets are allowed in the National Monument with the exception of some of the canyons on Cedar Mesa (pets are prohibited in Grand Gulch and its tributaries; Slickhorn Canyon; Point Lookout Canyon and their tributaries; and in the McLoyd Canyon/ Moonhouse Ruin Recreation Management Zone). In areas where pets are allowed, they need to be collared and leashed and kept away from cultural resources, such as rock art sites and ruins. Additional information about how to protect your pet and resources within National Monument can be found at the following website: A short video on visiting archeological sites with pets can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2otzBiQ Can I ride my horse in the National Monument? Stock use is allowed in the majority of the National Monument. Commercial and private stock use requires a permit and stock use is limited in many of the Cedar Mesa canyons. Advanced reservation permits for overnight use must be obtained from the BLM Monticello Field Office (435) 587-1510 at least three weeks in advance for private parties and by July of the previous year for commercial trips. Walk-In overnight permits are not available. Additional information on stock use can be found at the following website: https://on.doi.gov/2mQAEZS 8 Are there any special requirements that apply to lands in the National Monument? The Monticello Resource Management Plan, completed in 2008, established requirements for some high-use, resource sensitive areas such as Indian Creek and Cedar Mesa. These requirements will remain in place until a new land use plan is completed for the National Monument. During the land use planning process the BLM will re-evaluate these requirements. Development of the land use plan will involve interested members of the public as well as state, local, and tribal governments. Included below are some of the requirements that visitors to the National Monument should be aware of when they plan their visit. 1) In the Indian Creek Corridor (Highway 211) there is a strict pack-in/pack-out policy. Where restrooms are not available, use of a human waste bag system or portable toilet is required. Use of cat holes and leaving or burying toilet paper is prohibited. Packing out all garbage and human waste is required. 2) On Cedar Mesa, personal sanitation and disposal of human waste is not permitted within 200 feet of a water source, trail, or campsite. Human waste must be deposited in a “cat hole” (six inches deep) and covered with soil. Used toilet paper must be carried out. Do not burn toilet paper. All trash, including toilet paper must be carried out. 3) There are restrictions on campfires and firewood collection in some areas in the National Monument. Additional information on these restrictions can be found at following location: https://on.doi.gov/2o8XI60 Visitors to the National Monument should practice Leave No TraceTM. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/1PIsqIr Desert environments are fragile places and seemingly small impacts can last years. For example, a single piece of garbage may be preserved for decades in the arid environment. 9 BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT Can I still hunt in the National Monument? Yes. Hunting will continue to be managed by the State of Utah under the same regulations as prior to designation. Can I gather firewood in the National Monument? An 11 x 17 map can be downloaded at the following link: Firewood permits will continue to be issued for collection of firewood the same as before designation of the National Monument. The existing Monticello Field Office Resource Management Plan identifies areas that are open for firewood collection. Permits for private and commercial wood collection will continue to be issued by the BLM based on the availability of woodland products and protection of other resource values. https://on.doi.gov/2oRqKUi Commercial and private firewood collection is not allowed on BLM lands in some areas within the National Monument. Additional information on firewood collection restrictions can be found at the following location: https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/utah/bears-earsnational-monument For information regarding collection of firewood on USFS managed land within the national monument, please see: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mantilasal/passes-permits/forestproducts Can I still get a permit that allows me to outfit or guide others in the National Monument? Outfitting and guiding will continue as before the designation and will continue to be managed under the same regulations. Contact the Monticello Field Office for permitting questions. BLM-UTAH 10 11 BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT BLM-UTAH