National Park Service

Northern Colorado Plateau Network (NCPN)

Natural Bridges National Monument

Park Species Lists
Park Biophysical Description (PDF)
NPS Logo Natural Bridges NM Website
Natural Bridges National Monument map
Natural Bridges National Monument map. Click for official park map.
Spring, Natural Bridges NM. NPS photo
Spring, Natural Bridges National Monument

Size: 3,009 hectares
Elevation range: 1,738–1,951 meters

Natural Bridges National Monument is Utah's oldest national park unit, established by Presidential Proclamation in 1908 to protect "a number of natural bridges situated in southeastern Utah having heights more lofty and spans far greater than any heretofore known to exist, [and] . . . of the greatest scientific interest." The monument is best known for three extraordinary natural bridges, found in close proximity, that show three different stages of development, from youth (Kachina), to maturity (Sipapu), to old age (Owachomo).

Elevation varies from approximately 1,738 meters (5,700 feet) in the canyons to 1,951 meters (6,400 feet) on the rims. A high-desert riparian environment, combined with a year-round supply of standing water, creates a unique biological climate where relict species (Douglas-fir) remain and moist alcoves shelter hanging-garden communities. The vegetation is predominately pinyon-juniper woodland. Riparian vegetation occupies the surface water drainages, and small pockets of Douglas-fir and associated mesic vegetation grow in sheltered areas along canyon rims.

Increased visitation, trespass livestock, adjacent land-use impacts, and exotic plant species invasion are the monument's main natural resource management concerns.

The NCPN monitors air quality, climate, land surface phenology, landbirds, landscape dynamics, springs and seeps, and wadeable streams at Natural Bridges National Monument.

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Climate
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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster