Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Natural Bridges

Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah contains some of the largest natural bridges in the world. There is a loop drive to see the 3 biggies here, or you can hike to them down below. Sipapu Bridge is the first one you come to and the largest.

Horsecollar ruin is close by, so named because of the shape of the doorway and window of the structure on the right. On the left is an unusual square kiva, which still has some of its roof.

The next bridge on the loop is Kachina, which we decided to walk down to.

The park service spent a lot of effort making steps out of the rock so we didn't have to slide down.

We had a lot of rain a few days ago, so there was water in the wash, and even a waterfall!

Made it to the bottom! It's hard to believe that the bridges were formed by water.

The reason we chose this one to walk down to is that I read there were pictographs and petroglyphs and ruins underneath it. I still think they were done by kids whose moms wanted them out of the way, but these were pretty good and well preserved. Notice the hand prints under the sheep.

To see everything, you had to walk on rocks across the big puddles left by the rain.

On the other side of the bridge, I found this cute family, although it looks like mom has her arms on backwards.

Up on the ledge near the bridge are some unrestored structures in remarkable shape, because they were under a large alcove. Rounded river rocks were covered with a layer of adobe to create the walls. Notice the hand prints and other pictographs on the wall.

There were several places in the large sandstone rocks where corn had been ground.

After we climbed back out of the canyon, we went on to the last bridge, Owachomo. Hard to see here, but it is the skinniest and may have a fatal crack, so if you want to see it, you better hurry on out.


  1. As you say all this was formed by water.....there must have been a lot of it!! A beautiful history tour.

  2. Great pics and hikes... The mother looks like a mom having a bad 'kid' day.... Shes's running away looking over her shoulder to make sure the kids don't follow. I can relate!

  3. Also hard to imagine how huge these three bridges are. I hiked the six mile trail between them once. I was with another WIN and we parked a car at each end. Nice hike, mostly level.

  4. Thanks for the photos - some very beautiful and interesting spots there.

  5. Great pictures, we have just signed up to spend five weeks in that part of Utah next fall:)

  6. Nice that none of those bridges had tolls... ;c)

  7. Beautiful pictures. I have never been here but it is on my list of "someday." I've often thought that the pictographs were the equivalent of our more modern practice of hanging the kids artwork on the refrigerator!!

  8. I love your photos...makes me feel like I am standing there looking at those beautiful bridges. Those steps look pretty steep that the park made of rocks. Not sure I would have ventured down them (height thing you know).

    I think the mom was just using those "eyes on the back of her head" in that pictograph.

  9. I was thinking how fun it would be to walk on top of the bridges, until I saw the last one. Another amazing place. I never tire of seeing the ruins.

  10. While you are in the area ask about Grand Gulch and other Cedar Mesa area hikes. Hike from the ranger station to at least Junction Ruin for a wonderful experience. Ask about Moon House or Fish and Owl canyons. Also, not too far away is Comb Ridge. More ruins and rock art. Enjoy this amazing area!

  11. Stunning! I think you may be onto something with your theory that children made some of the drawings.

  12. Ive driven past the turn off for Natural Bridges a couple of times and always Wanted to see it...NOW I know I must see it. Thanks for this great look at the highlights!! How hard was the hike out of the canyon? easy/moderate/difficult/dontdoit?


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