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Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah

These bridges are real magnets for visitors. They are striking during the day, perfect during the sunset, and create fascinating views of the night sky

Best time: all year round

Natural Bridges National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument

Unbelievable sandstone formations throughout the state of Utah fascinate people all over the world. Natural Bridges is one of such places. Three majestic bridges are amazing from wherever you look at them. The bridges are located on Cedar Mesa at the height of 1,981 meters above sea level.

The bridges have names—"Kachina," "Owachomo," and "Sipapu." They are called so in honour of the Native Americans that once lived there. The name Sipapu means "the place of emergence." It was believed to be the entrance to this world for the ancestors. Kachina meaning "dancer" has got its name because of the rock, which was commonly used on kachina dolls. Owachomo means "rock mound" which you can see at the eastern top edge of the bridge.

In 1908 this place was declared as a National Monument. This place is also known as the first International Dark Sky Park. So, if you want to stay for a night, you’ll get the chance to marvel at one of the best night skies in the world.

You can marvel at them from the overlook points, as well as from the land. All three bridges are connected into one loop trail along the canyon bottoms. You can easily access them all year round during short hikes from the parking lot. It takes around two to three hours to explore these amazing formations.

Practical info

When would be the perfect time to tour around Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah?

You can visit Natural Bridges National Monument all year round, but the ideal season to go there is during March to October, when the weather is most comfortable. If you want to see the stars clearly at night, avoid the full moon as it can block the view. Show more

Which spot offers the best view of the sunset in Natural Bridges National Monument?

People recommend Owachomo Bridge to enjoy the spectacular sunset as it has an overlook point that reveals the clear horizon. Visitors can also enjoy the campgrounds nearby and witness the sunset while sitting around a campfire. Show more

What is the duration required for the loop trail that links the three bridges to be hiked?

To complete the loop trail that connects the three bridges, one must take around 3-4 hours and travel a distance of 8.6 km. It is an easy to moderate level hike with minimal climb in elevation. However, to reach down to the river, one needs to scale a steep but short path, which can be difficult for some people. Show more

What is the significance behind the names of the three bridges situated in Natural Bridges National Monument?

Natural Bridges National Monument has three bridges named Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu, which are all indigenous terms. Kachina means 'dancer' and is named after the rock used in Kachina dolls. Owachomo means 'rock mound,' and you can see a small mound of rock at the eastern end of the bridge. Sipapu means 'the place of emergence' and was believed by the ancestors to be the entranceway to this world. Show more

Apart from the bridges made of sandstone, what other attractions does Natural Bridges National Monument have to offer?

Apart from the sandstone bridges, Natural Bridges National Monument is also famous for its International Dark Sky Park, making it an ideal place for stargazing. Visitors can witness some wildlife species, such as mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and coyotes. This park also unveils the cultural heritage of Native Americans with historical archaeological sites and rock art scattered across the monument. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin