Join the Conservation Lands Foundation as we explore the desert bluffs, slot canyons, archaeology and cultural connections of southern Utah's Bears Ears National Monument. At the center of the last Administration's attack on America's public lands, this is a rare opportunity to meet groups on the ground, talk to grassroots advocates and get an inside look at what we're fighting to protect in this iconic national monument.
Bears Ears National Monument draws people from around the world to experience the highest density of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and rock art in the nation. This is one of the most incredible natural settings in the West with miles of spectacular canyons lined with cliffs cut across the mesa. Some dwellings are perched high on ledges and under overhangs.
This region is sacred to many Native American tribes, including the Diné (Navajo), Hopi, Ute, Pueblo, Hualapai and Apache peoples, who trace their ancestry to those who built the dwellings and created the rock art that still grace these lands. Together, we will strike out on day-long adventures with local guides who will lead us in exploring the dramatic scenery and irreplaceable cultural sites that fill the Bears Ears National Monument.
This year we are offering a unique day hike under the guidance of a local Diné nurse with expertise in traditional healing and spiritual beliefs. Slow down and experience the land as the Indigenous peoples have for thousands of years.
We will be staying at Cliff Dwellings Resort & Spa in Bluff, Utah. Bluff's newest hotel is nestled among the majesty and solitude of hundred-million-year-old sandstone cliffs, while it offers all modern amenities you need to relax after a day outside.
Trip Dates: October 8-10, 2021
Thursday, October 7, 6 PM: Welcome happy hour in Durango.
Day 1: Friday, October 8
- 9:00 AM - Departure from Durango in shared vehicles
- Arrival in Bluff, Utah. Orientation at Bears Ears Visitor’s Center
- Picnic lunch at Sand Island by the San Juan River
- Afternoon hike guided by local partners
- Check in at Cliff Dwellings Resort & Spa.
- Dinner in Bluff
Day 2: Saturday, October 9
- 9 AM - 3:30 PM. Day-long guided rafting/kayak tour on the San Juan River: You’ll float 8 miles paddling your own kayak or jump in a raft with professional guides and your friends. Two short easy hikes will take you to one of the largest rock art panels in North America and a 1000 year old cliff dwelling. Unlike Mesa Verde and other National Parks, this is a wilderness expedition and we often have these world class sites to ourselves. We’ll feed you lunch on the peaceful banks of the river and end the day with a rugged 4×4 Hummer ride back to Bluff.
- Difficulty grade: Easy to Moderately Strenuous. Short hikes up to ½ mile round trip. Easy paddling on calm, but swift water. No whitewater on this trip.
- Dinner in Bluff and time to relax by the pool.
Day 3: Sunday, October 10
- Departure from hotel: 8:30 AM. "The Native Approach to Bears Ears - Healing with the Land" - a unique experience that very few outsiders get the chance to enjoy. This day hike to Butler Wash and Cave Towers is led by a local Diné nurse with additional expertise in traditional spiritual and healing practices passed on from her parents and grandparents. Slow down and experience the land as the Indigenous cultures have for thousands of years. Learn about plants, traditional beliefs, and sacred places directly from a member of the local Diné tribe.
- Picnic lunch by Butler Wash.
- Brief Indigenous ceremony to show gratitude and respect for Bears Ears.
- Departure from Bears Ears to Durango (afternoon).
Trip Dates: October 8-10, 2021
Trip Cost: $1,200 per person, or $2,200 per couple sharing room, including transport from Durango to Bears Ears, 2 nights accommodation in Bluff on October 8 and 9, meals (lunch & dinner October 8, all meals October 9 and breakfast & lunch October 10), drinks, snacks, guided excursions, and gratuity. The trip cost does neither include airfare to/from Durango or accommodation in Durango, but we are happy to suggest lodging options.
RSVP below to join the adventure and be taken to the trip payment page. A non-refundable $500 deposit is due upon registration. Full payment is due by September 7, 2021.
Refund policy: Life happens and plans can change. The Conservation Lands Foundation offers a full refund (minus deposit) for trip cancellations made before September 7, 2021, and 50% refund 14 days prior to trip departure. Cancellations less than 14 days before trip date cannot be refunded, though your deposit can always be applied toward a future trip.
Please contact Åsa Björklund at [email protected] or 480-677-9855.
October 08, 2021 at 9:00am - October 10, 2021, Mountain Time
Bears Ears National Monument
South East Utah
Bluff, UT 84512
Google map and directions
Åsa Björklund · · 480-677-9855