Our Natural Bridges Trip has wrapped up and we have returned home. Thus, I am going to begin the process of updating my Natural Bridges database and should have that current soon. I will post another update here when it is finished, as there are a lot of adjustments to make. After consulting with the appropriate people on park staff, here is what has been decided about Death Valley’s natural bridges.
- The current count (fully up-to-date after this trip) of all the natural bridges in the park is 13 natural bridges.
- The very large Grand View Canyon formation has been determined to be an arch and not a natural bridge. Grand View Arch is located above the canyon on a hillside. It is now considered to be (most likely) the largest arch in the park.
- The double crossing formation that I posted about (picture posted earlier in my entries) is considered to be a double arch and not a double natural bridge. That designation could possibly change if I can find a way to safely hike to it and get some close-up photos which prove that a canyon drains through the two crossing formations. But most likely, it will remain a double arch.
- Sidewinder Canyon gets credit for 3 major natural bridges, one in each slot. The reasons are clear as posted above. The smaller bridge in Slot #3 will not get credit as a major natural bridge. Personally, I went into Sidewinder Canyon thinking only 1 of the bridges there would be large and interesting enough to qualify as a major natural bridge, but the fact is that if any of the 3 larger bridges there were found in any other canyon they would be considered an important discovery. In the interest of complete accuracy with the count, these 3 must be included.
- The previous count of natural bridges within the park was 8. The 5 being added and receiving designation are Sidewinder Slot #1, Sidewinder Slot #2, Sidewinder Slot #3, Jensen, and Keane Wonder.
- I will reshuffle the order of the natural bridges posted in my database to try to reflect date and order of discovery to the best of my knowledge.
- Keep in mind the main difference between a natural bridge and an arch is that a natural bridge crosses a canyon, and during rainfall, water flows underneath a natural bridge. Arches are usually found above canyons on hillsides.
And that’s a wrap. Thanks to everyone who assisted in my research efforts and planning. This project has been a massive undertaking and I’m not giving up hope that a 14th confirmed natural bridge will be found in the park boundaries someday.