Click for interactive map via Protect Bears Ears Coalition
Bears Ears’ namesake is a pair of sandstone-fringed buttes jutting about 2,000 feet up from the mesa. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).
The Bears Ears buttes, viewed from the south. Photo by Tim Peterson.
In October 2015, tribal representatives petitioned President Obama to protect Bears Ears as a national monument. This was thought to be the first time Native tribes had ever joined forces to do this. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).
Among Bears Ears’ cultural highlights is Newspaper Rock, a slab of sandstone is covered with recorded history in the form of etched petroglyphs thought to date back about 1,500 years.
Ancient Puebloan ruins. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).
Cedar Mesa, an expansive plateau dotted with canyons and sandstone pinnacles. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).
According to polling, 66 percent of Utah residents support the creation of a national monument (only 20 percent oppose it). Photo by Tim D. Peterson.
Bears Ears contains a number of cherished rock-climbing spots among other outdoor recreation spots. Photo by Mikey Schaefer, courtesy of Patagonia.
Among the popular rock-climbing spots is Indian Creek, leading from the northern end of Bears Ears to Canyonlands National Park. Photo by Jonathan Fox, flickr.
Wind Whistle Rock, in the northeast section of the Bears Ears region. Photo by Tim D. Peterson.
Along Comb Ridge, a 120-mile-long sandstone fold running through the southwest section of Bears Ears. Photo by Tim D. Peterson/LightHawk.
Rock formation near White Canyon in the western part of the Bears Ears region, an unusually rugged and untouched example of the region’s beauty. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).
Manti-La Sal National Forest covers a large portion of Bears Ears with Gambel oak, aspen, fir and pine woodland, which includes habitat for elk, black bear and more. Photo by John Buie, flickr.
A view of the Abajo Mountains within Manti-La Sal National Forest. Photo by Tim D. Peterson.
Hammond Canyon, also in Manti-La Sal National Forest. Photo by Tim D. Peterson.
Valley of the Gods, to the south of Cedar Mesa. This backcountry stretch is similar to the nearby (much larger) Monument Valley, and both are known for red sandstone buttes, pinnacles and cliffs. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).
Valley of the Gods’ scenery is so unusual and arresting that it has been used as a science-fiction backdrop for television. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).
Goosenecks State Park, south of Valley of the Gods at Bears Ears’ southern edge, is renowned for its stunning view of the San Juan River winding through the desert below. Photo by Rick Bergstrom, flickr.
Bears Ears is as susceptible to human-caused damage as it is spectacular. National monument status would help ensure the area is protected. Photo by Mason Cummings (TWS).