Saturday, May 19, 2012

Natural Bridges - Kachina Bridge

Kachina Bridge - Natural Bridges National Monument

As we continued driving the loop at Natural Bridges, we stopped to walk to the Kachina Bridge overlook.  The trail to the overlook is paved, 600 feet long, and has a 60 foot elevation change.  It was still cold and windy on top of the ridge here, and we didn't linger too long at this overlook.  Kachina is a bit difficult to view from here, but you can see it is a massive bridge.

Wider view of Kachina shows the water carved canyon.

There is a trail descending down to the bridge.  It is three-quarters of a mile one way, with a 400 foot elevation change.  We had a lot on our agenda the day we visited, so we only stopped at the overlook.  Kachina was named after rock art dancing figures carved near the base of the bridge.  

Trail sign at Kachina Bridge.

Kachina is younger than the other bridges.  In 1992, around 4000 tons of sandstone fell from the Kachina bridge, enlarging its opening.  I am glad I wasn't standing under it at the time!  These bridges are ever-changing as the canyons continue to erode.  Currently, Kachina is 210 feet high and spans 204 feet.

Deep wash carved by the river.

The scenery here was beautiful, as are many places in southern Utah.  Despite the wind chill, we enjoyed looking at the geologic formations here.

View from the walkway.

We wandered back to our car, enjoying the changing colors and twisted patterns in the rock.  On our way back, we passed a rock wall with an alcove that sheltered miniature bridges.  I enjoyed seeing this tiny version of nature's work.

Tiny bridges hide in the rock wall along the trail.

If you have time to hike down to Kachina bridge (plan about 45 minutes), I am sure you would get a much better view.  But, we still planned to see Owachomo and then drive to Monument Valley on this particular day, so we settled for viewing the bridge from the overlook.

Indian Paintbrush

I love plants and flowers that manage to grow and bloom in difficult conditions. This Indian paintbrush caught my eye.  It was a much deeper red in color than the paintbrush I see in more alpine settings.

Deep shadow under Kachina.

With a last look at Kachina, we continued on the scenic loop to Owachomo bridge.  For more on Natural Bridges National Monument, click here.

See my other blog posts:
Natural Bridges - Owachomo Bridge

1 comment:

  1. Next time we'll have to hike down and stand under this one!