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Natural Bridges National Monument

Listed under Natural Landmark in Utah, United States.

  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
Photo of Natural Bridges National Monument
Photo by flickr user Paraflyer
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The natural bridges referred to in the name are bridges of rock, worn into these architecturally impressive shapes over the ages, which arc over canyons formed in just as painstaking, and equally beautiful a manor. It's not just the shapes of the rocks here, but also the colours that impress both the naked eye and the camera lens with a sense of being something worth remembering.

This monument park is about 80kms north of Utah's southern boundary in the area known as the Colorado River drainage region – and this is the water that's helped shape the surrounding monuments. The park's three main bridges – the really long, dramatic looking ones that look like they could plunge away into nothing at a moments notice – have all been given traditional Native American names: Kachina, Owachomo and Sipapu. Sipapu is the longest, at 82 metres, as well as being the highest from the canyon floor: 67 metres. Owachomo is 55 metres long but only 3 metres thick, which makes it the most precarious looking. There's proof of their being two now collapsed bridges in the park so it's only a matter of time...

Written by  Nick East.

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The Natural Bridges National Monument was made by small streams slowly cutting through stone to make these natural structures. There are three of these bridges, each named after a different Native American tribe that resided in the area, “Kachina,” “Owachomo,” and “Sipapu.” The bridges were Utah’s first designated National Monument on April 16, 1908. There are hiking trails to all three of the bridges and the area also contains a campground and picnic area. The park’s electricity comes completely from a large solar panel and is designated as the darkest sky ever assessed by the NPS Night Sky Team. Another site to see in the area is the Horsecollar Ruin, left over from the Ancestral Puebloans. The ruin was abandoned over 700 years ago but remains in amazing condition. Wildlife in the area contains rattlesnakes, rabbits, mule deer, bobcats, bears and many more. The site is open all year round and the visitor center is closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

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