Cedar Mesa

tribal ruins of moonhouse

Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears National Monument Permit System

The Cedar Mesa region is popular for backcountry hiking and backpacking. Visitors to the area will likely see Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, rock writing in a natural setting, and wildlife. Many miles of spectacular canyons cut across the mesa.

The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for managing most of the lands within Cedar Mesa. The Shash Jáa unit of Bears Ears National Monument includes part of this region.

Overnight backpacking permits, Moon House permits, and day hiking passes are required year-round for exploring the canyons of the Cedar Mesa and the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) - Shash Jáa Special Recreation Management Areas. Stock use in the canyons also requires a permit or pass. Locations where permits and passes are required include the following:

  • The following canyons and tributaries - Grand Gulch (including Kane Gulch, Bullet Canyon, Collins Canyon, Government Trail), Slickhorn Canyon, Fish and Owl Canyons, Lime Creek, Road Canyon, and the North and South Forks of Mule Canyon
  • Moon House (Permits only)
  • Comb Ridge and Butler Wash areas

 

You can also watch the Visit with Respect Video on our YouTube website.

Permits vs. Passes

  • Permits are required for overnight backpacking in the canyons of Cedar Mesa and BENM and visiting Moon House. These activities have a limited entry quota (20 people per trailhead/per day). 
  • Passes are required for day hiking in the canyons of Cedar Mesa and BENM. Unlike permits, passes for day hiking are unlimited.

How to Obtain a Permit or Pass

The process and requirements for obtaining Cedar Mesa and BENM permits and passes vary by time of year and activity. Please see the information below on how to obtain a permit or pass. Information on this page applies to private, non-commercial use only. Commercial and organized groups (universities, schools, church groups, clubs, etc.) may require a Special Recreation Permit.

Overnight Backpacking Permits

Temporary changes have been to the permit process described below for the Spring 2022 season.

From March 1 through June 15 and September 1 through October 31 (high use seasons), overnight backpacking permits are limited and issued on a first come, first-served basis. A maximum of 20 visitors are permitted to enter per trailhead per day for overnight trips. Twelve of the 20 spaces are available to reserve at the Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears National Monument Permits Recreation.gov page at least five days but no more than 90 days in advance of the entry date. The eight remaining spaces may not be reserved in advance and are only available by walk-in at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station on the morning of the trip. Permit fees are $15 per person per trip, including a $6 transaction fee for reservations. All permits (including reserved permits) must be picked-up in person at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station during the high use seasons. The maximum group size is 12 people.

From June 16 through August 31 and November 1 through February 28 (low use seasons), overnight backpacking permits must be obtained upon arrival at self-pay fee tubes at trailheads and other kiosk locations on Cedar Mesa; no reservations are required or available. Permit fees are $15 per person per trip during the low use seasons. The maximum group size is 12 people.

Moon House Permits  

Temporary changes have been to the permit process described below for the Spring 2022 season.

Permits for visiting Moon House (day use only) are limited and issued on a first come, first-served basis. A maximum of 20 visitors are permitted per day. From March 1 through June 15 and September 1 through October 31 (high use seasons), 12 of the 20 spaces are available to reserve at the Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears National Monument Permits Recreation.gov page at least five days but no more than 90 days in advance of the entry date. The eight remaining spaces may not be reserved in advance and are only available by walk-in at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station on the morning of the hike. Permit fees are $5 per person during the high use seasons, including a $6 transaction fee for reservations. All permits (including reserved permits) must be picked-up in person at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station during the high use season. The maximum group size is 12 people.

From June 16 through August 31 and November 1 through February 28 (low use seasons), Moon House permits must be reserved at the Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears National Monument Permits Recreation.gov page before arrival.

Access to Moon House on Snow Flat Road requires a high clearance vehicle.

Day Hiking Passes

Day Hiking Passes must be obtained year-round at self-pay fee tubes at trailheads and other locations on the mesa top, or in advance at the Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears N.M. Day Hiking Recreation.gov page. Passes are not valid for overnight backpacking or visiting Moon House. The cost is $5 per person for a Day Pass, $10 per person for a 7-Day Pass, or $40 for an annual vehicle pass. The maximum group size is 12 people.

POINT OF CONTACT

Bureau of Land Management
Monticello Field Office
365 North Main
P.O. Box 7
Monticello, UT 84535

Permit Office Phone: (435) 587-1510
Permit Office Hours: 8am – 12pm (MDT), Mon - Fri
Email: blm_ut_mt_cedarmesa@blm.gov

*Kane Gulch Ranger Station does not have a public phone. The permit phone line is answered by rangers at the BLM Monticello Field Office.

QUICK LINKS

General and Regional Information