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Sipapu-Owachomo Loop Trail - 8 members in 12 triplogs have rated this an average 4.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
12 triplogs
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12 Triplogs
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Oct 05 2017
AZWanderingBea
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 62
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

63 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Natural Bridges NM, UT 
Natural Bridges NM, UT
 
Hiking avatar Oct 05 2017
AZWanderingBear
Hiking10.54 Miles 1,157 AEG
Hiking10.54 Miles
1,157 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Day 2 of my 14-day found me in Natural Bridges NM. I set up camp, spent some time talking to the helpful rangers and then drove the loop hitting all the overlooks. The ruins were interesting looking from the rim, but there wasn't a way to get closer that I could sleuth out.Camp was a quiet night grilling a burger and turning in early. I don't sleep well in campgrounds -too many people and noises.

Headed out to do the Sipapu-Owachomo Loop following the ranger's good advice and leaving my vehicle at Owachomo and hiking counter clockwise starting across the mesa near sunrise. I thought the mesa portion of the hike would be boring, but it was great. There were huge areas of cryptobiotic soil, the cedar pinion forest, animal sounds, slick rock areas. Nice way to start.

The drop into Sipapu requires ladders, got to love a hike that requires ladders. I'd read a lot about this bridge in particular and enjoyed knowing the story as I descended. It is truly impressive to be under this formation.

The hike along the bottom of the drainage was nice. The trail isn't maintained and can be difficult to follow sometimes as it crosses and recrosses the stream bed, but you can't really get lost. Its pretty lush with cottonwoods, willows, tamarisk and two very out of place spruce trees. Some potholes of water were easily easily worked around and surrounded by deer, coyote and bobcat tracks. The ranger had warned me of extensive muddy areas, but those had largely dried and the little remaining was easily avoided. The quietness was a physical thing. I stepped on a dried cottonwood stick and the resulting loud snap seemed a violation of local protocol.

Passed one hiker going the other way before arriving at Kachina Bridge. The abutments of Kachina are just simply massive. A couple had dropped down from the overlook above. We exchanged pleasantries as I took my lunch in the shade of the bridge.

I was mindful of the ranger's admonition to NOT follow the White Canyon Creek drainage NW. "The next stop is Lake Powell in 50 miles. You won't make it," he said. But the trail took me upslope and I worried I was headed for the overlook and almost dropped back into the drainage below, only to realize going up was required to avoid the 80' pour off between Kachina and Owachomo. The remaining hike to Owachomo was through a narrowing canyon with the sun in my face. The trail became fainter, harder to follow until finally I saw the bridge and knew the truck was close by.

Stopped back at the visitor center to refill my water bottles and debrief the ranger on the trail. We swapped stories for a bit and then I headed back to camp for a nap in my tent cot and one more evening before pressing on the next morning.
_____________________
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
3 archives
Jun 06 2014
leonesiegel
avatar

 Photos 1,326
 Triplogs 291

61 male
 Joined Jan 15 2010
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Jun 06 2014
leonesiegel
Hiking12.56 Miles 495 AEG
Hiking12.56 Miles   6 Hrs   56 Mns   2.38 mph
495 ft AEG   1 Hour   39 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A six day trip to what has always been my favorite state finished with two nights of camping and star gazing at Natural Bridges. I love Utah!!! This hike had been on my bucket list for over twenty years and happy to finally do it. We explored a couple of side canyons, intentionally and otherwise, so that accounts for the extra mileage. Owachomo was our favorite bridge especially when you take in the slickrock bowl it resides in. My first visit to the park in 1991 so long ago... You have to arrive fairly early to get a spot in the 13 site campground, glad we did!
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Mar 12 2013
iborrego
avatar

 Triplogs 348

26 male
 Joined Oct 13 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2013
iborrego
Hiking8.60 Miles 495 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles
495 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Sep 07 2012
southpawaz
avatar

 Routes 22
 Photos 276
 Triplogs 94

56 male
 Joined Mar 18 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Sep 07 2012
southpawaz
Hiking8.60 Miles 495 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles
495 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Drove down from Moab on the 6th with a nice detour/scenic route through the north end of the Abajos and set up camp before going out for a sunset drive and survey mark hunt along Clay Hills Crossing Road to the south to round out the day. Got up bright and early and drove out to Sipapu Bridge to start loop just as the sun came up. Park rangers recommended starting at Sipapu and going clockwise (or counterclockwise from Owachomo) to get the mesa top section of the hike out of the way before it got hot, but with an early start I wasn't particularly concerned so I went counterclockwise from Sipapu to descend the deeper canyon drop and ascend the shallower one at Owachomo.

