(Natural Bridges National Monument)
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails
by David Day
Distance: 8.6 miles (loop)
Walking time: 5 hours
Elevations: 490 ft. gain/loss
Trail: The trail is mostly well maintained and easy to follow, although it can be confusing in a few places-especially near Kachina Bridge. There are signs at all of the major trail junctions.
Season: Spring, summer, winter, fall. The canyon is quite hot in midsummer. Expect some rain in late summer. For more information call the Visitor Center, Natural Bridges National Monument, at (435) 692-1234.
Vicinity: Natural Bridges National Monument, near Blanding
Kachina Natural Bridge
Links to other sites:
Ordering books & Maps
Comments about this site or our book:
The highlights of this hike are the three enormous natural bridges for which Natural Bridges National Monument was named: Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo Bridge. The canyon-bottom trail passes under all three, while offering views of at least two other less-spectacular arches further up the side of the canyon walls. Also of interest are a number of Indian ruins within the canyon. The present-day park area was used extensively by the prehistoric Anasazi Indians who lived there until about 1300 A.D.
From the Sipapu Bridge Trailhead
the trail immediately drops 440 feet in 0.6 mile to the creek
bed under Sipapu Bridge. The trail is quite steep in places;
the park service has even constructed stairs to help in the descent.
But dont be discouraged by the grade. Once you reach the
bottom the trail is almost entirely on the canyon floor. A short
side trail branches off to the left about half way down for a
magnificent view of the bridge. This is probably the best photo
opportunity you will have of Sipapu, the largest bridge in the
monument. With a span of 268 feet and a height of 220 feet, it
is only 10 feet shorter and 89 feet lower than Rainbow Natural
Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world.
If you are interested in a supplemental map of the
Natural Bridges area, we recommend:
Dark Canyon/Manti-La Sal National Forest (Trails Illustrated, map #703)