Negro Bill Canyon Morning Glory Bridge

and the Morning Glory Bridge

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Sandy path between the bushes (252kb)

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Lots of vegetation at Negro Bill Canyon (445kb)

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Wonderful reflections in the water (319kb)

Most of the people come to Moab because of the two big national parks Arches and Canyonlands. But there is much more around Moab. Besides the described hikes to delicate Arch, to Corona Arch and Fisher Towers we discovered another highlight last fall 2007. Not unknown but easy to miss is the hike to Negro Bill Canyon, a great trip in backcountry.

This canyon is named after William Granstaff who had cattle in the canyon. He came as one of the non-US-citizen immigrant to Moab in 1877.

Coming from Moab you drive north till junction of UT128. This scenic byway runs parallel to the Colorado River. The very high steep rock walls on the right and left side are very fascinating. Especially during the golden hour this road is very enjoyable. After 3.1 miles you see the parking lot on your right side. But it is very easy to miss because there is no sign. But if you miss it you can turn around at one of the following campgrounds along the road.


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One of the many crossings over the creek (337kb)

The hike is very easy and a 4 mile roundtrip. But you can get scratches from bushes or wet feet from the small river. First you go over rocks down to the river which you have to follow the whole time. You have to watch out for roots on the way even when your eyes are fascinated from this area and you keep looking around. You have to walk through sand for a long time. The trail is much diversified because of all the different bushes and plants. It is a small path and after each curve you get a different view. There are lots of nice motifs to take pictures of. After you walked under a very photogenic Rock you have to cross the river for the first time. But that shouldn't be a problem. Only when you are there after strong rainy days you will get wet feet for sure. There are stones in the river that help you to cross it but they can get slippery because of the sand under your shoes. At hot temperature in summer it could also be nice refreshment.

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Morning Glory Bridge (219kb)

One part is a little bit difficult. You have to squeeze through two big rocks. In the direction to the bridge it shouldn't be a problem. But on your way back it is a bit difficult because you have to climb up. Before that you have to cross the river lot of times so you will have wet and sandy shoes which make it hard to do that part.


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Shaped by wind and water (267kb)

It is a much diversified trail to the Morning Glory Bridge which is in the second canyon on the right side. The trail is easy to miss because the main trail leads through the main canyon. You are on the right way when you turn right into the canyon after you have crossed the river for 8 times (!). It is similar to the big Negro Bill Canyon. The path is getting smaller because of the bushes and you have to walk around. The last few miles it goes continuously up. But it is not that hard like other hikers told us. Now the canyon opens up and you reach a big plateau from where you can see the "dead end" of the canyon and the morning glory bridge. From here you can see the bridge in its full length. It is the sixt largest natural bridge of the USA and is over 74 meter long. After 5 minutes you reach the end and find yourself under a giant natural bridge. A small waterfall with a little pool - sometimes with more or less water - is a good motif for a picture.


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Be aware of poison ivy under the Morning Glory Bridge (123kb)

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Directly under the Bridge (218kb)

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The sandstone walls are glowing because of the reflection of the sunbeam. It is an unforgettable impression. But be careful: along the trail and especially under the bridge there is a lot of poison ivy. Don't get too close to that plant. If you get in contact it will get itchy and can break out in a rash with bubbles. You could get an anaphylaktic shock depending on sensitivity and duration of contact and that can be perilous. The plant can be recognized from the 3 almond-shaped leaves. There are dark-green and have a shiny surface. You should wear long pants on that hike. On our way we passed a hiker with his dog. Avoid the contact with the dog because the poison doesn't affect the dogs but it can carry it in its fur.

 


Last update: 09/15/2009