Bridges Au Naturel

Trip Start Mar 10, 2007
Trip End Mar 21, 2007

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, September 11, 2008

My next stop on the itinerary was Natural Bridges National Monument. Curiously called a "monument" this is actually like a national park which has as its main attraction a trio of natural rock bridges located within a nine mile radius. From the circular road around the park, you need to descend to all 3 bridges and the hikes to and from involve elevation changes of between 30-150 metres, and in some sections you need to climb down makeshift wooden ladders and hold on to some iron railings. It is also possible to hike to all 3 bridges in a loop on the valley floor.

The Native American heritage is strong in the formation of this monument and the names of all 3 bridges have references to the American Hopi Tribe. Sipapu Bridge is named after the Hopi word for a gateway to which souls may enter the spirit world. Kachina Bridge is named after the Kachina dancers that are central to Hopi religious tradition, and Owachomo Bridge is named after a rock mound.

As getting to the park involves a slight detour from the main highways visitor numbers are quite low year round. It is really a shame that this is the case as the bridges are quite spectacular formations shaped by water erosion. You are no longer allowed to climb onto the bridges but the views from below are sufficiently grand, especially if you're using a wide angle lens!

Photography though can be a bit tricky, especially since most of the photos you will take will be upwards towards the bridges, and depending on where you are, parts of the bridge will probably be in full shadow and present some difficulties for contrast.

I did the 3 hikes separately, as I calculated that that would involve less distance to be covered. The weather again was just perfect and the solitude for most of the day was a godsend. This is one place one shouldn't miss out, even if it involves a detour.

As evening approached, I made my way towards Monument Valley, a place made famous by numerous American Westerns like Bonanza.
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: