The Cedar Mesa Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) and the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) - Shash Jaa SRMA contain a network of remote sandstone canyons in southeastern Utah that are home to numerous Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and pictographs. The area provides outstanding opportunities for hiking, backpacking, exploring beautiful canyon scenery and viewing fascinating cultural sites in a remote high desert setting. Overnight backpacking permits, Moon House permits, and day hiking passes are required year-round for exploring the canyons of Cedar Mesa and BENM.
Cedar Mesa and BENM can be challenging for inexperienced hikers. There are no constructed trails or directional signs along the hiking routes and water availability varies depending on the canyon and the time of year. Stop at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station (open seasonally, see Important Dates section) to check conditions before you hike.
Reservations on this site are available for non-commercial backpacking and hiking only. Commercial and organized groups (including universities, schools, scouts and clubs) must contact the BLM Monticello Field Office for information on additional BLM Special Recreation Permit requirements. Stock users must call the BLM to make reservations for any overnight or day use. No permits or passes are required for car touring and camping at Cedar Mesa and BENM. Vehicles and bicycles must stay on open designated roads and visitors must use established campsites and avoid impacting undisturbed areas.
The Cottonwood Wash Bridge on Highway 95, which provides access to Cedar Mesa, parts of Bears Ears National Monument, and the Clay Hills boat ramp, is closed for 60 days while emergency repairs are completed. Visitors to Cedar Mesa can use Hwy 261 and the Moki Dugway. San Juan River visitors can shuttle vehicles and access Clay Hills using Highway 261 and the Moki Dugway. These detours may add additional time to your trip. For BLM-land or permit related inquiries call: (435) 587-1500. Get updates on the road closure from the Utah Department of Transportation at: https://udottraffic.utah.gov/CLALertViewer.aspx?CLType=1 .
The Kane Gulch Ranger Station will be open in a limited capacity for the 2021 fall season (9/1/21 to 10/31/21). The BLM encourages visitors to reserve their permits online in advance of visiting the area. All Cedar Mesa overnight backpacking and Moon House permits are available online 90 days in advance of the entry date, including the permits that are typically held for walk-in visitors at Kane Gulch Ranger Station on the morning of entry. The requirement to pick up your reserved permit in-person at Kane Gulch Ranger Station has been suspended. Your permit will be emailed to you by BLM Monticello Field Office Staff.
Kane Gulch Ranger Station will be staffed from 8:00 am to noon to answer trip planning questions and provide visitors with current trail, road, and water condition information. Masks are required to be worn at the ranger station. You may also call the Cedar Mesa permit office at (435) 587-1510 for trip planning and condition questions.
This permit is for overnight backpacking in the canyons of the Cedar Mesa Special Recreation Management Area and Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) – Shash Jaa SRMA, and visiting Moon House. Locations where Cedar Mesa and BENM Permits are required and available to reserve on this site include:
Reservation availability is dependent on limited entry quota and the season of use. Permits may also be obtained at Kane Gulch Ranger Station or trailheads, depending on the season. See the Important Dates and Quota sections below for more information.
Passes for day hiking at Cedar Mesa and BENM (except Moon House) are unlimited and may be obtained year-round at self-pay fee tubes at trailheads and other locations on the mesa top, or in advance at Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears N.M. Day Hiking .
Rules and Regulations:
Enjoying Cultural Resources:
The canyons of Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears National Monument were once home to a remarkable prehistoric people. The remnants of these past residents, including their dwellings, artifacts, petroglyphs and pictographs, are what make the area truly unique. Unintentional damage caused by visitors is slowly destroying these remnants. Please familiarize yourself with the ''Visit with Respect'' tips provided by Friends of Cedar Mesa, and enjoy these archaeological sites in a manner that will help preserve them for future generations of visitors.
A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for all advanced reservation permits.
Full refunds of per person recreation fees are available for cancellations and group size reductions made a minimum of 15 days in advance of the entry date. The reservation fee is non-refundable. There are no refunds for cancellations and group size reductions made less than 15 days before the entry date.
All changes are dependent on availability. Changes to group size, exit date and exit trailhead may be made on this website for no additional fee (except the per person fee when adding to your group). To change your entry trailhead and/or entry date, you must cancel your existing reservation and obtain a new reservation (fee and refund policies apply).
P.O. Box 7 Monticello UT 84535
*Kane Gulch Ranger Station does not have a public phone