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, as each of the bridges certainly has 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.


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, 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.


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 (0.64 km) one-way
Time: 30 minutes round-trip
Elevation Gain: 180 feet (54 m)


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

Last updated: August 17, 2016

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