Rainbow Bridge National Monument Page Reviews
A boat trip to Rainbow Bridge NM May 06, 2007
A star attraction near Page is Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The first thing people will tell you are the dimensions: Rainbow Bridge has an impressive width of 275 feet and height of 290 feet, meaning that the US Capitol Building would fit beneath it. The top is 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide. People have actually camped on top of it (which is extremely irrespectful because Rainbow Bridge is a religious symbol to the Navajo). It is in contention for the title of the largest natural bridge of the world, together with a bridge in Utah which name I have forgotten.
As I said, Rainbow Bridge is sacred to the Navajo. It is believed that the first Native americans lived near the bridge about 2000 years ago. It was 'discovered' by white explorers in 1909 and the following year, it was elevated to National Monument status to protect it. Even so, it was almost lost with the construction of Glen Canyon Dam and only through Navajo actions, it was decided to reduce the size of the dam in order to save the bridge.
There are two ways of reaching Rainbow Bridge: a strenuous three-day hike through the Navajo Nation (you need a permit for that), and by way of a boat trip over Lake Powell, which is of course the way most people get to see it. Be prepared to PAY for this option, though! This is quite an expensive, though enjoyable, tour. We booked at the Wahweap Marina and payed $ 125,- a person. The tour takes 7 hours from Wahweap and includes a boxed lunch and all coffee, tea and lemonade you can drink on board. You'll navigate through some very scenic country/canyons with photos ops left and right. You get to spend about 1,5 hours at the bridge, including a short easy walk to reach it. Boats used to be able to get a lot closer but with the low water levels, the hike toward the bridge is somewhat longer. It is a very enjoyable walk through a beautiful canyon and you'll be well rewarded at the end, seeing the bridge at last!
Also, see if you can spot the dinosaur paw print at the viewing area in front of the bridge.
Part of the Southwest USA 2007 travel blog
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