Hike to Escalante Natural Bridge

Utah Escalante River Natural Bridge Trailhead

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Escalante Natural Bridge is a flat hike with multiple river crossings. This is a great stopping point for those driving between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

This is a 3.2 mile hike in the Escalante River Canyon near Escalante, Utah. This hike features a number of brief river crossings, so be prepared to get wet! The hike traverses a number of small boulder fields and dense riverside vegetation before concluding at the Escalante Natural Bridge. This hike typically takes about 2 hours.

The hike begins about 13 miles east of Escalante just north of the Escalante River Bridge on Highway 12. From the trailhead parking lot cross the knee-deep water of the Escalante River to locate the sandy trail on the south side of the river. 

You will then follow the sandy trail up canyon as you traverse sagebrush, enjoy 360 degree canyon views, and the opportunity to spot a number of desert flowers in bloom. 

After crossing the river for the 4th time, you will emerge from a small grove of cottonwood trees with your first view of the natural bridge directly to the southwest. 

The river runs directly in front of the natural bridge and the area underneath the bridge is a great place to relax on a sunny afternoon. 

Bonus: Grab a great local burger at the Circle D Eatery in Escalante, or grab a coffee for the scenic drive home at Kiva Koffeehouse.

Pack List

  • Sunscreen 
  • Water 
  • Snacks 
  • Waterproof shoes or sandals 
  • Hat 
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
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Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3.2 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
River
Romantic
Scenic
Swimming Hole

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How to Get There

6 months ago

Unexpected but awesome

We did this hike as part of an 11-day trip to Utah, and it was unanimously one of the group's favorite hikes! Relaxing, low-key and filled with beautiful scenery. Definitely worth a stop off the highway!

6 months ago

Added by Alex Schoemann

A hiker and writer based in Seattle, Washington.

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