The other tip I received from the lady at Canyonlands Visitor Center was the pictographs on one of the walls at Natural Bridges. So after emerging from a day of off roading and hiking in Butler Wash I headed west on highway 95 into the afternoon sun.
The drive was littered with a couple other ruin sites that I stopped to photograph and enjoy while making my way to the Natural Bridges National Monument.
Once at the monument the visitor center was helpful in steering me to the correct bridge as I didn’t have time to make the 7+ mile loop through all three bridges. The bridge I was looking for was Kachina Natural Bridge, the second in the series of three natural bridges that make up this national monument.
The hike down into the canyon was difficult, but not very technical. There seemed to be an endless set of steps and ledges going down in to the canyon. The descent was offset by the beautiful skyline and scenery as I got closer to the canyon floor. Luckily when I reached the bottom of the canyon I was only a couple hundred meters from the Kachina Natural Bridge. The air was cooler in the canyon and lots of vegetation grew along the small stream that cut the canyon. There was still quite a bit of water in the canyon which hindered the path to the pictographs.
Upon arriving at the base of Kachina Natural Bridge, I began searching for the pictographs, but could not really see anything distinguishing. The sun was sinking in the sky and the light was crawling up the eastern canyon wall, and the canyon was cooling.
While I was searching there was an older lady hiking the canyon and she stopped to ask what I was doing, and when I told her she said that she had been hiking this trail lots of times and had never seen any pictographs. We both sat down staring at the walls as the images came to life. Then it was as if someone had turned a light on and all these symbols started to emerge from the side of the canyon just beneath the bridge.
After getting some photos, and rest we decided to accompany each other on the hike out of the canyon. It was grueling, and definitely tested my fitness levels. Stopping often to rest and hydrate, we reached the rim of the canyon in about 30 minutes.
Parting ways and back in the truck I pulled back on to highway 95 and headed west in search of a campsite for the evening.
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