Friday, December 25, 2015

Natural Bridges National Monument, UT


Another great place to stop and explore on your way to Utah's Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks is Natural Bridges National Monument located outside the town of Lake Powell off of the legendary scenic byway State Route 95. Natural Bridges National Monument is definently up there in elevation (just shy of 7,000 feet in some places) compared to the dry, lowlands of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Back in 1908, Natural Bridges became Utah's first, designated National Monument thanks to outdoor boss-man President Teddy Roosevelt and recently established as the world's first international dark sky park. Clouds and rainstorms blocked an uninterrupted view but I can't even imagine how incredible it would be looking up beyond the massive natural bridges into a clear, star-lit night sky above the White Canyon.

What's the difference between a natural bridge and an arch? Bridges are mainly formed by water erosion and are commonly found spanning rivers, deep canyons and open valleys.

Filled with crazy-impressive architectural masterpieces built of cedar mesa sandstone, Natural Bridges National Monument is home to Sipapu, Owachomo (the skinny bridge in the last two photos) and Kachhina Natural Bridges that made me "whoa" out loud. You'll definently want to spend a full-day or two here. Planning a Utah adventure trip? Make sure to add Natural Bridges to your list. Below is Sipapu, the world's second biggest natural bridge at a whopping 268ft wide and 220 feet tall. Owachomo is 106ft tall and spans 180ft. Wow wow wow!

Oh and sorry for the lame sauce quality photos below, it was rainy, dark windy and the lighting was awful. Next time I'm here, I'll snap way better photos.

Cheers,
Robby


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Friday, December 4, 2015

Monument Valley, UT

So I had to pull off this quick detour between Capitol Reef National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. I had heard of Monument Valley and remember seeing it in typical old cowboy movies. This, is quintessential wild west: Monument Valley (or officially known as the Oljato-Monument Valley) on the Utah/ northeast Arizona border line. Worthy of a stop, take HWY 163 south from Mexican Hat  (pictured below) through San Juan County and enter Navajo Reservation land to see stratospheric burnt mesas and rocky buttes rising up across 28.7 sq. miles of desert plains. A slight wind makes it even more lonely. Monumental towers of the earth are hidden somewhere in those low laying rain clouds. Time to get back on the road to reach Natural Bridges National Monument before sunset and the storm roll in. On ward.

Cheers,
Robby







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