5-day hiking adventure tour

Respectfully visit sacred lands of Indigineous peoples

Professional and experienced guides

Explore America’s first Native American National Monument on our five-day hiking discovery tour. The sacred landscapes of Bears Ears and surrounding Cedar Mesa plateau offer a glimpse into numerous prehistoric cultures through petroglyphs and pictographs, great houses, granaries, cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites and more. Learn about the historic efforts of local tribes to unite and seek federal protection for their ancestral homelands. Though the Bears Ears region has received immense national attention over the past few years, it has maintained its unique wilderness characteristics and continues to offer rare solitude and space for reflection.

From $2,499 per person | 5 Days | Meals included

Trip Details

Price

Double occupancy: $2,499 per person

Single occupancy: $2,899 per person


Location

Bluff, Utah


Availability

May 19-23, 2021

November 7-11, 2021

Custom dates available for groups of 4 or more people.


Duration

5 Days


Group size

4-10 people


Experience level

Suitable for beginners


Difficulty rating

2-3

Level 1
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy hiking on well maintained trails
    • Canyoneering: Easy hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 2 miles
  • Surfaces: Easy terrain
  • Elevation Change: Little to none. Short sections of uphill travel.
Level 2
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy to moderate hiking
    • Canyoneering: Easy to moderate hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 3 miles
  • Surfaces: Flat or rolling terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 600 ft/day
Level 3
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Moderate, off-trail hiking on rugged trails
    • Canyoneering: Moderate, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 6 miles
  • Surfaces: Rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 1200 ft/day
Level 4
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 10 miles
  • Surfaces: Rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 3000 ft/day
Level 5
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Very difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Very difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs. May require advanced canyoneering techniques including guided rappels, multi-pitch rappels, complex ropework difficult pothole escapes, and advanced problem-solving and anchor building.
  • Distances: Hike up to 14 miles
  • Surfaces: Extremely rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 4000 ft/day

Solitude rating

4-5

  1. Expect to be around other hikers and travelers most of the time.
  2. Expect to have some solitude, as much as an hour at a time without seeing other groups.
  3. Expect several hours of solitude at a time.
  4. Expect to see no more than one or two groups on your trip.
  5. Expect to see no other hikers or travelers on your trip.

Included

Accommodation and meals

  • Four nights of accommodations at warm and cozy Desert Rose Inn in Bluff, UT
  • Delicious, healthy meals beginning with lunch on the first day through lunch on the last day

 

Activities

  • Visit to Edge of Cedars State Park Museum
  • Five days of guided hiking adventures at Bears Ears National Monument and surrounding Cedar Mesa plateau

 

Other

  • Local, experienced guides
  • Transportation during tour
  • All group gear

Not included

  • Transportation to Bluff, UT
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal items
  • Gratuity for your guide

What to bring

  • Layered clothing
  • Comfortable, sturdy footwear
  • Sun protection
  • Small backpack
  • Water bottles or bladder
  • Headlamp or flashlight

A full packing list will be sent upon booking.

What Lies Ahead of You

Learn about the Ancestral Puebloans as you explore a region rich in Native American archeological sites

View kivas, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and pictographs, great houses and more

Gain understanding into the significance of Bears Ears as a cultural landscape

Learn about the unique geology, archeology and natural history of the region

Quaint accomodations for restful overnight stays

Itinerary

Day 1: Bears Ears and Edge of Cedars State Park Museum

Our first destination, Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum, provides an ideal framework to orient yourself to the region. The museum houses one of the largest collections of Ancestral Puebloan pottery as well as rare objects including basket collections, feather sashes and blankets, all with the goal of helping you to deepen your understanding of the ancestral people in this region.

Next, we will travel through scenic high elevation ponderosa pine forests on our way to the Bears Ears. Summiting the sacred peaks will require an adventurous spirit willing to embrace small sections of scrambling and bushwhacking along the 1.7 mile round trip hike with 450 feet elevation change.

 

Day 2: The Citadel

For today’s adventure, we will follow the rim of Road Canyon until it brings us to an ancient defensive fortress called the Citadel. Along the 6-mile hike through piňon and juniper, catch glimpses of cliff dwellings in Road Canyon. The anticipation grows as you scramble across a long, thin peninsula of sandstone with sheer drop offs on both sides that provide spectacular views of the canyon below. Ample time will be provided to explore the Citadel dwellings and 360-degree vantage point before our journey back.

