North Rainbow Bridge Trail

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
138
During the week of Nov 3, three of us attempted to hike the North Rainbow Bridge trail. I say attempted as we did not complete the full trail as the trail was more difficult than we anticipated and other reasons. This trail is truly in the backcountry as it is a 6 hour drive from Phoenix with the last 20 miles or so being on dirt (not gravel) trail roads with uncountable number of unmarked side roads (trail road is unmarked). A 4 wheel high clearance vehicle is REQUIRED for the last few miles (we had a AWD Rav4 and made it but did scrape bottom and spun out on a couple of places with the road totally dry).

Driving directions to the trailhead: From route 98 east of Page take Indian route 16 north for maybe 40 miles until the road essentially ends at a 4 way dirt intersection at a small Indian village. Continue straight thru the intersection with GPS active following the trailhead road. Contrary to published trip reports (mostly old), the trailhead is well marked and the trail is relatively easy to follow. The only caution is to pay attention to the cairns as there are numerous horse and cattle (yes cattle - have no idea what they eat) tracks which can be a bit confusing in a couple of places.


The weather was amazing with cool (or cold) nights and pleasant days providing great hiking weather. We started on the trail about an hour before sunset on Monday. we did find a camp site with a bit of water in an unmarked gulch about 2 miles in as it was already getting dark. Not a pretty camp site but worked.

IMG_3784.JPG


To show it was chilly here is a picture of the inside of my tent. Yep that is ice. It took a long time to melt off.

IMG_3779.JPG


The next morning we headed on towards Cha Canyon, Bald Rock and then to Nasja Canyon.
Some pictures of the journey:

Entering Bald Rock Canyon. This is a gorgeous canyon. Bewares the climb back out is not easy. Trail is fine just steep.
IMG_3789.JPG


Looking down into Bald Rock

IMG_3790.JPG

Heading down the trail into the canyon
IMG_3791.JPG

Down in Bald Rock. One hikes a long way down Bald Rock before it crosses the stream and out the west side. Then there is a long climb over a high ridge to Nasja Canyon. There are camping possibilities at the crossing BUT MUCH better campsites are at Nasja Canyon (picnic table and all)!
IMG_3794.JPG


Slick rock views coming over the ridges to Nasja Canyon.

IMG_3796.JPG


IMG_3799.JPG

Some color with the cottonwoods
IMG_3804.JPG


Nasja Camp - There was shade but since it was cool we opted for sun .
IMG_3801.JPG

Some views of Owl Bridge - just about a 1/2 mile past Nasja
IMG_3814.JPG
IMG_3819.JPG
IMG_3821.JPG


A picture of what I guess is an old Navajo sweat lodge. Looks like it has been there a LONG time.
IMG_3832.JPG


At this point we had to retrace and head out. A bit disappointing that we could not go on down to Rainbow Bridge but the scenery to this point was awesome. If you are hiking this trail, remember that there are some good climbs on the way out - the ups just seem to keep coming.

On last view back at the slick rock areas. Maybe I will either allow a bit more time and do the hike or do the easy one and just ride the boat to Rainbow Bridge.
IMG_3841.JPG


Featured image for home page:
slide.jpg
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,398
Nice report Eugene! A rarely traveled, or at least reported, trail.
 

Joey

walking somewhere
Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
878
Nice report! Curious what time was it getting dark?
 

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
138
Too bad it is so difficult to get to as the scenery along the trail is gorgeous. As noted didn't see anyone on the trail - only car parked at the trailhead the whole week. From the footprints I think a group had been on the trail a few weeks back and the Nasja canyon camp seemed well used.
 

