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Making the Most of a Failed Attempt to Explore Bears Ears National Monument

Even if you don't make it to Bears Ears, there are some amazing places nearby.

By: Leo Xu + Save to a List

I'd actually never heard of Bears Ears National Monument until a month ago when all the news were talking about this place. But I decided to go to see it in person since I don't know what the fate of this place is going to be. Hopefully it can remain as a national monument instead of another energy development site.

So I drove 6 hours from Ogden and when I saw the sign to Bears Ears, I was all excited even though the road had completely turned to mud. Then I saw two cars that were covered by mud coming towards me. I was happy finally see two others cars in this middle of nowhere, but soon my excitement became worry since the dirt road was covered by deep snow. I saw where these two cars turned around from the mark, but I didn't want to give up and drove about another minute away before I had to turn around because the snow was too deep and my car had a really hard time driving on it.

It was a pity that I didn't make it all the way to Bears Ears, but there was a silver lining. I ended up doing a loop drive back home crossing Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Escalante, Zion National Park and Kolob Canyon. Not a bad alternative.

My advice if you're going to Bears Ears is to check the weather before you go and better not to go in the Winter. 4-wheel drive is recommended, too.

This is where the road turns to dirt road

Driving through Monument Valley

Horseshoe Bend on a rainy day

Misty Zion

Beautiful Kolob Canyon

Instagram: leo_exploring

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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