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Natural Bridges National Monument Utah
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 Utah Travel Center NM Natural Bridges

Only in Natural Bridges National Monument, are natural stream-carved bridges situated in such close proximity. Three of the 10 natural stone bridges in the world are in Natural Bridges National Monument and they are three of the largest! A nine mile loop drive takes visitors past immense Sipapu, massive Kachina, and delicate Owachomo bridges. Trails lead down to each bridge or they may be viewed from overlooks a short distance from parking areas. The loop drive connects pullouts, overlooks and trailheads. Moderate to difficult trails, some with metal stairs or wooden ladders, provide closer access to each bridge. A longer trail follows the stream bed beneath all three bridges.

Natural Bridges National Monument, the first National Park Service unit established in Utah, encompasses 7,636.49 acres. Natural Bridges National Monument is a pinyon and juniper covered mesa that is bisected by deep canyons, exposing the Permian Age Cedar Mesa Sandstone. Where meandering streams cut through sandstone walls, three large natural bridges formed.

At an elevation of 6,500 feet above sea level, Natural Bridges National Monument is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Plants at Natural Bridges range from the fragile cryptobiotic soil crusts to remnant stands of douglas fir and ponderosa pine. Natural Bridges National Monument includes hanging gardens in moist canyon seep springs, large cottonwoods on the canyon floors, and a wide array of flowering plants in the spring. Animals in Natural Bridges Monument range from a variety of lizards, toads, and an occasional rattlesnake, to peregrine falcons, mountain lions, bobcat and black bear.

These relatively abundant resources in Natural Bridges National Monument made this an ideal home for ancient people as well. Over 200 archaeological sites are known in Natural Bridge National Monument, including cliff dwellings of early Puebloan people, mesa top habitations, and remnants of corrals left by more recent cowboys.

Natural Bridges National Monument is 42 miles west of Blanding. The visitor center and primitive campground are open year-round. Natural Bridges facilities are solar powered and the large solar array is accessible to visitors.

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