River

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
419
Thanks for sharing Eugene! We spent a week exploring nearby Aztec Creek a few years ago and had a great time. We didn't see anyone else down there.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
D Current Water-Rainbow Bridge North Trail Trip Planning 0
D Rainbow Bridge North Trail Backpacking 4
Eugene Rainbow Bridge North Trail (this time the full trail) Backpacking 0
Eugene Rainbow Bridge - North Trail Trip Planning 6
NorthwestWanderer North Cascades NP : Dee Dee Lakes & the Mcallister Ledge Backpacking 0
NorthwestWanderer North Cascades - Cutthroat/Granite/snowy lakes passes Backpacking 3
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - October 17, 2020 Hiking & Camping 16
U Favorite sites in Glacier in North Fork, Lake McDonald or Cole/Nyack? Looking at mid july Trip Planning 2
Bob Grand Canyon North Rim wildfire Trip Planning 4
J North Cascades National Park Black and Corteo Peaks Traverse Aug 21-23, 2007 Retro Backpacking 3
U Glacier North Circle Loop Mid July - Looking for an alternative back-up plan for a 3-4 nighter Trip Planning 0
Mikjik86 FULL Video Part 2 Backpacking Glacier National Park "North Circle Route" Backpacking 0
Dhuff3243 North Fork Robbers Roost and Blarney canyon Trip Planning 0
Mikjik86 Backpacking Glacier National Park (Part 2 Preview) "North Circle Route" Montana, August 2019 Backpacking 2
J Lake Mead Natl Recreation Area North Shore scramble fun. Nov. 28-30, 2019 Hiking & Camping 5
Mikjik86 Backpacking Glacier National Park - North Circle Route Part 1 Preview Video. Backpacking 1
Chuck the Mauler North Lake - South Lake questions Trip Planning 4
Yvonne Kolob Terrace exploration: from Hop Valley to North Gate Peaks, May 2019 Hiking & Camping 7
BJett Linville Gorge Wilderness Area - North Carolina Backpacking 18
Janice Opportunity to provide input on policies for Coyote Buttes North ("The Wave") and nearby areas General Discussion 27
TimeOutside Searching for a 5-ish day trek within 5 to 6 hours of North Dallas Trip Planning 3
DrNed Shift in Magnetic North General Discussion 4
McKee80 Glacier NP, part 2. North Fork, Sept 2018 Backpacking 11
Titans Pharaoh Lake Wilderness - Brilliant Fall Foliage, Pond and Lake Reflections- Adirondacks, North Eastern US Hiking & Camping 20
regehr Mill B North Fork Hiking & Camping 6
msteudel Boulder Mountain North Slope UT: Donkey Res. to Lost Lake? Trip Planning 1
NorthwestWanderer Copper Pass, North Cascades (Day Hike + Bear sighting) Hiking & Camping 1
Jimmy Baker Lake, Lake Diablo, North Cascades, Olympics Family Adventure Hiking & Camping 8
jar155 North Erickson Lake, Uinta Mountains (off trail approach) Backpacking 9
Outdoors24 Things to do north of Durango CO Trip Planning 0
SKLund North Dune Mountain Hiking & Camping 9
KevinBoyer South Lake to North Lake Sierra Nevada Trip Planning 4
Mountain Wanderer Hello from North Idaho! Noobs: Introduce yourself! 4
DrNed Floating The North Platte June 2017 On The Water 5
AbinadiWitness Chicago Basin - Part 1: Approach - Purgatory Flats, North Eolus, Mt. Eolus - 13-15 Aug. 2017 Backpacking 6
George_Washington_Hayduke White Roost Canyons (east and west forks) & North Fork of Robbers Roost Canyon Canyoneering 3
Ross High Spur and North Wash Canyoneering 5
George_Washington_Hayduke North Wash Canyoneering: Sawtooth, Bingo, Hog 3, Hog 4 Canyoneering 2
kimbur96 Buckhorn Trail, North Cheyenne Canon Hiking & Camping 3
DrNed North Platte & Upper Green River Trip Planning 0
WasatchWill UHT - Day 4: North Star Lake to WFBF + Wilson Peak Backpacking 3
WasatchWill UHT - Day 3: Painter Basin to North Star Lake Backpacking 8
Yvonne Cross-Country skiing North Fork Trail, Uintas Winter Sports 10
Perry First Snowshoe Experience - Bi-centennial trail, North Fork Park General Discussion 11
kimbur96 North Cheyenne Canyon to St Mary's Falls and beyond. Hiking & Camping 3
ashleyoutside Angel Cove Canyon - North Wash, Utah Canyoneering 0
scatman North Summit of Mount Olympus - November 6, 2016 Hiking & Camping 8
westy North Cascades Backpacking 2
westy Sierra North Backpacking 3
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains, annual 4th trip to North Meadow Creek Hiking & Camping 4

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top