Kane Gulch Ranger Station
The Kane Gulch Ranger Station is where visitors to Bears Ears National Monument can learn more about the rules, regulations, and resources of this region. Visitors can talk to rangers about current conditions, purchase walk-up permits, and learn more about the natural and cultural resources of this region. There is an interpretive display detailing the rich archaeological resources of Cedar Mesa for those looking to learn more about Ancestral Puebloan life. The ranger station also includes a bookstore stocked by Canyonlands Natural History Association, where visitors can pick up last-minute supplies for their trip as well as maps and souvenirs.
- Hours and Operating Seasons
The Kane Gulch Ranger Station is open seasonally to align with high-use periods on Cedar Mesa. The station is open in the spring (March 1 – June 15) and fall (Sept. 1 – Oct. 31) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every day. In the summer and winter, information on visiting this area can be obtained by visiting or calling the Monticello Field Office at 435-587-1500.
Permits and passes are required for many activities on Cedar Mesa. Backpackers planning to overnight in the canyons of Cedar Mesa will need to get a backpacking permit. Those looking to day hike to the Moon House site will also need to get a permit. Finally, day hikers will need to get a Cedar Mesa Day Hiking Pass for exploring the canyons of Cedar Mesa and Comb Ridge as well. For more information on permits, passes, and how to obtain them, please visit our permits page.
- Rules & Regulations
There are many rules and regulations for visiting Cedar Mesa, all of which are covered in the Cedar Mesa Trip Planner. However, there are a few particularly important rules to keep in mind:
- It is illegal to damage, disturb, or remove anything from archaeological or historical sites. Archaeological and historical sites are protected by the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). Instead, please visit archaeological sites with respect.
- Dogs are only permitted to hike in certain areas. Dogs are not allowed to hike in Grand Gulch or any of its tributaries. Dogs are also not allowed in any archaeological site. Dogs are not allowed to hike in canyons on the west side of Cedar Mesa; instead, dog owners are welcome to bring their pets to explore trails like Fish & Owl on the east side of the mesa.
- Fires are not allowed in the canyons of Cedar Mesa. On the mesa top, fires are only permitted in established dispersed camping sites where a fire ring exists. Do not build new fire rings. Check for fire restrictions in the area before making a fire.
- Leave no trace. All trash, including toilet paper, must be carried out. Human waste must be deposited in a cathole 4-6 inches deep and at least 200 feet away from water sources or otherwise packed out in a wag bag.
- Commercial operators must obtain a Special Recreation Permit from the Monticello Field Office before conducting business – including hiking, backpacking, or driving tours -- on lands we manage.
Hiking and backpacking in the canyons of Cedar Mesa represents a challenging experience in which hikers are tested by scarce water, extreme conditions, and difficult route-finding. Cedar Mesa is not an area for novice hikers. Please take extra caution in the summer and winter months. In summer, this area experiences extreme heat with minimal water and shade. In the winter, this area experiences extreme cold with snow, ice, and slippery trail conditions.
- Contact Information
For more information on Cedar Mesa and its surroundings, visit the Kane Gulch Ranger Station (4 miles south of Highway 95 on Highway 261) during their operating hours listed above. The Monticello Field Office (365 N. Main St, Monticello UT) is also available to answer questions in person from 8am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm, Monday through Friday year-round. The Kane Gulch Ranger Station does not have a public phone.