For this evening’s hike I went down to the floor of the canyon to photograph Kachina Bridge from below. High clouds to the west cut off the sunlight, so the usual high contrast was absent this time. Just as well: I intend to photograph every aspect of these stone wonders, in all seasons. The soft overcast evening light was lovely in its own way.
The trail down to Kachina Bridge is only 1.4 miles / 2.3 km, dropping 400 feet from the canyon rim to the floor. It’s a beautiful trail down the Cedar Mesa Sandstone slickrock, with switchbacks and rock steps – both cut into the slickrock and built up with blocks of cut sandstone – along with some metal handrails and one short section of ladder.
Shortly after reaching the streambed, you’re soon walking up to the beast. Kachina Bridge is massive, considered to be the youngest of the three in Natural Bridges National Monument, because it is the thickest. The older a natural bridge is, the more time that erosion has worked on it, and so it gets thinner and thinner until at some point it collapses into a pile of massive chunks. Erosion never sleeps.
Photo location: Natural Bridges National Monument, San Juan County, Utah.