Escalante Natural Bridge

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5194 - 5261 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Escalante River
Fee: none
Attractions: Natural bridge and arch




View Escalante Natural Bridge in a larger map

Escalante Natural Bridge is located between Boulder and Escalante, Utah in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The trail is an easy hike that crosses the Escalante River four times before reaching its destination. Most of the time the water is only ankle deep at the crossings but during spring runoff and after summer thunderstorms it can be much deeper.


The Escalante River trailhead is located next to Highway 12 where Calf Creek flows into the Escalante River. The trailhead is about 13 miles south of Boulder and 15 miles north of the town of Escalante.


From the trailhead take the right fork and follow the trail upstream into the canyon.


The first of four river crossings is a short distance from the trailhead where the trail has to go around some private property.


 The trail follows the river for the most part with only minor changes in elevation.


A pair of trekking poles can make the crossings a lot easier.


The Escalante Rim Arch comes into view a short distance before the bridge does. This arch is probably about a quarter mile past Escalante Natural Bridge.


The bridge spans a side canyon that drains into the Escalante River. Natural bridges, of course, are different from arches in that natural bridges are formed by the forces of water so they are found spanning waterways and drainages.


Due to the nature of the landscape around the arch if you want to get close up to it you will have to wade some deeper water and scramble over some rough terrain.


Flash floods are a frequent occurrence whenever thunderstorms are in the area. As you can see from this picture the water can rise 4-5 feet. Normally you will hear the water coming down the canyon with plenty of time to get out of the channel where you can safely watch it rush by. You might have to wait up to an hour before the water level gets low enough to safely cross the river.


The hike to Escalante Natural Bridge is one the whole family can enjoy. Kids will enjoy the river crossings and other wading areas. When the water is a little higher in the springtime a tube can be used to float back to the trailhead. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument covers a huge area and within it there are over 1000 arches and natural bridges. Escalante Natural Bridge and Escalante Rim Arch are a couple of the easier ones to get to. If you would like to see them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.