This is a way to see all three of the massive natural bridges in the park in a single long loop. Much of the trail is unmaintained so it can be slow going but the path is beautiful and secluded compared to the various overlook trails.
Be sure to plan a little extra time than the distance of the trail alone would imply due to the mix of loose sand and bushwhacking through the canyon bottom.
Starting from the Sipapu Bridge
parking area, take the Sipapu Bridge
trail to the canyon bottom - but use the Sipapu Overlook Trail
for a very quick side trail to the best view of the bridge from above. The Sipapu Trail
has a lot of interactive parts such as ladders and mini-scrambles. Once at the canyon bottom, follow the White Canyon Trail
to the south and west.
The White Canyon Trail
is unmaintained and unmarked so it can be overgrown or have spots with loose sand. This means that the going can be fairly slow for a flat trail. Be mindful of the weather as well since the canyon does flash flood during storms. However, you don't have to worry about getting lost because you are, well, in the bottom of canyon.
When you get to the Kachina Bridge
, you'll need to get up and out of the bottom of the river bed on the Kachina Bridge Trail
. After you get only part way up onto the ridge, head south - don't take the trail all the way out of the canyon. This will allow you to bypass a dry fall that blocks the river bottom. If you are short on time, hop out of the canyon and take the Kachina Bridge Shortcut Connector
to the Owachomo Bridge to Sipapu Bridge Trail
, which heads back to the parking lot.
If you're completing a full loop, continue on the White Canyon Trail
through the remainder of the canyon between the Kachina Bridge
and Owachomo Bridge
. Once you are at the bottom of Owachomo Bridge
, hop on the Owachomo Bridge Trail
to climb out of the canyon. From here, you have a less-interesting but much faster return route along the Owachomo Bridge to Sipapu Bridge Trail
. This cuts straight north through the park with no shade the entire way. It will take you straight to the parking lot though.