Extreme adventures and memorable excursions await you in the Four Corners Area and on the San Juan. Let us guide you off the beaten path to some of the world's most wondrous scenery within minutes of our base camp in Bluff, Utah.
Our outstanding staff of caring, professional guides specializes in interpreting the land's exquisite Ancestral Puebloan culture and textbook geology; your safety and the quality of your experience are our foremost concerns.
We continually hear from those who travel with us that their time on the river was the experience of a lifetime.
Whether you prefer rafting, jeeping, ATV's, hiking, biking, canyoneering, or boating, Four Corners Adventures is sure to make this vacation your most memorable.
Located in Southeastern Utah, the Bear’s Ears National Monument is home to the largest density of ancestral puebloan sites anywhere in the United States. Get off the beaten path and away from the crowds and busyness of the world. Discover and explore incredible vistas, deep canyons, ancestral puebloan cliff dwellings and ancient rock art panels. Bears Ears National Monument has activities for everyone from day hiking, backpacking, climbing, canyoneering, rafting, atv trails and more. The recreation possibilities are endless. Covering 1.35 millions acres the Bears Ears National Monument borders Glen Canyon National Recreation area, Canyonlands National Park and Natural Bridges National Monument. With hundreds of miles of unspoiled canyons and pristine wilderness. Bears Ears offers solitude to those who want to get away from the crowds. Bears Ears is truly a special place deserving the national attention it has received. We want to ensure future generations can enjoy it as we do now.
The Bears Ears National Monument was designated by President Obama on December 28th, 2016 during his final days in office. The monument is to be managed as a joint effort by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and a group of tribal leaders known as the Bears Ears commission. The Bears Ears region is sacred to many different native american tribes and families who have lived here for generations hunting and gathering wood to heat their homes. These tribes have ancestral ties which run deep in their culture. A management plan will be created by these stakeholders to preserve the monument as it is now for future generations. Many of the locals living near the monument fear that the new designation will restrict access to areas where they ranch, hunt, gather wood and recreate. This, and a sense of federal overreach has been the cause of a local outcry and protest to President Trump to rescind or at least reduce the boundaries of the new monument. President Trump has responded by ordering a review of all national monument created since 1996 that is 100,000 acres or more in size. He stated he would “end another egregious use of government power, returning power back to the local governments”. Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante combined cover over 3 million acres and are in the crosshairs of U.S. Secretary Zinke as likely candidates to be reduced. If Trump decides to reduce the size of any monuments, then litigation will likely follow. This could further delay the process of creating a new management plan for the monument..
What this means for us at Four Corners Adventures and Wild Rivers Expeditions is that we feel an extra stewardship to help individuals visit the monument and help to educate other visitors of Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly and other backcountry ethics. This is especially true because there are very few trailhead signs, services or restroom facilities within the monument. Make no mistake, this is a massive area of wilderness, and it is very easy to find yourself off trail or in the wrong canyon entirely wondering where you are. This is also the reason we love it so much. It is one of the few places on earth you can have an amazing wilderness experience. We highly recommend taking a guide into the region because of our knowledgeable guides and passion for the region. If you like to be on your own, consider a guide for your first trip and we will introduce you to the area so that you may further explore on your own. If you just need a guidebook or map, come on in and we can help you with that as well. Remember to visit all archaeology sites with respect. The ruins and rock art panels you’ll discover in Bears Ears National Monument are similar to what you’d see in Mesa Verde National Park, but here there are no fences, crowds or rangers guiding you to these sites. This means it is your responsibility to Visit with Respect.
Bears Ears Buttes
San Juan River
Valley Of The Gods
Butler Wash is named after mormon pioneer John Butler, who is credited with discovering the creek in 1879. This drainage runs parallel on the eastern side of Comb Ridge and drains into the San Juan river. It only flows in the spring and after rains, but standing water is likely to be found throughout Butler Wash, except in the hottest months of the year. County Road 262 is a gravel road along Butler Wash connecting highway 95 with highway 163 and is generally passable to all high clearance vehicles. Along this county road are the trailheads for many different cliff dwellings and rock art panels. Some of the more well known sites include Wolf Man Panel, Double Stack Ruins, Processional Panel, Monarch Cave and many others. We offer half day trips to any of these sites or do a full day and we’ll do as many as we can squeeze into one day. If you have a specific site you wish to hike to that is not listed give us a call and we will get you there.
