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Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Entry sign
Of all the National Monuments in the contiguous 48 states, Rainbow Bridge might be the most difficult to get to.

It is almost on the shore of Lake Powell (it straddles a tributary), and is contained within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, right next to the Navajo Indian Reservation. It is about 50 river miles from the two automobile accessible marinas, so catching a boat to the Monument is a 100 river mile round trip. You can also get to over land with special permission from the Navajo Nation, but it is a very long trek over uneven terrain without any available resources.

Round trip transit time by tour boat from the Wahweep Marina (in Arizona), was approximately 4 to 5 hours, and you spend about an hour at the monument, so it really is a half-day affair. (If you do something like this, bring your own water and have a hat that ties down to your head if you plan on sightseeing from the upper deck. Also be prepared for a lot of sun.) Back to Top

Rainbow Bridge National Monument Map
This map was downloaded from the NPS site.
Is it worth it to see a rock arch? Well, it's a flippin' big rock arch. 290 feet high by 275 foot span. Pictures do not do this massive structure justice. You also get to see almost half of Lake Powell, though I admit that even with the picturesque landscapes, the four and a half hours on a loud moving boat with the wind and the sun was probably two to three hours too long.

Now, Rainbow Bridge is a stone arch, but it's technically called a "Bridge", because it spans and was formed by the water running through it, as opposed to those in Arches National Park, where sandstone fins were naturally eroded into an arch. Yes, this will be on the quiz next week.

The National Park Service provides a floating pier for several boats, which can be extended depending on the water level on Lake Powell. The lower the lake, the farther the walk, over a mile during a drought. Back to Top

Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument Dock
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Rainbow Bridge
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Rainbow Bridge National Monument Dock to Lake Powell
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Related Links

Colorado River
Colo River Link The Colorado River starts as a small stream in Rocky Mountain National Park, and gathers hundreds of other streams and rivers along the way to become the lifeline of the Southwest, providing water, electricity and recreation to millions in the five states the river flows through or touches.

I've actually followed the river in one form or another, from Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Canyon. I've also done more river miles on the Colorado than any other river...

Colorado, Utah and Arizona / 55 Images. Visited Sep 2005, Sep 2008.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon Link The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encompasses and products the Colorado River (and many of its tributaries) from Canyonlands to Grand Canyon National Park. It is mostly a creation of the Glen Canyon Dam, which creates a reservoir behind it (Lake Powell) a hundred miles long.

Included on this page is the Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon and the Lees Ferry Unit of the park, river level access a dozen miles below the dam.

Arizona, Utah / 102 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.

Lake Powell, Glen Canyon NRA
Lake Powell Link Lake Powell is created from the Colorado River (and its tributaries) by the Glen Canyon Dam. It's approximately 140 river miles (100 linear miles) long, and provides water, power and entertainment to millions in the Southwest.

Using it as a water route is also the only convenient way to get to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. These images are of the 50 river miles from Wahweep to Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

Arizona, Utah / 48 Images. Visited Sep 2008.

Navajo Indian Reservation
Navajo Indian Reservation Link The images I have of the Navajo Indian Reservation (other than the Tribal Parks I've visited) are mostly along US-89 and US-89A, from Marble Canyon/Navajo Bridge and Page, Arizona through Antelope Pass to Grand Canyon.

There are also images along US-160 from Four Corners to US-89.

Arizona, Utah / 61 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.
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Trip Report: Sep 2008.

Return to: State Index Utah State Page National Monuments

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