Natural Bridges National Monument

This national park is located about 56km west of Blanding, Utah. The monument is best known for its three natural bridges, Kachina, Owachomo, and the largest, Sipapu, which is also the second largest natural bridge in the world. The bridge names come from the Hopi tribe. It is rather remote and not close to any other parks so it's not heavily visited.  For this reason it is not as crowded as the Arches, the Canyonlands and Monument Valley.  It is usually only visited by tourists who travel between Monument Valley and Arches National Parks as a stopover, but it is definitely worth staying overnight and exploring this amazing place.

 

 

 

 

 

The small visitor centre that is open from 8am till 5pm is the only place in this area where you can purchase limited packaged snacks. There are toilets with running water and a drinking fountain where you can refill your bottles.  Otherwise the nearest places to purchase your food are in Blanding or Mexican Hat.  We highly recommend stocking up before you visit this national park.  A small campground is located just behind the visitor centre but only has 13 sites with no hook ups and running water.  The camp is first come first served and costs $10 per night.

 

 

A 15km loop road which starts behind the campground and provides access to overlooks for each bridge.   Please keep in mind that the road changes from a two way to a one way road so you won't be able to go back to the previous point of interest unless you drive around the whole loop again.

 

There are three natural bridges in this park: Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo. Each bridge is visible from overlooks not far from parking areas and the trailheads to the base of each bridge also start at parking lots.  Trails along the canyon bottom which take about 4 hours to complete, connect bases of all three bridges.

 

The Sipapu Bridge

which means 'the place of emergence' is the second largest natural bridge in the world.  It is about 67m tall, 9.5m wide and it's span is about 82m.   The Sipapu is the first bridge on the loop road.  The hike to the base of this bridge is quite strenuous because of elevation with several ladders to climb.  The round-trip hike to the parking lot is about 2 hours.

 

 

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