Length: 4 miles round trip
Description: Rainbow Bridge is said to be the largest natural bridge in the world. It is an imposing site, well worth the effort required to see it. Native Americans consider the bridge sacred and it is easy to understand why. It’s a beautiful rainbow frozen in stone.
Access to the bridge was very difficult through most of its history, requiring long backpacks through rugged canyons. But now Lake Powell’s waters extend up close to the bridge, making it relative easy to hike up to the impressive rock span.
You can take a private boat to the bridge, or hop on a tour boat out of Wahweap Marina.
Mouth of Forbidding Canyon
Rainbow Bridge is located in an arm of Forbidding Canyon, about 50 miles uplake from the dam. That’s a long boat ride; be sure you have plenty of fuel and supplies. (The closest fuel is at Dangling Rope.)
At high water the lake extends right up under Rainbow Bridge. But normally the water ends 1-2 miles below. Courtesy docks have been set up about 2 miles from the bridge. An easy trail extends from the docks to the bridge.
You can still hike overland to the bridge, if you don’t mind spending 3-4 days on the trail. The trail is on Navajo Nation land and so you need a permit from the tribe. It’s a great hike. Boating to the bridge also makes a great adventure. With its blend of blue water, red cliffs and sand, Lake Powell is one of the most scenic waters in the world.