“Take this short but rewarding path to feel ant-like under the spectacularly grand Owachomo Bridge.”
— Megan W
Of the "big 3 bridges" in the National Monument, Owachomo Bridge
is the easiest to visit up close and in person. It is about 180 feet in length, and arches about 100 feet above a side canyon. It looks much more delicate than Kachina or Sipapu Bridges and this thinness indicates that it is older and has eroded more quickly than the others.
Need to Know
Bring adequate water and sun protection, even on short outings!
From the parking area, start out heading south on the paved Owachomo Bridge Overlook
trail. If you'd like a sneak peek at your objective, continue straight to detour to the overlook, otherwise take the right-hand branch on packed dirt to begin the Owachomo Bridge Trail. The easy-to-follow trail to the bridge alternates between rock stairs and steps cut into the slickrock. Wind through the desert scrub as you descend, keeping an eye out for opportunities to photograph the bridge from several vantage points.
Upon reaching the side-canyon floor, the bridge will be looming to the right, almost overhead! Given all the chunks of fallen rocks littering the area, it can a little disconcerting to spend a lot of time directly under the bridge, but this perspective is truly amazing and unique, well worth the momentary shiver down your spine! Poke around the wash to find just the right angle to capture the perfect photo. There is also a nearby rock overhang and seasonal seep. This spring can grow into a small waterfall during monsoon season. Retrace your steps back up to the parking area once you've gathered enough photos and memories.
History & Background
This bridge has had many names over the years, but it's current name Owachomo is the Hopi word for "rock mound." The rock mound in question is the blob of rock on top of the eastern end of the bridge. The creek that created Owachomo Bridge
(Tuwa Creek) no longer flows under the bridge as it did for thousands of years.