UT – Natural Bridges National Monument

After a day exploring Horseshoe Canyon at Canyonlands National Park, Holly and I traveled south to see the bridges at Natural Bridges National Monument. In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt created this as Utah’s first National Park System area. 

Sipapu Bridge is the second largest natural bridge in the world. What’s the difference between an arch and a natural bridge? Bridges are formed by the erosive action of moving water whereas arches are formed by other erosional forces such as frost and seeping moisture.

If you think it’s a walk in the park . . . 

Kachina Bridge is the world’s third largest bridge, but the youngest in the Park (determined by it’s 93″ thickness)

Owachoma Bridge is the world’s oldest and thinnest bridge, measuring a mere 9 feet thick.

The benefit of finishing the loop a tad late was enjoying this sunset. 

Hike Details:

  • Date(s) Hiked: March 19, 2017
  • Mileage: 10 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,000’/3,000′ 


  • According to the Park, people repeatedly occupied and abandoned this area from 9,000 to 700 years ago. Therefore, as with many other areas of the southwest, ruins and rock art remain as evidence. If you are lucky, you might just stumble upon something. 



Important Note:

Please remember to turn off location services or automatic geotagging when photographing rock art or other heritage sites- especially if you plan to post your photos in social media. Avoid showing the horizon or identifiable features in the background that would help people navigate to the area. Better yet- only post photos of public archaeology sites. Those sites can generally be identified by the presence of interpretive signs or appear in materials distributed by the land-managing agency. While remote and little-known sites may no longer protected by being difficult to find, easily accessible sites have been targets of vandalism for decades. Public education is our best defense- please spread the word: rock art (both prehistoric and historic), structures, and archaeological deposits are wonderful to visit but impossible to replace when they are damaged or destroyed. Please enjoy these treasures, but don’t destroy them. Source: Utah Heritage Stewardship Program

5 thoughts on “UT – Natural Bridges National Monument

      • I may have mentioned before that I am now in Las Vegas (retired) and hope to get up to Utah and spend some time hiking and maybe camping/backpacking. Your posts alone give a lot of choices to consider. A year ago I got the WOW book for Utah Canyon Country. This year I got the book Base Camp Las Vegas – 1001 HIkes in the Soutwest. Like you say, there are many great places to visit close to where I am. I am not sure I can handle the elevation gains you do, but I might take it slow and try. I can always turn around if I need to. Until I get there I will enjoy your writing and photographs.

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