Cedar Mesa is the heart of Bears Ears National Monument. Ancestral puebloan ruins and rock art line network of the desolate canyon walls. Hundreds of miles of canyons await to be explored this is a haven for backpackers looking for solitude. The majority of the canyons are wilderness or wilderness study areas meaning no motor vehicles are allowed in the canyons. To really enjoy Cedar Mesa you have to get off of the highway and into the canyons. There are hikes available for all fitness levels. Cave Tower Ruins and Arch Canyon overlook are great sites that require very little hiking. For hikers looking to spend half a day the House of Fire is a popular destination located in Mule Canyon. The House of Fire is best photographed in the morning light and we offer trips daily. For hikers who can do 6 miles comfortably we highly recommend visiting the Citadel or Fallen Roof Ruins located in Road Canyon. These sites are difficult to find for new visitors and trailheads are not marked well. Make sure to take a good map and high clearance vehicle or better yet, a guided trip will ensure you get the most out of your invaluable time.
Arch Canyon is arguably the best 4x4 road in all of the region and the only canyon in Bears Ears National Monument accessible by 4x4 vehicles. The rugged road follows a perennial stream along the floor of the canyon. Cliff dwellings are strewn about the cliffs only viewable by binoculars. The trail ends in a grove of ponderosa pines at the base of Cathedral Arch and short hike from here will take you to Angel Arch. The Arch Canyon 4x4 trail is 7 miles one way and trail conditions are constantly changing due to flash floods. After flash floods quicksand can be present and is impassable to all vehicles. Even in good conditions you’ll need a modified vehicle with high clearance and 4-wheel drive. Smaller vehicles are recommended unless you want some new pinstripes. ATVs and UTVs are our vehicle of choice if available. There is zero cell reception within the canyon so it is recommended to travel with multiple vehicles, be prepared for self rescue and have a plan for communication like a satellite phone or similar device.
Grand Gulch is a deep remote canyon cutting through the center of Cedar Mesa. Over 50 miles long and only accessible by foot has kept this canyon pristine for backpacking. Cliff dwellings and rock art panels line the walls and springs of water can be found except during the hottest months. Grand Gulch can be seen on long day hikes, but is best seen on multi-day backpacking adventures. There are 4 main trailheads used for visiting Grand Gulch named Kane Gulch, Bullet Canyon, Government and Collin Springs. Advance permits are required to hike in Grand Gulch which can be reserved up to 3 months in advance by calling Monticello BLM Field Office (435) 587-1510.
The Bears Ears are two buttes standing high above the monument and when viewed from the south look like Bears Ears. This site is sacred to many different tribes including the Navajo, Ute, Zuni, Hopi and Pueblo Tribes. The buttes rise to an elevation over 8700 feet watching over the mesas and canyons 2000 feet below them. The easiest way to visit the Bears Ears is to take the Elk Mountain road 0088 near Natural Bridges National monument from Highway 95. You’ll climb steep switchbacks on a gravel road, but the road is generally accessible by any vehicle. November through May snow is often present and during these times the road may be impassable to all vehicles.
Indian Creek is the northern edge of the monument and is the number one crack climbing destination in the world. The wingate sandstone splits into perfect cracks extending over 100’ which are climbable by wedging your hands and feet into the cracks. There are over 1000 designated climbing routes in Indian Creek and the possibility for more seems endless. The climbing in Indian Creek should only be attempted by experienced climbers with the technical skills and knowledge to protect themselves. Indian Creek is also a beautiful place to visit for those that like to keep both feet on the ground. Newspaper rock is a popular destination and a world class rock art panel. The road through Indian Creek is very scenic and from it you can access Canyonlands Needles District. 4x4 trails in Lockhart Basin are a blast and for adventurous travelers it is possible to drive the Lockhart Basin 4x4 road all the way into Moab. Beef Basin is also accessible from Indian Creek via gravel roads and is a very scenic drive. 4x4 is also necessary year round to visit Beef Basin.
