Bears Ears National Monument and Cedar Mesa Permits/Passes Now Available Online
Permits/Passes are required to visit many areas in the Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears region. These permits and their associated fees help protect and manage this sensitive landscape. If you are planning a trip to this area, we encourage you to purchase your passes online and ahead of time. Check out the Cedar Mesa and Bears Ears Permits and Passes – Spring 2021 Update for more information on where permits/passes are required and how to purchase them. The Kane Gulch Ranger Station and store are closed however rangers are engaging visitors on the front patio from 8:00 am. to noon every day.

The Monument, located in southeast Utah in San Juan County, is made up of 201,876 acres of public lands administered jointly with the BLM and U.S. Forest Service. Two units make up Bears Ears National Monument: the Shash Jáa Unit to the south and the Indian Creek Unit to the north.

Bears Ears National Monument has a rich cultural heritage and is sacred to many Native American tribes who rely on these lands for traditional and ceremonial uses. Much of this landscape is still actively grazed by livestock, used for personal firewood collection, and is available for many forms of recreation. 
The Elephant Hill four-wheel-drive (4WD) road located in the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park will be closed from April 5-15, 2021 to undergo some much-needed repairs. During this closure all day-use and overnight permits will be unavailable. Please make alternate plans. 

The Elephant Hill road is one of the most technical 4WD roads in Utah. It presents drivers and mountain bikers with steep grades, loose rock, stair-step drops, tight turns, and tricky backing. Some sections of this road have eroded beyond the capabilities of even the most experienced backcountry traveler. The Canyonlands road crew will be repairing these sections so visitors can safely traverse them in the future. 
 
Road repair activities will not alter the 4WD experience of the road and visitors should still be prepared and follow best practices before embarking on this road once it re-opens. All backcountry roads require high-clearance, low range four-wheel-drive vehicles. Inexperienced drivers should not attempt these roads. There is a high risk of vehicle damage, and towing costs usually exceed $1,500. 
 
The Elephant Hill road is expected to re-open for day-use and overnight permits on April 16, 2021. More information on all of the backcountry four-wheel-drive roads at Canyonlands and helpful tips on how to prepare to travel these roads is available at: https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/needlesroads.htm 
Happy Birthday to Arches National Park
On April 12, 1929, Herbert Hoover established Arches National Monument through a presidential proclamation. Public Law 92-155 was passed by Congress and signed by President Richard M. Nixon in 1971 to abolish Arches National Monument and establish Arches National Park. The park’s foundation documents list these significant statements and the following interpretive themes for Arches.
1.    Arches National Park contains the largest concentration of natural arches on earth.
2.    The geographic location of Arches National Park provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy iconic Colorado Plateau landscapes in a majestic natural setting, with striking geologic features in the foreground and the towering La Sal Mountains in the distance creating expansive views of contrasting colors and textures.
 3.    Arches National Park protects representative examples of Colorado Plateau ecosystems, providing opportunities for scientific studies of natural and human systems in diverse landscape settings over long periods of time.
 4.    Arches National Park protects a notable array of cultural sites and features that reflect the many different ways people have occupied and used Colorado Plateau landscapes over the last 12,000 years.
Geology. Geologic features found in Arches National Park are a result of powerful and dynamic geologic forces operating over great lengths of time.
Desert Ecology. The geology, climate, and life forms of Arches National Park result in a rich, interconnected desert ecosystem.
Natural Environments. The expansive views, dark night skies, and natural sounds of Arches National Park provide opportunities for visitors to experience nature and solitude.
Majestic Scenery. The beautiful landscapes and vistas enjoyed from within Arches National Park are dependent on the health and vitality of surrounding lands, water, and air.
Cultural Landscapes. Past human activities have influenced and shaped what we see and experience in Arches National Park today.
Presidential Proclamation Establishing Arches National Monument April 12, 1929
Delicate Arch has become an icon; it is the adopted symbol for the Utah license plate and was one of the images for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
International Dark Sky Week April 5-12
International Dark Sky Week held during the week of the new moon in April, is a week during which people worldwide turn out their lights in order to observe the beauty of the night sky without light pollution. This event was founded in 2003 by high school student Jennifer Barlow of Midlothian, Virginia. It is endorsed by the International Dark Sky Association, the American Astronomical Society, and the Astronomical League.

This event always occurs in April, during the week of the new moon so that the sky can be as dark as possible for optimum viewing conditions.
Jennifer Barlow states, "The night sky is a gift of such tremendous beauty that should not be hidden under a blanket of wasted light. It should be visible so that future generations do not lose touch with the wonder of our universe." Barlow explains, "It is my wish that people see the night sky in all of its glory, without excess light in the sky as our ancestors saw it hundreds of years ago.

On March 6, 2007, Natural Bridges National Monument became the first International Dark Sky Park certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. The other parks in southeast Utah, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and Hovenweep National Monument, have all received International Dark Sky Park certifications in recent years. All four parks work together with neighboring organizations, businesses, communities, and land managers to showcase some of the darkest skies in the United States. 
 
The certification does not carry legal or regulatory authority. Instead, it demonstrates a commitment by parks to improve night skies with more energy-efficient, sustainable lighting. Certification also reaffirms the park’s commitment to educate the public and nearby communities about the importance of good lighting and opportunities to work together toward common goals. 
Perfect book for beginners and experts!