Arrived at the Rainbow Bridge dock around 12:30.
Not the best time of day for photos.
Ranger Chuck told us the natural and geologic history of Rainbow Bridge.
We already had printed our Junior Ranger books so completed the last few activities and earned our badges. That puts me up to 12 with oh so many more to go.
Returned to the boat for lunch just in time or we may not have had any chips. I know this Raven was looking.
Rainbow Bridge was once a solid wall of sandstone. During flash floods, water filled with sand scoured away both sides of the buttress. Eventually the stream penetrated the rock and began to flow through widening the new opening.
The bridge stands 290 feet (88 m) above the stream level–nearly the height of the Statue of Liberty–and has a span of 278 feet (84 m).
Rainbow Bridge is considered sacred by the Navajo culture as a symbol of deities responsible for creating clouds, rainbows and rain–the essence of life in the desert. Even today, the Navajo, Hopi, San Juan, Southern Paiute, Kaibab Paiute, and White Mesa Ute maintain cultural affiliations with Rainbow Bridge.
With the help of local Navajos white men discovered Rainbow ridge in 1909. Hiking in by land continues to be an arduous 13 to 16 mile journey of rugged trails through deep canyons and requires a permit from the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona.
It was designated a National Monument in 1910 by President William Howard Taft. In 1956, Congress authorized the Glen Canyon Dam to fill the Lake Powell Reservoir, but only on the condition that the water level not go high enough to reach the monument.
We were the last ones to leave that afternoon.
It felt like a place to linger.
Yet we wanted to get back to camp before dark.
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