Natural Bridges National Monument

It takes centuries for a river to drill a hole through solid rock to create a natural bridge.

At Natural Bridges National Monument, you’ll see what happens when moving water eats away at sandstone.

You’ll see a relatively new natural bridge, called “Kachina,” which still looks solid and strong. You’ll see an older bridge, Owachomo, whittled long ago into a thin, fragile strip. And everywhere, you’ll be surrounded by the special light and colors and shapes and shadows of the American Southwest.

By day, the landscape shifts and dances as the hot air releases moisture from the ground. The stillness makes you want to hold your breath, until a hawk cries or a tiny lizard scurries between the rocks.

At night, the sky becomes a bottomless black well held in place by the starry belt of the Milky Way. In fact, the lack of light pollution earned Natural Bridges National Monument designation as the first International Dark Sky Park.

This arid wasteland is actually a thriving ecosystem, where a soil crust supports lichen, moss, plants, and animals. Thunderstorms fill potholes in the rock, providing water to sustain the wildlife.

Natural Bridges National Monument is as old as time itself, but it is not eternal. The same forces that shaped this awe-inspiring place are changing it even now. Take a scenic drive or hike down into the canyons to savor this stunning example of nature’s architecture.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

D

May 24, 2014

May 4th, 2014 - Arches NP. Getting old. Waiting to get back there for 35 years. Had the best 24 hour day since that time. Have seen meteor showers before in MO, but saw best and biggest meteor ever there. Camped, hiked then lulled and whispered to by the wind all night -- then awakened by baby bunnies (cottontails) "speaking" hushed secrets to each other. What a glorious day!

Meg

March 7, 2013

I loved Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in October. Couldn't see the bottom of it and the black rock striped into the gray rock was beautiful. Stayed at a new Super 8 motel, more like a hotel, in Gunnison. Enjoyed it more then my three trips to the Grand Canyon, twice to the south rim and once to the north rim.

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