It’s Interesting to Know.
Rainbow Bridge is the world’s largest natural bridge in Utah (USA). Carved from a fin of red Navajo sandstone Rainbow Bridge is considered sacred in Navajo culture as a symbol of deities responsible for creating clouds, rainbows and rain – the essence of life in the desert. By its wonderous size, to say nothing of its majesty and mystery, Rainbow Bridge has inspired humans throughout time. From the time the bridge became known to the outside world inn the early 20th century, thousands of people from around the world have visited each year. From its base to the top of the arch, it is 290 feet-nearly the height of the Statue of Liberty-and spans 275 feet across the river; the top of the arch is 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide. Tucked among the rugged, isolated canyons at the base of Navajo Mountain, Rainbow Bridge was known for centuries by the Native Americans who lived in the area.Native Americans living inn the region have long held the bridge sacred. Ancestral Puebloan residents were followed much later by Paiute and Navajo groups. Several Paiute and Navajo families, in fact, still reside nearby. By the 1800s, Rainbow Bridge was also surely seen by
y wandering trappers, prospectors, and cowboys. Not until 1909, though, was its existence publicized to the outside world. Two separate exploration parties-one headed by University of Utah dean, Byron Cummings, and another by government surveyor, W.B. Douglass-began searching for the legendary span. Eventually, they combined efforts. Paiute guides Nasja Begay and Jim Mike led the way, along with trader and explorer, John Wetherill. Men and horses endured heat, slickrock slopes, treacherous ledges, and sandstone mazes. Late in the afternoon of August 14, coming down what is now Bridge Canyon, the party saw Rainbow Bridge for the first time. By 1993, a National Park Service General Management Plan, involving much public input, was adopted. It offered a long-term plan for mitigating visitor impacts and prreserving the resources of Rainbow Bridge National Monument. As part of the planning process, the National Park Service consulted with the five Native American nations affiliated with Rainbow Bridge: the Navajo, Hopi, San Juan Southern Paiute, Kaibab Paiute, and White Mesa Ute. Chief among their concerns was that Rainbow Bridge-a religious and sacred place-be protected and visited in a respectful manner. Additionally, the tribes expressed concerns about visitors approaching or walking under the bridge. Today, the National Park Service simply as
sks that you visit this site in a manner respectful of its significance to the people who have long held Rainbow Bridge sacred.