Navajo Bridge Arizona (Coolest) Bridge Over the Colorado River

Navajo Bridge must see attraction Arizona

 

During my solo road trip from Utah to Arizona I found the perfect stop along the way near Marble Canyon – Navajo Bridge is one of the coolest places to see in Arizona. You get to see AMAZING views of the Colorado River while walking the old Navajo Bridge and then you can drive across the new Navajo Bridge. It’s worth it to plan a stop at Navajo Bridge for a quick break to stretch your legs or spend an hour or more – there are several things to do there.

 

Navajo Bridge plaque 1927 1928

Plaque at the Navajo Bridge – construction began in 1927 and the bride opened in 1929

 

Before the completion of the Navajo Bridge, people crossed the Colorado River by way of Lees Ferry. In 1929 the completion of Navajo Bridge allowed automobile traffic an easier way to cross the Colorado. The bridge was initially called the Grand Canyon Bridge, but it was changed to Navajo Bridge in 1934 – it is located within the Navajo Nation.

Related: Grand Canyon North Rim – 5 Reasons You Should Visit

 

Navajo pedestrian bridge over Colorado River AZ

Picturesque pink and coral colored mountain backdrop to Navajo Bridge

 

At the time of its construction the Navajo Bridge was the tallest steel arch bridge in the United States. It instantly became one of the most popular northern Arizona tourist attractions – with almost 7,000 people attending the opening event on June 14 – 15, 1929.

Now it’s even better because there are two bridges – one for pedestrians and one for vehicle traffic only. Navajo Bridge should be on everyone’s Arizona sightseeing bucket list.

 

Several rafts on the Colorado River as seen from the Navajo Bridge

Several rafts on the Colorado River as seen from the Navajo Bridge

 

Why are There Two Navajo Bridges?

The original Navajo Bridge was completed in 1929 and automobile traffic was different than in modern times. With a load capacity of 22.5 tons and a road width of only 18 ft the bridge did not meet the needs of modern vehicular traffic and the big rigs on America’s roadways.

A bigger and stronger Navajo Bridge was constructed in 1995.

Below is more info and stats about the two Navajo bridges – note the difference in cost!

Old Navajo Bridge Info

  • Year Started: 1927
  • Year Completed: 1929
  • Length: 834 ft (254 m)
  • Height Above River: 467 ft (142)
  • Width of Road: 18 ft (5.5 m)
  • Load Capacity: 22.5 tons (20.4 metric tons)
  • Quantity of Steel: 2.4 million lbs (1.1 million kg)
  • Quantity of Concrete: 500 cubic yards (385 cubic m)
  • Cost to Build: $390,000

 

A sign on the Pedestrian Navajo Bridge warns no jumping from bridge

Signage warns of No Jumping from Navajo pedestrian bridge over the Colorado River

 

New Navajo Bridge Info

  • Year Constructed: 1995
  • Length: 909 ft (277 m)
  • Height Above River: 470 ft (143 m)
  • Width of Road: 44 ft (13.4 m)
  • Quantity of Steel: 3.9 million lbs (1.8 million kg)
  • Quantity of Concrete: 1,790 cubic yards (1,370 cubic m)
  • Cost to Build: $14,700,000

Navajo Bridge is the 9th Tallest bridge in the US (Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado is the tallest at 955 ft)

 

Navajo pedestrian bridge on right and the new Navajo Bridge on left is for vehicles only

Navajo pedestrian bridge on right and the new Navajo Bridge on left is for vehicles only

 

Where is Navajo Bridge?

The bridge is located on scenic Hwy 89A Marble Canyon Arizona which is 40 miles from the city of Page AZ – famous for Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell.

 

Boating on Colorado River Arizona

Floating down the Colorado River is a popular attraction in Arizona

 

Getting to Navajo Bridge

From Kanab Utah take Hwy 89A S and continue for 77 miles. Watch for signs for Navajo Bridge and turn left into the parking lot.

Total driving time: 90 minutes


From Page Arizona take Hwy 89 S for 23 miles then turn right onto Hwy 89A N and continue for 14 miles. Navajo Bridge is on the right.

Total driving time: 45 minutes

 

Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center created with rustic stone architecture

Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center was built with a look of rustic stone architecture

 

Sign at Navajo Bridge reads Entering Navajo Reservation at Navajo Bridge AZ and depicts a map of the reservation land

A sign on the west side of Navajo Bridge with a map of the Navajo Reservation – the largest in the US

 

Things to Do at Navajo Bridge

Navajo Bridge should be on your Must See in Arizona list! Walking across the bridge is a memorable experience and you can do a bunch of other stuff at the Navajo Bridge.

  • Visit the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center (open from 9 to 5 MST April through October)
  • Enjoy a picnic at the covered rest area on the west side of the bridge.
  • Walk across the pedestrian bridge (the Original Navajo Bridge) and take in the beauty of the Colorado River flowing through the canyon.
  • Buy authentic Navajo art and crafts from the vendors on the east side of the bridge. There is also a parking area next to the artist vendors.
  • Take photos of the Historic Navajo Bridge and the New Navajo Bridge.
  • Watch for California Condors – sometimes seen at Navajo Bridge

 

Navajo Bridge Observation Shelter 1930's

A covered observation shelter was built in the 1930s at Navajo Bridge

 

Navajo jewelry and crafts for sale at Navajo Bridge

Shop for authentic Navajo jewelry and crafts from the vendors at Navajo Bridge

 

Walking Across Navajo Bridge

Like George Carlin said, I don’t have a fear of heights. I do, however, have a fear of falling from heights. And I’m happy to report that walking across the Navajo Bridge is not a place I felt any fear of falling. That bridge is sturdy! The views of the canyon and the Colorado River are mesmerizing. You might see people rafting down the river.

Keep in mind a couple of basic rules when walking across the Navajo Bridge:

Do not through anything over the bridge – you could injure boaters on the Colorado River or wildlife.

If a thunder and lightning storm is anywhere near the area seek shelter in the visitor center or in your vehicle. Do not stay on the bridge or outdoors when lightning is present. Remember that lightning can strike up to 15 miles away from the storm.

Enjoy your visit to Navajo Bridge – a great Arizona landmark!

 

Colorado River Arizona viewed from Navajo Bridge

Walking across Navajo Bridge, visitors are treated with stunning views of the Colorado River

 

Read these related posts to help you plan your trip to Arizona

What You Need to Know Before Visiting Horseshoe Bend in Page Arizona

Grand Canyon North Rim Day Trip

Things to do in Tucson Arizona (2019) Best Tourist Attractions

Hiking in Tucson Arizona Best Hiking Trails for Solo Travelers

 

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Walk Across Navajo Bridge Arizona SoloTripsAndTips.com

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Wonderful write up Susan. Your writing about all the places you visit gives a person some insight on the history and where to go and what to do. And of course your directions help.

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