Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Quick Facts

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Arizona

(928) 608-6404

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Rainbow Bridge is the world's largest natural bridge. The span has undoubtedly inspired people throughout time--from the neighboring American Indian tribes who consider Rainbow Bridge sacred, to the 300,000 people from around the world who visit it each year. Please visit Rainbow Bridge in a spirit that honors and respects the cultures to whom it is sacred. While Rainbow Bridge is a separate unit of the National Park Service, it is proximate to and administered by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. For additional information about services and facilities connected with Rainbow Bridge, visit Glen Canyon NRA's Home Page.

Map of Rainbow Bridge

Latitude, Longitude: 37.078882, -110.962021

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Activities

  • Boating

    Traditional water-based recreation activities such as swimming, fishing, water skiing, etc. are not allowed anywhere within the monument.

    Trips to Rainbow Bridge may be made across Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area using private, rental, or tour boats.

  • Hiking

    Although Rainbow Bridge is immediately adjacent to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, it is a separate unit of the National Park System. Rainbow Bridge was declared a National Monument in 1910 and, as such, the range of permitted activities is smaller than for the recreation area. Visitors may take the trail from the courtesy dock to the viewing area for the bridge. Please respect the religious significance of Rainbow Bridge to neighboring tribes and consider viewing Rainbow Bridge from the viewing area rather than walking up to or under the bridge. People may backpack to Rainbow Bridge on the Navajo Mountain trail with the appropriate permit available from the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, AZ.

    Rainbow Bridge National Monument can be reached by way of two hiking trails whose trailheads are located in the vicinity of Navajo Mountain. The two trails are located on Navajo Tribal Lands and terminate at Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The trails traverse rough canyon country and are not recommended for the beginning, casual or careless hiker. In summer, the trails are hot and dry; in winter, elevations make them subject to severe cold and high winds. Portions of both trails are subject to flash flooding during thunderstorms. Neither trail is maintained. Be prepared! Search, rescue and evacuation can be time-consuming and expensive. Neither the National Park Service nor the Navajo Nation is responsible for search and rescue operations that may need to be carried out on this trail system.

    Few trail signs exist. The trails are mostly marked with small stone cairns. These can be washed away during flash floods, so carry the appropriate 7.5' quad maps.

    It is important to note that both trails lay almost entirely upon Navajo Tribal Lands. Utmost respect must be paid to homes, hogans, sweat lodges, and archeological sites along the way. It is preferred that vehicles not be left at the trailheads. At current lake levels, the trail to the first viewing area at Rainbow Bridge is approximately 1-1/2 miles (2.4 km) one-way on sandy terrain with some up-and-down hills.

  • Historic Sites

    Boat tours to Rainbow Bridge are available from the park's concessioner, Aramark. Since the Wahweap and Bullfrog marinas are about 50 miles on the lake from Rainbow Bridge, the tour takes all day. For boat tour information and reservations call 1-800-528-6154 or go on-line at www.lakepowell.com.

Seasonality/Weather

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is open year-round to the public. The heaviest visitation is during the summer. Tours may be also be available year-round.

Summers are extremely hot with little, if any, shade. Winters are moderately cold with night time lows often below freezing. Spring weather is highly variable with extended periods of strong winds. Fall is generally mild. Temperatures range from 110°F (43°C) in June & July to O°F (-18°C) in December & January. Although precipitation is generally less than 6 inches (15cm) annually, both heavy rains and flash flooding can occur. Recommend lightweight, light colored clothing in summer, including a hat. Layers of clothing are best other times of year.

Directions

Driving

By Boat: Trips to Rainbow Bridge may be made across Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area using private, rental, or tour boats. From Wahweap, Antelope Point, and Dangling Rope, travel north. From Bullfrog and Halls Crossing, travel south. Proceed to the mouth of Forbidding Canyon (buoy 49), where a floating sign on the right marks the canyon entrance. Follow the canyon about 2 miles (4 km) to another sign that points the way left through a narrow passage. Proceed with caution! Beyond the wakeless buoys, go slowly so that no wakes, or waves, are made. A courtesy dock is available for short-term docking while people make the 2 mile (3.2km) walk to the bridge.

By Hike: You may backpack to Rainbow Bridge across Navajo Nation lands. A permit from the Navajo Nation is required. You may write to: Navajo Nation, Parks and Recreation Department, Box 9000, Window Rock, Arizona 86515.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(928) 608-6404

Links