Rainbow Bridge National Monument
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.
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.
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.
For more information about the Glen Canyon/Lake Powell area:
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