Sunday, April 8, 2012

Natural Bridges National Monument

A little further west on rte 95, about an hour from Blanding, Utah is the Natural Bridges National Monument park. There is a very nice visitor center at the entrance to the park. We talked to the Ranger to ask about taking some of the back roads over the mesas to get to the southern end of Canyonlands. He said there was a lot of slippery mud and snow still on the high areas and had recently slid off the road in his own Jeep. He was stopped by a tree and some rocks from going over the edge. We decided to heed his advice and stay off the high road.

There is a short video at the Ranger Station that explains the origin of the Natural Bridges. Unlike others that were formed more by wind and water, these bridges were formed mainly by rivers cutting new paths through the area. The bridges were of different ages as can be determined by the thickness of the bridge and the size of the opening. The thicker the bridge, the younger/newer the bridge. There is a 9 mile loop that takes one to scenic overlooks of the bridges, like this one called Sipapu, which is the name for the hole in the earth from which the Hopi's ancestors emerged.

There are a number of trails that lead to the base of the bridges. One can hike up and down at one bridge or hike connecting trails to cover all the bridges. We hiked down to view Owachomo Bridge. Here is a photo of Judy and Sarah making their way to the base of Owachomo Bridge.

At the base, Bill and I made our way to a small pool to try to get a reflection of the bridge in the water. There wasn't much water and it was a little slippery getting down the slick rock to the edge of the water to try to get this photo.

This was a very nice little park. One could take in the beautiful sites from the overlooks or take the more adventurous hikes from one to another. It was on my list of places to get to in Southern Utah and it was well worth the detour.

Because we decided not to cross the "Bear's Ears" to get to Canyonlands, we took the northern end of Butler's Wash along the Comb Ridge back to Bluff for the night. Cocktails on the porch and dinner at the Cottonwood Steak House to end the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment