Thursday, July 15, 2010

Natural Bridges National Monument

Remotely located in Southern Utah, Natural Bridges National Monument is a detour worth the time. Hours drive from the nearest city, Natural Bridges offers a quiet serenity that only comes from deep isolation.

A small monument in size, the monument protects three naturally created stone bridges (Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo Bridges). A loop above a canyon travels the visitor around to each of the bridges view points, restrooms, picnic areas, and several hiking trails some of which descend into the canyon. Natural Bridges is unique since I know of no other place in the US where there is such a large concentration of bridges in such a small relative area. In addition to the views of the bridges, there is also a pull over to view some old Native American ruins. Make sure to bring your binoculars.

Natural Bridges has been determined to be one of the darkest places in the lower US. Because of its remote location, very little artifical light from cities is found, and thus the night sky becomes ablaze with the stars in the heavens. The campground is a great place to set up a telescope and wonder on the enormity of the Milky Way above.

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