The national monument is a very remote and undeveloped place managed by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There are no paved roads into the monument and no visitor services. About 20,000 acres (81 km²) are within Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The Interagency Information Center is located in the BLM Office in St. George, Utah.
The name is derived from paiute Pawteh 'ee oasoasant which means, "tanned elk hide," or "softening of the elk hide.
So far, a 2005 expedition to examine 24 caves in the park has produced two new species of millipede, the first barklouse discovered in North America, a whole new genus of cricket and four new cricket species.