Natural Bridges – From First Light to Starlight

Because it’s so far out in the Utah desert, and because Natural Bridges National Monument makes it a priority, its skies are the cleanest from light pollution in the contiguous 48 states. In 2007 the park became the first International Dark Sky Park. . It’s a park that’s a bit off the beaten path too. So if you’re looking for dark skies and chance to see the Milky Way unobstructed, Natural Bridges is the place.

The monument has three major bridges that were formed when a river bending back on itself carved a channel through the rock. There are also petroglyphs from the Ancient Puebloan times. Here’s a few images I made several weeks back.

Sipapu Bridge as seen from the canyon rim

Sipapu Bridge

Reflections, Sipapu Bridge

Here Comes the Sun, Sipapu Bridge

A Turkey Vulture drying it’s wings, in the “horaltic pose.”

Fresh mud flow from the recent rains

Petroglyph and handprints beneath Kachina Bridge

Petroglyph from a dwelling near Kachina Bridge

Handprints of ancient peoples

Remnants of a recent flash flood

Moonrise, Owachomo Bridge

Owachomo beneath the night’s first stars

Owachomo’s span

Owachomo Bridge

Owachomo Bridge and the Milky Way

For more from the Desert Southwest visit Russ’ Desert SW gallery.


28 thoughts on “Natural Bridges – From First Light to Starlight

    • I did stay in the park. The nice thing is that the park stays open 24 hours, there is no closed gate at the park. They have a real nice campground in the park and a free overflow (not advertised) just outside of the park boundaries.

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