Cedar Mesa Backpacking Permits

Bears Ears National Monument

Bears Ears National Monument (BENM), including areas like Cedar Mesa and Grand Gulch, is a special landscape that contains many cultural and natural resources. Backpackers flock to this region to visit Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, trek through spectacular canyons, and share public lands with friends and family. If you plan to explore this area on foot as a backpacker, you need to obtain a permit: backpacking permits are required year-round for exploring the canyons of Cedar Mesa. 

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) to check conditions before you hike. Current conditions information is also available online in the spring and fall when rangers are surveying water and road conditions. As you prepare for your trip, remember to Visit With Respect and Know Before You Go . Many questions about Cedar Mesa are answered on our Frequently Asked Questions page .

Reservations on this site are available for non-commercial backpacking only. Commercial and organized groups (including universities, schools, scouts and clubs) must contact the Monticello Field Office for information on additional Special Recreation Permit requirements. No permits or passes are required for car touring and dispersed camping in Bears Ears National Monument. Vehicles and bicycles must stay on open designated roads and visitors must use established campsites and avoid impacting undisturbed areas.

Permit & Season Information

This permit is for overnight backpacking in the canyons of Cedar Mesa, including: Grand Gulch and its tributaries (Kane Gulch, Bullet Canyon, Collins Canyon, Government Trail), Slickhorn Canyon, Fish and Owl Canyons, Lime Creek, Road Canyon, and Mule Canyon. Permits for hiking to Moon House and day hiking passes can be purchased on their respective recreation.gov pages. 

Starting in the spring of 2023, permit check-in requirements have been reinstated. Your permit is not valid until you meet in person with a BLM Park Ranger. To get your permit validated, print two copies of your permit and visit the Kane Gulch Ranger Station or the Monticello Field Office. A ranger will speak with you about archeological site etiquette , provide current conditions , and go over details of your trip with you. Permit validation is not required in the summer and winter; see "Important Dates" below for more information.

Need to Know

General Rules & Regulations

Backpacking Information

Your Safety

Enjoying Cultural Resources

Fee Policy

Recreation Fee:

Permit fees must be paid at the time the reservation is booked. The following permit fee schedule is in effect:  

Reservation Fee:

A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for all advanced reservation permits.

Cancellation Policy


Full refunds of per person recreation fees are available for cancellations and group size reductions made a minimum of 5 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 5 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).

Contact Information

Mailing Address

PO Box 7 Monticello UT 84535

Phone Number


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