THING TO DO

Walk to the Kachina Bridge Viewpoint

Kachina Bridge from viewpoint
This paved path is a quick and easy way to marvel at Kachina Bridge.

NPS Photo by Miranda Kay

Kachina Bridge has the widest girth in the park at a whopping 44-foot width. From the viewpoint, you get a bird's eye view of this massive sandstone structure and the canyons below. Along the way, check out some of the park's plants and geological features.

Length Roundtrip: 0.26 miles (0.42 kilometers)
Elevation Change One-way (from Parking Lot to Viewpoint): 45 feet (14 meters) loss, 6 feet (2 meters) gain

sidewalk path to Kachina Bridge Viewpoint with trees
The Kachina Bridge Viewpoint path is paved but steep. This path also provides access to other, unpaved hiking trails.

NPS Photo by Miranda Kay

Getting There

Start at the Kachina Bridge parking area and follow the paved trail 0.13 miles (0.21 kilometers) to the overlook. This trail is steep and winding – you will feel all 45 feet as you drop from the parking area to the canyon rim. Much of the trail has a railing.

Special Features

Yucca, rabbitbrush, and other desert plants line this winding trail. Sun-bleached, bare trees stand like gravestones among lush junipers and pinyon pines. Near the beginning of the trail, potholes indent the exposed sandstone. Partway down, a sandstone wall along the left side of the trail is accented with pockmarks and miniature, arch-like features carved by flowing water.

Bumpy, black biological soil crust coats the ground. This top layer of soil covers the ground and holds moisture, giving life to this arid environment. Biological soil crust is fragile and takes decades to regrow after being stepped on. Please stay on the paved trail at all times.

Details
Walking to the viewpoint and back takes a minimum of ten minutes. This activity could take longer depending on how long you enjoy the viewpoint.

All ages, but minors must be with an adult parent or guardian.

Pets must be on a leash (6 feet or shorter) and under control at all times.

Park entry fees are required, but this activity does not have a specific fee related to it.

Directions from Natural Bridges Visitor Center: Out of the visitor center parking lot, turn right at the stop sign. Follow the driving loop approximately 5 miles (8.5 kilometers) until you see the sign and parking area for Kachina Bridge.

Suggested visiting time is spring and fall. Summer temperatures often reach 100°F (38°C), and the trail provides no shade. Winter snow and ice may make the viewpoint inaccessible. If snow and/or ice are present, snow cleats, crampons, and/or poles are recommended.

Although Kachina Bridge is not visible from the viewpoint after sunset, you can stargaze after dark.

Accessibility Information

Service animals are allowed on this trail.

There is one accessible parking space at the trailhead. The Kachina Bridge Viewpoint trail is paved sidewalk. Total trail length (round trip) is 0.26 miles (a quarter mile), or about 460 yards (0.42 kilometers). The trail elevation declines 45 feet (14 meters) to the overlook. This steep grade may make it difficult for visitors with mobility impairments. There is a bench 380 feet (116 meters) down the trail. There is no shade. Audio recordings of the posted signage are not available.

There is a pit toilet located at the trailhead, next to the parking area. There are flush toilets located outside the visitor center. The nearest water is available at the visitor center.

Last updated: April 3, 2018