Rainbow Bridge: Native American Cultural Significance Nationally Recognized

Rainbow Bridge Receives New  Designation

Rainbow Bridge in Bridge Canyon
Rainbow Bridge Aerial View

According to a recent news article, Rainbow Bridge has drawn national attention for its cultural significance to a group of Native American people including the Navajo, Hopi, Paiute, Zuni and Ute tribes.

The National Park Service has named the bridge a Traditional Cultural Property because of its cultural significance to some American Indian tribes.  It is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Annually there are about 86,000 people who visit the bridge. Anyone who has visited can tell you about the amazing and beautiful landscape.

“”Designation as a traditional cultural property goes a step deeper, reflecting how meaningful Rainbow Bridge is to this region’s inhabitants. For centuries, if not millennia, it has inspired origin stories, ceremonial rites and pilgrimages for multiple tribes, and its focus as a site of vital meaning and cultural identity continues to this day,” said William Shott, superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

This will offer additional protections to the 290-foot-tall sandstone bridge.  Consultations with tribal officials will be necessary before any federal project can be initiated that might affect it.  Rainbow Bridge National Monument was established by William Howard Taft in 1910 and contains 160 acres.  85 of these acres are the traditional cultural property of the Native Americans.

Most people view Rainbow Bridge by air or by water with a short hike.  If you choose to take the 14 mile hike to the bridge  you will need to get a permit from the Navajo Tribe.

For additional information about Rainbow Bridge you can read this article.

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