On the way back to Bluff, we will stop at Muley Point for panoramic views of the San Juan River Goosenecks.  We will then descend 1,200 feet on three miles of switchbacks along the Moki Dugway with views of the Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley.

 

Day 3: Mule Canyon

Today’s destination often serves as a quick roadside stop for visitors to examine three unique towers with cryptic origins. For those willing to venture off the beaten path (that’s us), there is far more to discover. We will scramble down a few sandstone ledges to get an up-close view at these unique structures that invoke a sense of curiosity and wonder about prehistoric cultures. As time allows, we will explore additional cliff dwellings, kivas and petroglyphs in the nearby vicinity.

 

Days 4 and 5: Comb Ridge

With a striking presence rising over 700 feet high in locations, it is no wonder that an 80 mile long geologic fold known as Comb Ridge is rich with archaeological sites. There is so much to experience here that we will spend two days exploring several alcoves filled with signs of the past, requiring easy to moderate hikes of around 2 miles. Each alcove tells its own story of daily prehistoric life, including food remnants and signs of food processing, as well as remarkable art and architecture. We will also hike 3-miles to the Procession Panel, which offers hundreds of human-like and animal form petroglyphs to study and reflect upon, accompanied with expansive and stunning views of the Cedar Mesa plateau.

 

 

*Itinerary is subject to change at the guide’s discretion to ensure safety of the group and to comply with local regulations.

Other Important Information

Your Accommodation

The perfect oasis for your desert explorations, the Desert Rose Inn provides a charming and comfortable retreat at the end of your active day. Room amenities include private patios overlooking scenic redrock bluffs, free wi-fi, and in-room coffee maker. Inn amenities include an indoor pool and jacuzzi, fitness room and lounge areas.

Reservations and Cancellation Policy
  • A reservation requires a deposit of $500.
  • The deposit is non-refundable if the participant cancels their booking.
  • The remainder of the payment is due 60 days before adventure tour start date.
  • Cancellations made 30 to 60 days before adventure tour start date will be refunded 50% minus the deposit.
  • Cancellations made 0 to 30 days before adventure tour start date will be refunded 25% minus the deposit.
  • We highly recommend that participants purchase travel insurance.

 


 

We offer multiple tours in the Utah wilderness. See where we guide!

 

If you’ve decided to stay a little longer, take a look at our list of Utah recommendations(opens in a new tab), including the nearest towns with the best accommodation and restaurants. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us(opens in a new tab)!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like to join the adventure tour and share a room, we will match you with a roommate.

Dietary needs or restrictions (including vegetarian, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free diets) can be accommodated, provided that you let us know at least six weeks in advance.

We recommend flying into the Durango-La Plata County Airport in Durango, CO, a 2.5-hour drive east of Bluff, or the Canyonlands Field Airport in Moab, UT, a 2-hour drive north of Bluff.   Please note, there are more rental car options in Grand Junction, CO than Moab, UT but there is shuttle service from Moab to Bluff.

Additional airports in the nearby vicinity include Grand Junction Regional Airport in Colorado (3.5-hour drive to Bluff), Flagstaff Pullium Airport in Arizona (3.5-hour drive to Bluff), Albuquerque Airport in New Mexico (4.5-hour drive to Bluff), Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah (5.5-hour drive to Bluff).

Not to worry! We welcome hikers and adventurers of all levels. We do recommend that you prepare for the trip with conditioning hikes of 4-6 miles over varied terrain while carrying a 5-10 lb pack if you do not already have a consistent hiking routine.

Wear clothes you can move in, that breathe well and offer sun protection. Layers are also key! For your feet, comfortable medium-weight hiking shoes or boots work best. You definitely need closed-toed shoes that you’ve worn before and broken in well. See our packing list on our FAQ page for more information.

Entrance fees and all meals (including snacks) are included in the price. Remember to check out our packing list on our FAQ page so you don’t forget anything important!

Have more questions? Head to our FAQ page to read more!

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