10/20/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/21/2021 08:35
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 form the Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation Department 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.