• Friends: Please double-check the email address you have on file. Make sure that it is current and able to receive email. When our emails are rejected it can damage our ratings and slow down future deliveries.
    Thanks!

Rainbow Bridge Access has been Impacted

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2021
Contacts: General Park Information: 928-608-6200
Media Inquiries Only: Mary Plumb, GLCAmedia@nps.gov
Immediate Access to Rainbow Bridge National Monument Impacted by Storm Debris and Low Lake Level
PAGE, AZ – Visitors to Rainbow Bridge National Monument are advised that access from Lake Powell will become significantly more difficult until further notice, due to lowering lake levels and mud and debris from rain events.

Effective immediately, there will no longer be dock access to the shoreline. The Lake Powell dock will be pulled back and accessing the Rainbow Bridge Trail will be at your own risk. Boats and small vessels will still be able to access the shoreline but please be advised that access to the canyon and trail will likely require going through mud, debris, sand and water before reaching the established trail. Please note that conditions could also change without notice due to weather. Concessioner tours to other canyons on Lake Powell are not affected by this announcement.

While no longer connected to the shoreline, the Rainbow Bridge dock system will still be accessible with restroom facilities for visitors. The National Park Service has plans to use seasonal trail crews this winter to re-establish a more accessible trail with the possibility of reconnecting the dock structure as conditions improve and resources allow. Further guidance will be provided at a later date.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is only accessible via boat on Lake Powell or by obtaining a permit (go to Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation) to backpack on Navajo Tribal Lands from Navajo Mountain. Backpackers expecting to arrange drop-off and pick-up in advance at Rainbow Bridge will need to be aware of the current conditions impacting access.

Rainbow Bridge is one of the world's largest known natural bridges. Rainbow Bridge National Monument was established before the National Park Service (NPS) in 1910. In April 2017, NPS designated Rainbow Bridge a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing the site's historic and ongoing cultural significance to at least six American Indian tribes. In 2018, it was designated an International Dark-Sky Association Dark Sky Sanctuary, the first of its kind in the National Park Service.

-NPS-​

Photo: Access to Rainbow Bridge National Monument impacted by storms. NPS Photo.
 

JFRCalifornia

Escalante-Class Member
When I was there in August, the lake was at 3552, or 8 feet higher than now. The dock was connected to the land via a ramp, but the first part of the hike was not on an established trail, but an informal path, somewhat steep at times with loose soil. You had to walk quite a ways to reach the more improved path. It was easy enough for any average hiker, but not really what I'd call ADA accessible. I'm attaching a picture of what the dock/land interface looked like then.

With the lake 8 feet down from this photo, I can imagine that the beginning part of the path would be even steeper, probably muddy, and likely difficult to reach from the dock without a real extension ramp of some sort.

The second photo shows the first part of the path beyond the dock, and you can see it's a pretty steep drop at the end to reach the dock...which will either be even steeper now, or if it flattens a bit toward the edge of the receding lake, a walk across a muddy lake edge to reach the steeper part...

21-08-10 Rainbow dock 3552.jpg

21-08-10 Rainbow dock 2 3552.jpg
 
Last edited:

Rivergoer

Well-Known Member
Pictures really help tell the story, thanks. Quite deserted for August!

When a flash flood wiped out part of the RB trail several years back, NPS did a great job over the winter restoring and fortifying the damaged section. Hoping a similar effort can be undertaken in preparation for next year after a record Colorado Rockies snowfall and run-off this season. 🤞🌧️❄️☃️🌨️
 

Hoskm01

Active Member
We made the treck yesterday, easy peazy. The lake is SO incredibly deserted right now, it's sad and glorious all at the same time.

One boat there when we arrived, we passed them on their way out about 1/3 of the way up. Had the place to ourselves all afternoon, it was incredible. The hike is precisely 1.4 miles, one way and that's to the flat part at the base with the signs and covered pergola area

Approaching the current dock location. The back side of the docks are probably 150 yards from the beach. Restrooms were functional and clean.
PXL_20211022_194040868_copy_1612x1209.jpg

Approaching the beach. Some debris in the water but nothing crazy for the end of a canyon. Space between docks and wall is tightish but fine for any typical runabout.
PXL_20211022_194448389_copy_1612x1209.jpg



The sediment just onshore. Current "trail" in the background, north side of canyon as it's always been.
PXL_20211022_202114845_copy_1612x1209.jpg

Looking back down at the beach. Couldn't discern or recall where the old trail and dock came on (it's been a year for me). My SeaRay in the middle, friends Chaparral on the left.
PXL_20211022_202527171_copy_1209x1612.jpg

The "primitive" trail. Very accessible but steep in parts.
PXL_20211022_202520028_copy_1209x1612.jpg

The ferns are well-watered still
PXL_20211022_204655054_copy_1612x1209.jpg

Nice to see some snow if only just on the north side of Navajo Mtn.
PXL_20211022_204943232_copy_1209x1612.jpg
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20211022_204533479_copy_1209x1612.jpg
    PXL_20211022_204533479_copy_1209x1612.jpg
    965.7 KB · Views: 88
  • PXL_20211022_203012675_copy_1612x1209.jpg
    PXL_20211022_203012675_copy_1612x1209.jpg
    992.5 KB · Views: 88
Last edited:

bob london

Well-Known Member
We made the treck yesterday, easy peazy. The lake is SO incredibly deserted right now, it's sad and glorious all at the same time.

One boat there when we arrived, we passed them on their way out about 1/3 of the way up. Had the place to ourselves all afternoon, it was incredible. The hike is precisely 1.4 miles, one way and that's to the flat part at the base with the signs and covered pergola area

Approaching the current dock location. The back side of the docks are probably 150 yards from the beach. Restrooms were functional and clean.
View attachment 15856

Approaching the beach. Some debris in the water but nothing crazy for the end of a canyon. Space between docks and wall is tightish but fine for any typical runabout.
View attachment 15855



The sediment just onshore. Current "trail" in the background, north side of canyon as it's always been.
View attachment 15857

Looking back down at the beach. Couldn't discern or recall where the old trail and dock came on (it's been a year for me). My SeaRay in the middle, friends Chaparral on the left.
View attachment 15859

The "primitive" trail. Very accessible but steep in parts.
View attachment 15860

The ferns are well-watered still
View attachment 15861

Nice to see some snow if only just on the north side of Navajo Mtn.
View attachment 15863

Great pics !
 
Top