We camped in the town of Blanding, in southeastern Utah. This is on Hwy 95 in the early morning on our drive to the west to go to Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument for the day.
Natural Bridges is not a large park. Our visit follows the loop road counterclockwise. Primary stops will be at the 3 bridges, Sipapu, Kachina and Owachomo. We hike down into the canyon to visit each bridge.
Our first view of Sipapu Bridge, the highest (220 ft) and widest (268 ft) of the three major bridges in the Monument. Now, we hike down into this canyon to see it up close.
The details of the hike down to the base of Sipapu Bridge. 0.6 miles of trail, one way, and 500 feet of elevation drop.
On one of the ledges part way down the canyon wall to get close to Sipapu Bridge.
On the midpoint ledge on our way down to Sipapu Bridge.
Halfway down on the ledge there is an Indian ruin ... probably a granary. Next image will show the view from out at the end of the ledge, to the right.
Walking out to the end of the 1/2-way-down ledge we get this closer view of Sipapu. Now ... going the rest of the way down.
Almost there . "Sipapu" means "place of emergence", the entryway by which the Hopi believe their ancestors came into the world.
From underneath, Sipapu looks quite different! Now the fact that it is the highest and widest bridge seems more plausible. This is 6 horizontal images stacked vertically and stitched.
Having passed under Sipapu, we look back from the other side.
Still the other side, a little farther up stream.
Teddie waits at the last ledge for me to finish exploring Sipapu down at the bottom.
Now, halfway back up the trail.
The trail up and down involved four ladders.
Driving down the loop road a little, we came to the overlook for Horse Collar Ruins, viewed across the canyon.
A broader view of the Horse Collar Ruin area. The ruin is in the alcove at lower left.
The meeting of Deer Canyon and White Canyon. These were cut by eons of water flow which ultimately created the bridges.
Young Hedgehog Cactus.
The hike to Kachina Bridge is the longest and deepest of the 3 hikes.
At the start of the hike we have this view of Katchina Bridge. Not easy to make out from this angle.
But, first, tit's ime for lunch! Kachina Bridge spans the dark green area at the center of the photo, to the right and above Teddie.