Rainbow Bridge the Largest Stone Arch in the World is found in Utah

Rainbow Bridge a stone arch in southern Utah

Rainbow Bridge, Utah

Rainbow Bridge in Utah, is the worlds large natural stone  bridge at 290 feet high, 275 feet wide, 42 feet high at it’s base. While working as a guide and photographer for Canyonlands Field Institute, based in Moab, Utah I had the opportunity to visit this remarkable structure on three occasions.

My first visit was viewing it from the air at  about 500 ft,  sitting in the passengers seat of a single engine Cessna flying to a dirt strip at Marble Canyon, Arizona. My friends and I were to put-in at Lees Ferry,  to start an 18 day Grand Canyon River trip. Hiking to the bridge was the most dramatic as I was on a solo, over night hike starting at the tail head near at Rainbow City, on the Navajo Reservation, at the base of Navajo Mountain. The third visit was by house boat from Dangling Rope Marina on Lake Powell while the easiest direct access with out the thrill of discover it did provide the perfect weather for creating this photograph.

By contrast the largest natural arch in the world is also in Utah, in Arches National Park and known as the Landscape Arch. It is located in the Devil’s Garden area in the northern part of  Park. According to 2006 measurements, it is 93 m (306 ft) wide, which placed it as the longest. The height is 23.6 m (77.5 ft), width is 5.5 m (18 ft), thickness is 1.8 m (6 ft).  It made national l news a few years ago when a tourist captured on video of a piece of it falling off during a holiday visit.

Stone arches the longest being that are formed over a flowing stream of water are also referred to as bridges. In truth water erosion is always at least partially responsible for arch formation even if the flow has long since disappeared after millenniums of geological transformations.

Norm Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Fine Prints
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