Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hiking in Natural Bridges National Monument

It rained steadily the evening before, so I had no interest on dirt road access to hikes on Cedar Mesa. I was already camped at Natural Bridges, and decided to do the 8.6 mile loop hike to see all three bridges up-close-and-personal. The trail starts at the overlook for Sipapu bridge, the second largest natural bridge in the world...

A half-mile down to Sipapu bridge, then 2.3 miles along the creek in White Canyon to reach Kachina Bridge.

From Kachina Bridge, it is another 3.0 miles up Armstrong Canyon to Owachomo Bridge. Unfortunately, there had been a flash flood in the canyon recently (within a week or so). About a mile up the canyon, the flood formed a debris dam that blocked the very small creek at a narrow cliffy section. It was too wide for me to jump across, and deeper than the length of my hiking pole. It was a cool day, and I had no interest in swimming. I didn't see a likely bypass route so I turned around and called it a day.

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