Rainbow Bridge National Monument is located deep in the heart of Lake Powell, accessed only via a very long and remote hike or via a 50-mile each-way boat ride. It is a place I have wanted to see for a long time, so I made the trip to Page, AZ and booked my ticket for the whole day adventure to the world’s largest freestanding bridge. Here is all the information if you want to see it as well and let me know what questions you have in the comments.
- Only two boats a week in the winter and three a week in the summer
- Cost: $165 a person (as of Jan 2024)
- More information here
- Book in advance if going on a busy weekend.
Getting There and Reservations
I planned my 7-day Arizona trip around being able to do this boat tour, so we left on a Friday and drove to Page, then woke up the following day to get on the boat. I got tickets about a month in advance, but it wasn’t essential in the winter as only eight people were on our big boat.
The boat we went on can hold up to 45 people, and in the summer, they said they use the bigger boats and can have up to 145 people on board. I can’t imagine how busy it would be at the bridge during that season with all the personal boats on the water, too. The boat had a bathroom, and they had coffee, lemonade, and water on the way over and lunch sandwiches on the way back.
It takes about 2.5 hours from the starting point to the dock near the bridge. On the way, you will go through some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen. It felt like seeing a lesser Monument Valley with all of the staggering rock formations you saw from the water.
I expected it to be a long ride, but I was on the edge of my seat. It was a massive highlight for me and something I was not expecting on the trip. Rainbow Bridge is, of course, the main attraction, but cruising the lake is a highlight as well.
After crossing through multiple bays and more canyons than you could count, we reached the mouth of the Forbidden Canyon, which took us toward Rainbow Bridge.
This canyon was narrow and stunning. It had water that was like glass and lots of unique rock formations as we made our way back. Only a small sign noted the Rainbow Bridge National Monument entrance, so if you come in a personal boat, be sure to know where you are going.
After bending through the canyon, we arrived at the dock and unloaded to start the 2-mile round-trip hike to Rainbow Bridge. The hike has some uphill, but it’s not too challenging, and the canyon you are walking in is breathtaking.
After 3-4 bends, the canyon finally opens up, and you get your first view of Rainbow Bridge in the distance.
As you hike closer, you will see how massive this bridge is. The bridge is 290 feet tall and spans over 275 feet across.
You cannot go under the bridge as it is of spiritual significance to the Navajo people, but you can walk up to a viewing area on one side, climb up a small hill, and over to another viewing platform on the other.
We had 1.5 hours here, with about 30 minutes of hiking each way and then 30 minutes at the arch.
It is one of those places where you must see it yourself to believe it.
After returning to the boat, we started the 2.5-hour ride back to the main dock. We went fast this time but got many excellent views of the rock formations as we cruised Lake Powell.
I was blown away by how beautiful this experience was, and I highly recommend it if you get a chance. It’s a full day, but it is a place I will never forget. Let me know what you think in the comments.