Monday, November 2, 2015

Morning Glory Natural Bridge

After our first day's exploration of Arches NP we drove into Moab to look around and to get some fuel. In this part of the world you want to keep the fuel guage on the full side. We then drove up the Colorado River a few miles, looking for sites in the several BLM campgrounds thereabouts and finally found one. After some further reconnaissance, we decided next day we would do the unfortunately named "Negro Bill" trail up a big side canyon to see the Morning Glory Natural Bridge, at 243 feet, the fifth longest rock span in the US. "Negro Bill" was Bill Granstaff, who settled in the area in 1877. Why not just call it the "Granstaff Trail" we wondered, but the snarky lady at the TI in Moab later informed us it was "part of our history" and would not be changed. It could be worse, I suppose.
Camped just down from the side canyon and the
next day's trail

The Colorado River, from our campsite; hmmm, looks tame
enough here...

Big walls all around

Starting up the trail

Ditto; interestingly, the sandstone on this side of the river is
not nearly so red as on the other side

Some of the walls were in the thousand foot range, I'd guess

Caves and such along the 2 mile trail

The little creek that the trail mostly followed--and crossed 11

Hard to get lost in a box canyon

A great trail, despite the 11 crossings

First view of Morning Glory

Up closer; 243 feet span

So people often ask me, "Mark, what's the
difference between a natural bridge and a
natural arch?" The difference is that a natural
bridge is caused largely by stream erosion, and
tends to be flatter on top; in the little seep and
crack above you can see what is left of stream
action today

Back in the cave behind Morning Glory

Nice hike, nice feature, and thank you for waterproof boots


Tawana said...

Have you seen much wildlife on your hikes? I saw the coyote scat, but did you see any coyotes?

Mark said...

Very little, mostly birds, a chipmunk or 2, a couple tiny lizards, 1 diamondback rattler, 4 feet long, I almost stepped on. Fortunately, winter is almost upon us, and the snakes will disappear hereabouts.