• Owachomo Bridge

    Natural Bridges

    National Monument Utah

Owachomo Bridge

Owachomo Bridge
Owachomo Bridge
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

Owachomo is the smallest and thinnest of the three natural bridges here and is commonly thought to be the oldest. We may never know for certain, as each of the bridges certainly have eroded at different rates. Regardless of its relative age, it is certainly the most fragile and elegant of the three spans, and an awe inspiring feature of erosion.

History

Owachomo means "rock mound" in Hopi and is named after the rock formation on top of the east end of the bridge. Before William Douglas gave it this name in 1908, it was called "Edwin" or "Little" bridge. Prior to that, it was referred to as "Congressman" by miner and explorer Cass Hite.

Early in the Monument's development, a dirt road led to Owachomo bridge from the south. It ended at the campground and ranger station directly southwest of the bridge. There were no other roads, and visitors seeking the other two bridges hiked or rode horses through the rugged canyons, often guided by the first "custodian" of the National Monument, Ezekial "Zeke" Johnson. Today, remnants of "Zeke's trail", now on the National Register of Historic Places, can still be seen just across the canyon below Owachomo.

Trail

An easy walk descends from the overlook along the rim drive. There are several sets of uneven stone steps along the trail.

Length: 0.2 mile (.64 km) one-way
Time: 30 minutes round-trip
Elevation Gain: 180 feet

Dimensions (feet/meters)

Height: 106/32
Span: 180/55
Width: 27/8
Thickness: 9/3

Did You Know?

Theodore Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt established Natural Bridges National Monument in 1908, making it the oldest National Park Service site in the state of Utah.