Southeast Utah definitely looks like a desolate place that is way out in the middle of nowhere on an average road map, but all it takes is a little bit of internet browsing to find plenty to do in this region. The number one attraction is Monument Valley over by the Arizona Border and the highest percentage of tourists only focus upon this destination when making travel plans. There are dozens of other great destinations nearby in this region that are rarely crowded, so exploring southeast Utah is simply a must to do, especially if finding plenty of elbow room is a priority.
Natural Bridges National Monument is one of several southeast Utah destinations that are overlooked by many tourists, which includes Goosenecks State Park, Bears Ears National Monument, Fry Canyon and the northwest end of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. There are two reasons why these destinations see low traffic numbers and the main factor is the neighboring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks attract the majority of visitors in this region. The second reason is fuel management, because there are no gas stations to be found other than along the main highway. Touring the lesser known destinations of southeast Utah requires several days of extra travel time and lots of fuel because the expanses are so great. For this reason, destinations like Glen Canyon, Fry Canyon, Bears Ears and Natural Bridges are a better choice for people that have vacation time to spare.
Upon arrival, a good way to become acquainted with the Natural Bridges National Monument is to do a scenic overlook tour. The park touring route is a one way paved loop that is easy to navigate, which is like a sigh of relief when compared to the rough dirt Jeep trails in this region. There is one scenic overlook after another along this road and each natural bridge has hiking trail options. The trails vary in distance and difficulty, so scoping them out while doing the brief tour is a good way to make activity plans after setting up camp. Camping on site is the best choice, because it will take more than one day to experience each natural bridge up close in person.
There are three famous natural bridges in this park and each is located in a unique setting that is a feast for the eyes. The wind and water carved geology of this National Monument is amazing to see, so be sure to bring a good camera along for the trek. Each natural bridge has its own character and the lush green environment in the pocket canyons offer plenty more to discover. The best views of the neighboring Bears Ears landmark can also be found in this park, which is like the icing on the cake. Natural Bridges National Monument certainly is a world of discovery, so be sure to plan on spending some extra time exploring this majestic place!
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