Owachomo Bridge

A broad, stone bridge under a blue sky with clouds
Owachomo Bridge

NPS/Jacob W. Frank

 

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, because each of the bridges is eroding at different rates. Regardless of its relative age, Owachomo Bridge is an awe-inspiring feat 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 national 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, so visitors seeking the other two bridges hiked or rode horses through the rugged canyons. They were 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.

Dimensions

Height: 106 feet (32 meters)
Span: 180 feet (55 meters)
Width: 27 feet (8 meters)
Thickness: 9 feet (3 meters)

 

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    Last updated: March 31, 2018

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