Explore Bears Ears National Monument with 3D guided tours of the Mule Canyon Village and House on Fire

Rachel Wooton, Public Affairs Specialist and Javonne Goodman Public Affairs Specialist

An aerial view of the Mule Canyon site with vehicles in the loop, the trail to the site and the close proximity to the road are shown. Vegetation is spread out on the landscape.
Caption: An aerial view of the Mule Canyon site with vehicles in the loop.

Photos and videos are provided courtesy of CyArk. 

Visiting archaeological sites and historic villages can be eye-opening. It allows us to experience areas where past generations of Indigenous people made their homes and where communities developed and changed. These places have special significance to the decedents of those who built them, many of whom still live in the area today. In partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, the non-profit CyArk has produced a 3D guided tour of two prominent locations in Bears Ears National Monument. This virtual visit is an opportunity to experience locations in Bears Ears National Monument, even if you can’t go there in person. You can listen to BLM employees, explore the site using your mouse or curser, and learn more about the people who build these prehistoric structures. It can also help you learn about the area in conjunction with an in-person visit. The Mule Canyon Village and House on Fire are popular stops for visitors and residents of the local area. 

With the help of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff, CyArk produced an overview to kick-off your virtual visit to Bears Ears National Monument:  

“Bears is among one of the most culturally significant landscapes that exist. Not only is this landscape filled with thousands of cultural resources and archaeological sites, that we the BLM are mandated to provide for the proper care and management of those sites. Bears Ears is a living cultural landscape to this day. People rely still on the resources that are found on the Bears Ears landscape,” Jacob Palma BLM Bears Ears National Monument Manager. 

Two BLM employees in side by side video captures in front of an American flag. The text reads Jake Palma Bears Ears National Monument Manager and Shirley Cloud-Lane Native American Coordinator.
Caption: Jake Palma, Bears Ears National Monument Manager and Shirley Cloud-Lane, Native American Coordinator, share their passion for Bears Ears and provide context for visitors kicking off their virtual tour.

“People need to realize that this isn't a site, this is an actual village, a place where people lived and survived. This is a large community of people in this area that helped each other out, prayed together, struggled together... It is a beautiful story of human survival.” BLM Native American Coordinator Shirley Cloud-Lane. 

Side by Side photos of two individuals using equipment to document sites in Bears Ears National Monument. One has a camera and the other has a tripod with a unique digital recording device. They are standing next to historic structures.
Caption: CyArk team members visited Bears Ears National Monument to collect footage and document the area. They are shown during their visit as they gathered content to include in the virtual tour and videos.

Bears Ears National Monument has a rich cultural heritage. These lands are sacred to many Indigenous people who rely on them for traditional and ceremonial uses. They are working lands with opportunities for education, practicing cultural traditions, recreating, grazing, and other uses. They are outdoor classrooms where we continue to learn about our natural and cultural history.    

National Native American Heritage Month is celebrated annually in November. It is a time to celebrate the traditions, languages, and stories of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities and ensure their rich histories and contributions continue to thrive with each passing generation. As a part of your celebration, we encourage you to virtually visit House on Fire and the Mule Canyon Village to learn more about the area and the history of Bears Ears National Monument. 

The virtual tours can be accessed on the CyArk website.  

Learn more about Bears Ears National Monument and find information about the virtual tours on the BLM website.