Sipapu Bridge

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Coordinates: 37°36′58″N 110°00′41″W / 37.61611°N 110.01139°W / 37.61611; -110.01139

Sipapu Bridge at noon.
View up from below the bridge.

Sipapu Bridge is a natural bridge or arch located in the Natural Bridges National Monument in the U.S. state of Utah. The bridge spans White Canyon.

Sipapu was long reported to have a span of 268 feet by the National Park Service, ranking it as the fourth longest natural arch in the world. A more accurate measurement obtained by laser survey in 2007 revealed the measurement to be a significant overstatement. The Natural Arch and Bridge Society has published a revised span of 225 feet, demoting the arch to a seventh place ranking.[1]

Based on specific criteria that separate natural arches from bridges, Sipapu is still ranked as the second longest natural bridge after the more famous Rainbow Bridge National Monument, also in Utah.

Sipapu can be viewed from a roadside viewpoint but is best viewed from a short hiking trail that leads down to its base from the canyon rim. Since the closure of the trail leading under Landscape Arch due to safety concerns, and the voluntary prohibition placed on passing under Rainbow Bridge in deference to (often debated) Navajo and Hopi spiritual beliefs, Sipapu is now the longest natural arch in the world to have an active trail beneath it that visitors may pass under, affording spectacular views of the underside of the arch.

The name of the arch comes from the Hopi word sipapu, a word for a symbolic portal from which the first human ancestors emerged.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sipapu Natural Bridge". Natural Arch and Bridge Society. Retrieved 2008-05-19.