Beartrap Canyon Wilderness is small but shares a common boundary with designated wilderness in the Kolob Canyons portion of Zion National Park. Largely a rugged, steeply sloped area, this wilderness contains the headwater areas for many tributaries that flow through Bear Trap Canyon, on Kolob Terrace. A very short segment of stream in Bear Trap Canyon is designated as “wild” in the National Wild and Scenic River System.
Beartrap Canyon Wilderness is an isolated parcel of land managed by the BLM. While its western boundary is contiguous with Zion National Park, its northern, southern, and eastern boundaries border private land. The terrain within its boundaries consists of a sandstone finger of a mesa and the upper reach of the Beartrap Canyon. Ranging from nearly 6,800 to 7,500 feet in elevation, both the mesa top and canyon bottom sustain Utah juniper, ponderosa, and pinyon pine trees.
Despite its small size, but because of its proximity to adjacent wilderness and other relatively undisturbed lands, a wide variety of wildlife lives here. Hawks, falcons, and eagles soar above the canyons, while ringtailed cats, mountain lion, and black bear hunt in the uplands and along the canyon bottoms. The dissected remote canyons also offer suitable nesting habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, a threatened species.
Summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit with temperatures in excess of 90 at higher elevations and day and night temperatures differing by over 30 degrees. Winters are cold and often wet with temperatures ranging from highs of 50oF to 60oF during the day to well below freezing at night. Beartrap Canyon Wilderness receives between 20 and 24 inches of rainfall each year. There are no maintained trails in the Wilderness.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Beartrap Canyon Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - Public law 111-11 (3/30/2009) An act to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.