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Rainbow Bridge National Monument

County Road 487, Navajo Mountain, Utah 86044 USA

  • Independent
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“Higher than the nation's capitol and nearly as long as a football field”

“Higher than the nation's capitol and nearly as long as a football field” describes Rainbow Bridge. It is the largest natural bridge in the world at 290 feet/88 meters tall and 270 feet/83 meters across. Rainbow Bridge is considered sacred by the Navajo culture as a symbol of deities responsible for creating clouds, rainbows and rain--the essence of life in the desert. Rainbow Bridge NM One of the natural wonders of the world, the bridge has been formed by erosion of the sandstone by water flowing from Navajo Mountain towards the Colorado River. The bridge was officially "discovered" by the Douglas-Cummings surveyor party in 1909. Until the formation of Lake Powell, the bridge was several miles up Bridge Canyon from the shores of the Colorado River, and it was one of the most remote and inaccessible regions in the United States. Today, the shores of Lake Powell, which flooded Glen Canyon, now bring boaters to its base. Rising up at the edge of Lake Powell, it may be reached by boat, on foot, or on horseback. Rainbow Bridge is located 50 boat miles northeast of Wahweap Marina. Boat cruises from Wahweap or Bullfrog Marinas are offered daily. Except for a courtesy boat dock there are no services. Related Articles Trailheads to Rainbow Bridge may be reached via unpaved roads on the Navajo Indian Reservation south of Lake Powell. Hikers must have a permit from the Navajo Nation. The most commonly used trails are the 14-mile trail from the Navajo Mountain Trading Post or the 13-mile trail from the abandoned Rainbow Lodge. Scenic flights over Rainbow Bridge can be arranged at Bullfrog and Wahweap. The best times to hike are April, May early June, September and October. The daily average temperature at the bridge during the summer is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 37.7 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in the spring and fall are moderate, 75 degrees Fahrenheit, 23.8 degrees Celsius. Open year-round, there is no entrance fee. There is no visitor center at the monument. Overnight accommodations and services are available at Bullfrog, Hall's Crossing and Wahweap. There is no designated campground or picnic area within the monument area. The nearest marina is Dangling Rope, 10 miles/16 km to the northwest. It offers gasoline, supplies and emergency service. There is a courtesy dock (1 hour maximum) at Rainbow Bridge. No services, restroom only. Glen Canyon Recreation Area can provide information to visitors.

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Reviewed by

  • 18 Reviews
  • 10 Helpful
May 12, 2014

The hike in and out- even if you don't get lost-is super demanding physically. Take your time and utilize the cairns (thank you anonymous cairn placer/maker). Every corner has a breathtaking vista which I've allowed to alleviate any pains acquired from a full 50L pack, new boots, and the steep inclines and descents. (The hike is beyond worth it, I suggest preparing physically for more than 2 days prior to hiking)

If rain is in the forecast-get to higher canyon grounds or wait it out. You'll be traversing slabs of rock that are impressively slick while wet and flash flooding is common.

All in all, don't forget food & fuel, moleskin, tons of water (my friend and I brought 13L worth) as well as water purifying options, and diverse clothing (it got cold and windy at night) We didn't need/use tents and we parked our car at the med center then hiked the road in (4.5 miles)- it's super sketchy, sandy terrain (the East entry).

The permits have to be purchased in Page, AZ and are $12 per person per night as of May 2014. Take time, if you can, to enjoy Page-the dam is awesome and the city is peculiarly busy all of the time.

If you're not physically fit, this trail is not suggested.

If you don't have any back-country experience, you may want to reconsider this as your first undertaking. The canyons often evolve as a result of flash flooding, rendering maps unreliable after a few years.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
James Fisher

  • Road Warrior
  • 534 Reviews
  • 476 Helpful
January 15, 2014
Rated 4.0

Hiking to here is a recommended 3-day venture, minimum 2-day round trip. A couple trailheads exist in the Navajo Nation, but you must contact the Navajo Nation for a permit before crossing their land: You could also take a boat tour to the location via Lake Powell Resorts:

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Rainbow Bridge National Monument

County Road 487
Navajo Mountain, Utah
86044 USA
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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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