Kachina is "the middle bridge." Spanning the canyon equidistant from both Owachomo and Sipapu bridges. It is larger than Owachomo but smaller than Sipapu. Proving that canyons are dynamic rather than static, approximately 4,000 tons of sandstone fell from the inside of the Kachina bridge opening in June, 1992, enlarging the opening as it has doubtless been enlarged time and time again.
Government surveyor William Douglas dubbed the bridge "Kachina" when he found petroglyphs and pictographs depicting dancing figures carved on the base of the bridge. Douglas assumed that the ancestral Puebloan people who left the ancient rock art were related to the present day Hopi people, and that the painted and carved figures represented Kachina dancers. Before Douglas, local cowboy Jim Scorup named the bridge "Caroline" in honor of his mother. Before that, Cass Hite had named it "Senator."
A short trail descends from the parking area along the rim drive to the base of Kachina bridge. The trail has uneven stone steps, switchbacks, and steep sections of slickrock (sandstone) with handrails.
Length: 0.75 mile (1.2 km) one-way
Did You Know?
Naturally occurring sandstone basins called “potholes” collect rain water and wind-blown sediment, forming tiny ecosystems where a fascinating collection of plants and animals live. Tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp and many insects can be found in potholes.