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Rudy Dale | all galleries >> The Art of U.S. National Parks Signs > Natural Bridges
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Natural Bridges
28-NOV-2006 Jonathan Paynter

Natural Bridges

Lake Powell, Utah

Natural Bridges National Monument - http://www.nps.gov/nabr

Natural Bridges protects some of the finest examples of ancient stone architecture in the southwest. Located on a tree-covered mesa cut by deep sandstone canyons, three natural bridges formed where meandering streams eroded the canyon walls. The bridges are named Kachina, Owachomo and Sipapu.

At 6,500 feet above sea level, Natural Bridges is home to a variety of plants and animals. Plants range from the fragile cryptobiotic soil crusts to remnant stands of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. Natural Bridges was established in 1908, making it the oldest National Park Service site in Utah.

History & Culture
Repeatedly occupied and abandoned during prehistoric times, Natural Bridges was first used during the Archaic period, from 7000 B.C. to A.D. 500. Only the rock art and stone tools left by hunter-gatherer groups reveal that humans lived here then. Around A.D. 700, ancestors of modern Puebloan people moved into the area to farm but later left as the environment changed.

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