The two prominent buttes in the distance are called the Bears Ears. Several native American groups, including the Navajos, Utes, and Pueblos, consider this area sacred and include it in their oral traditions.
One of the more popular Navajo stories is that of Changing-Bear-Maiden, who was very beautiful and desired by many men. She would have nothing to do with them. However, Coyote, the trickster, persuaded Changing-Bear-Maiden to marry him in spite of her brothers' warning that the union would bring evil.
Changing-Bear-Maiden began to change and by winter's end her transformation into a mischievous bear was complete. Realizing that the only way to save her was to change her into another form, her brothers killed Changing-Bear-Maiden, cutting off her ears and throwing them away. They became the buttes seen today.
The Bear Ears can be seen from as far east as Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado and as far south as Monument Valley Tribal Park in Arizona. These buttes, on lands administered by Manti-La Sal National Forest, are important landmarks for travelers within the Four Corners region.
These buttes are included in the sacred geography of the Navajo people.