Bears Ears National Monument
San Juan, UT 84511, USA
Perk UpAnchored by distinctive twin buttes that give the area its name, the expansive, newly designated Bears Ears National Monument is at the center of a heated land-use debate among Native American tribes, more recent residents of the area, ranchers, and oil interests. Co-managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and five Native American nations, the monument lands contain an undisturbed, biodiverse landscape and some 100,000 Puebloan archaeological sites. Spot a few on a float down the San Juan River or load up into a four-wheel-drive vehicle and explore the Valley of the Gods and its soaring spires, which the Navajo believe to be immortal warriors. On-site services and facilities at the new monument are scarce, but the city of Blanding is a good base, and Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks are close by. Permits required for certain areas of the park.
On December 4, 2017, President Trump released an executive order reducing Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase—Escalante Monument by nearly half. Read more about the decision and how outdoor retailers and advocates are gearing up to fight back.
This appeared in the January/February 2018 issue.