On December 4, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to redraw Bears Ears National Monument. The proposal introduced two new units in this area named Indian Creek and Shash Jaa. These two divided units are within Utah’s Canyon Country and feature a broad expanse of red rock, juniper forests and high plateaus.
Two towering buttes stand out against the landscape amongst the 228,784 acres that make up Bears Ears National Monument. Visitors come to learn about the cultural, historic and prehistoric legacies by viewing ancient cliff dwellings, granaries and kivas as well as artifacts such as ancient tools and pottery. Petroglyphs and pictographs are also found in abundance within the monument.
Shash Jaa Unit of Bears Ears National Monument
The Shash Jaa Unit of Bears Ears National Monument covers 142,337 acres of red rock that encompasses fascinating geological features. This area is collectively a part of the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway and multiple hiking trails in this area showcase remnants of incredible cliff dwellings built of stone and adobe mortar in the sides of the mesas, mountains and alcoves. Butler Wash Ruins, Mule Canyon and Arch canyon are stopping points for hiking and exploration opportunities.
Indian Creek Unit of Bears Ears National Monument
Located within the Indian Creek Unit, Newspaper Rock is one of the biggest petroglyph collections in the country. Drive the Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway on Highway 211 to admire this 200-square foot rock of historic depictions. Try to decipher the meaning of these engravings left by Puebloans and other cultural people more than 2,000 years ago.
Much of the land in the area is remote, wild and rugged with limited access to visitor center resources. Therefore, it is recommended that travelers prepare for their trips ahead of time. The following list of resources is available for fielding questions about the area. The Bears Ears Education Center was opened by Friends of Cedar Mesa, a nonprofit entity that is an information source on Bears Ears and how to visit fragile archaeological sites respectfully and without leaving a trace.
If you’re traveling to Bears Ears soon, use our Bears Ears itinerary to make planning easier!
Nearby Visitor Centers
Location: 660 W 400 N, Blanding
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday
*There is a BLM staff member on-site to provide information about Bears Ears National Monument.
Location: 567 Main St., Bluff
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Thursday-Monday
Location: UT-261 36 miles west of Blanding
Open: March 1-June 15, September 1-October 31
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 7 days a week
Location: 216 S Main St.
Hours: 90:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Closes early at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday
Location: 12 North Grayson Parkway
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., closed Sunday