This hike was really similar in structure to the Syncline Loop hike in Canyonlands NP: descend into a canyon, hike downstream to a confluence, switch over and go upstream the other canyon, then ascend out. Here, though, the canyons were much less deep and the descents more heavily traveled, with stairs and ladders along the way going down at Sipapu. Once on the floor, I followed the wash for the most part, though in spots there is tread up out of the main channel.

As I went down White Canyon, I kept my eyes open for a side trail to go up the canyon wall to Horsecollar Ruins, and found one and made my way up, finding a branched juniper log in place to help me climb up the last 5 foot shelf. This is a pretty nice little ruin site with quite a few structures and since they're under an overhang, the mud cement used for the stonework is still in good shape.

After enjoying the ruins, I dropped back down and continued around to Kachina Bridge, where the trail leaves White Canyon and switches to heading up Armstrong Canyon, starting with a climb part way up to a shelf to get around the Knickpoint pour-off not far upstream from the junction. As you start up, Armstrong Canyon is wider and more open than White, but eventually it narrows and the trail moves again out of the main channel and up onto a shelf for the rest of the way to Owachomo Bridge to avoid pools of water in the channel that looked semi-permanent.

Already being up on a shelf, the climb up and through Owachomo was a snap, and in this area I spotted a couple different side trails, followed one to see if it led to more ruins or possibly petroglyphs, but eventually deciding it was a route to get up onto the bridge itself, which is contrary to park rules so I returned to the main trail and continued up to a bench at the trailhead where I dumped the sand from my shoes before moving on.

When I think mesa top, I think flat easy walking, and for the most part the mesa top section of the loop is that, but it does straight-line down and up across a couple of drainages along the way. I finished up the hike in short order and then went for a drive up to Bear Ears for lunch, continuing east through the south end of the Abajos to town to restock the cooler.
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Jun 07 2012
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2012
PaleoRob
Hiking10.89 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking10.89 Miles   5 Hrs      2.18 mph
1,500 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
HAZ - Event
Did this hike with some friends at work. I wish I had my nice DSLR functional. :( Anyway, I'll post an expanded triplog later.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
Oct 02 2011
nonot
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 476

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Oct 02 2011
nonot
Hiking9.00 Miles 495 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   2.04 mph
495 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Hiked Clockwise from O bridge. Found the "secret" Kachina Ruins, a hidden granary, Horsecollar ruins, and had a great time.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
3 archives
Apr 01 2011
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 304
 Photos 10,947
 Triplogs 1,252

44 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2011
GrottoGirl
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
RedwallNHops
We planned to go to Cedar Mesa for a backpack that we organized for the Tucson Backpacking meetup. Four of us decided to head down a bit early and check out Natural Bridges. We did a loop hike that included Sipapu and Kachina Bridge as well as the Horsecollar Ruins and the petroglyphs and pictographs near Kachina Bridge.

As we headed down the trail to Sipapu Bridge we were looking in White Canyon. The canyon was spectacular and would have been a great hike even without the bridges and ruins. Sipapu took my breath away. We managed to get down to the overlook and below the bridge at a great time for photos. We then continued down canyon to Kachina Bridge. It would be easy to miss the Horsecollar ruins if you didn't know to expect them. We didn't go over and check them out since we were planning on spending the next three days immersed in ruins. We did, however, check out the petroglyphs and pictographs at Kachina Bridge. After Kachina bridge we climbed out of the canyon and then over the mesa back to our car.

This was the perfect afternoon hike after our drive from Arizona. We had a good time camping overnight in the Natural Bridges campground.
Geology
Geology
Natural Bridge
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Apr 01 2011
RedwallNHops
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 943

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2011
RedwallNHops
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
GrottoGirl
Great way to get the blood flowing after the drive to bridges NM.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
May 19 2008
Vaporman
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar May 19 2008
Vaporman
Hiking8.60 Miles 495 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   2.02 mph
495 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Did the full loop that includes all three bridges of Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo and then back across the mesa to your parked car.
_____________________
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
4 archives
Sep 27 2003
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2003
PaleoRob
Hiking9.00 Miles 495 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   9 Hrs      1.00 mph
495 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Loop through all three bridges plus stops at ruins.
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
Sep 13 2003
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop TrailSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Sep 13 2003
PaleoRob
Hiking9.00 Miles 495 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   10 Hrs      0.90 mph
495 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great hike through Natural Bridges, for part of a school project. Awesome rock art, ruins, canyon scenery, and the bridges were amazing.
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
May 25 1992
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Day 3: S Utah, UT 
Day 3: S Utah, UT
 
Hiking avatar May 25 1992
mazatzal
Hiking8.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Day 3 of our trip:
Blanding :next: Natural Bridges :next: Little Egypt :next: Capital Reef :next: Escalante/Kodachrome
_____________________
2 archives
average hiking speed 1.75 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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