Share:

Natural Bridges National Monument

Colorado Plateau, Utah

Start Exploring
Natural Bridges National Monument

Share:

Advertisement
  • Welcome to one of the most remote spots in all the US- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Visitor Center- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • The rugged and beautiful landscape of Natural Bridges- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Sipapu Bridge Lookout- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Sipapu Bridge- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • The trails here makes extensive use of ladders and stairways.- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Kachina Bridge Trail- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Kachina Bridge- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • - Natural Bridges National Monument
  • It is so cool how you can really interact with these amazing features up close- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Kiva site near Katchina Bridge.- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Stairs along the Kachina Bridge hike- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Gooseneck- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Horsecollar Ruins from the overlook- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Owachomo Bridge- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • - Natural Bridges National Monument
  • This thing is massive!- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • - Natural Bridges National Monument
  • So many strange features here- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Campground within the park- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • An example of the dark skies at the nearby Butler Wash Ruins- Natural Bridges National Monument
  • - Natural Bridges National Monument
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Amazing geology and unusual landscapes. Darkest night sky in the Lower 48. Good access to all features.
Cons: 
Very remote. Not many amenities. Can get incredibly hot in summer. Flash flood danger.
Advertisement
Region:
Colorado Plateau, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Utah's first national monument, Natural Bridges was created all the way back in 1908 by President Roosevelt, who agreed the three large sandstone bridges were in need of long-term protection. Still one of the most remote parks in the country, you can find America's darkest night sky here after the sun sets. Multiple trails and overlooks allow people to easily see the bridges from above or below. Several of the trails are hair-raising experiences that take you along steep cliff sides with stairs, ladders and handrails present for assistance. Kachina, Owachomo and Sipapu are three massive sandstone structures that sit relatively close to each other, which allows a one-way looping road to access each of the amazing structures.

Along with the soaring bridges you can see the Horsecollar Ruins from the overlook or from below while hiking along the 10-mile unmaintained trail deep in the sandy washes of Deer and Armstrong Canyons. You can cut this trail in half in a more popular 5-mile version that takes you to Kachina and Sipapu Bridges. There are petroglyphs on the base of Kachina Bridge as well as other places in untold number. Wildflowers in spring and summer abound, and giant cottonwoods line the water ways. A small campground and a nice visitor center are within the park, but there's not too much beyond that. This is a very remote park, so you will need to plan your food and gas properly. 

Within the park's boundaries you can find a wide array of animals at sunrise and sunset, but less frequently in the middle of a hot day. Pinion jays, canyon wrens and crows fly above while coyotes, mule deer, mountain lions and bobcats prowl below. There are some small black bears occasionally reported but rarely seen. There are a large number of tree species to be found from ponderosa pine, pinion pine, juniper, cottonwood and Douglas fir. The trails are often unmarked, so you will be doing a certain level of bushwhacking. Make sure to stay off of the cryptogamic soil while doing so. This crunchy black layer of crust is the early stages of life on the harsh terrain, so be careful not to harm it.

It takes a certain level of preparation to do this area properly. The nearest food and regular lodging is in the town of Blanding, which is over an hour away. You will need to make sure to have plenty of food and ways to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, hats and long sleeves. Facilities are far away, so having a first aid kit on you during your hikes is a great idea.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
15 Members
Who's Done It
12 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
296 Adventures Explored
284 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info