The San Juan River is the southern boundary of the national monument. Everything south of the river is Navajo Nation. The majority of rafters will float from Sand Island to Clay Hills near Lake Powell. Permits are required year round and permit information can be found here. The river has two main sections which are known as the Upper Canyon and the Lower Canyon. The upper canyon is 27 miles long from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. The Upper Canyon is where the majority of archaeological sites are located. Most groups float this section in 3-4 days, though you could spend a week hiking to each of the various sites along the way. The most popular sites include River House Ruin and Lower Butler Wash Panel. Many other sites are located on the Navajo Nation land south of the river and if you plan to camp or hike on this side of the river you’ll need to get another permit. The canyon section of the river is a geological wonder as you float through the history of the world you’ll likely see bighorn sheep and splash through several whitewater rapids.
From Mexican Hat to Clay Hills you’ll float through the Lower Canyon which is 56 miles of deep canyon walls. This section floats through the Goosenecks where the river twists and meanders for 6 miles over a 1.5 mile span as the crow flies. Normally done as a 4-day trip you can disconnect from the world and find solitude. Hikes in the lower canyon may take you to abandoned gold miners cabins or up the Honaker Trail. Side canyons like Slickhorn Canyon and Oljeto are so beautiful you’ll wish you had an entire day to spend in each of them.
Check out the trips we offer on the San Juan, or for experienced boaters we have the ability to fully outfit any trip with our rentals. The San Juan is beginner friendly, but people often underestimate the power of the river and forget that it is one of the most remote places left in the United States. If you have any doubts about your abilities take a guided trip. We take care of all the logistics, food and work so that you can kick back and relax knowing that you are in good hands.
White Canyon is the northern edge of Cedar Mesa and drains over 100 miles of canyons into Lake Powell near Hite. Natural Bridges National Monument is at the head of White Canyon and is definitely worth a visit. The white canyon region is a beautiful maze of canyons and is a technical canyoneering haven. Our favorite canyons include Fry Canyon and the Black Hole. Ropes, wetsuits, helmets and harnesses are needed to get through most of the technical canyons. Advanced technical skills are needed to safely navigate these canyons and shouldn’t be attempted by inexperienced groups.
Valley of the Gods is a viewed best driving the 17 mile gravel road that weaves in and out of the sandstone spires. Located at the southern edge of Cedar Mesa the spires stand majestically from the valley floor. The geological formations are very similar to what you’d see in Monument Valley - minus the crowds and tribal park fees. Camping is allowed in designated areas along the road. When visiting Valley of the Gods you’ll also want to be sure and make time to visit the nearby Goosenecks State Park, Moki Dugway and Muley Point.
Travel the San Juan River on a rented raft or kayak. Enjoy the river with a friend in a tandem inflatable kayak or canoe. Not interesting enough? Try paddleboarding for a bit more fun.
These are the perfect vehicles for exploring the backcountry roads of San Juan County.
Rentals include map of recommended trails and roads.
Must be 25 or older to rent.
The San Juan's upper canyon is an outdoor museum of archaeology, geology and natural history. Ruins and petroglyph panels abound while the textbook geology provides for fascinating learning and stunning red rock scenery. Three days exploring the upper canyon affords time to explore these wonders...
Float through the deep "Goosenecks" section of the San Juan's Lower Canyon. Rim out on the Honaker Trail. Explore the side canyons of Slickhorn, Grand Gulch and others. Water-sculpted side canyons with pools, falls and hanging gardens. 58 miles of solitude and canyon splendor.
This is the classic adventure where you'll see more of what the San Juan has to offer. The longer the trip, the better. Highly recommended if you want the total experience. The seven-day trip is our most popular.
This is, hands down, the best one-day river trip available in the West. In the morning we make two stops to learn about the Butler Wash petroglyph panel and River House cliff dwelling. We'll enjoy a fresh gourmet lunch under the cottonwoods before entering a limestone chasm for the afternoon...
A calm and peaceful 7 mile float on the San Juan river right here in Bluff. Choose an inflatable kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Paddle boats or rafts are available for large groups. This is a family favorite for splashing and swimming or can be a peaceful float. There are no rapids in this section of the river. This is a great way to cool off and swim after a morning hike or our half day canyoneering trip.
UPPER CANYON 3-DAY
LOWER CANYON 4-DAY
FULL CANYON 7-DAY
Ride in our H1 Hummer through Comb Ridge and down a rough washed out streambed along the historic Hole in the Rock Trail to San Juan Hill and River House ruin. San Juan Hill was the road built by pioneers in 1880 to get over the top of Comb Ridge. We’ll then venture further along the river to River House Ruin.
JEEP & RZRs
DAY HIKING TRIPS