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Wilderness Volunteers

Natural Bridges National Monument, UT (Sep 19th - Sep 25th 2021)

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Natural Bridges sits high on Cedar Mesa, 6,500 feet above sea level. Intermittent streams have cut two deep canyons and three massive bridges in sandstone formed from what was once the shore of an ancient sea. In honor of the Native Americans that made this area their home, the bridges are named "Kachina," "Owachomo" and "Sipapu." At each of the bridges, trails descend into the canyons. A longer trail meanders along the canyon bottoms through oak and cottonwood groves, connecting the three bridges in one spectacular loop hike.

Natural Bridges preserves habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Visitors may see mule deer browsing, hear the falling notes of a canyon wren, or smell the sweet aroma of spring wildflowers.

The greater Cedar Mesa region comprises a gently sloping mesa top of pinyon-juniper forest crisscrossed by serpentine canyons including the well-known Grand Gulch. The area is famous for its Ancestral Puebloan cliff sites and rock art.

This service project will focus on removing the invasive Tamarisk from wild canyons at Natural Bridges National Monument using loppers and folding saws. Presently, Tamarisk is still in a manageable state and the National Park Service staff will follow up the invasive removal with herbicide to prevent Tamarisk regrowth. We will also hand pull annual exotic plants which can negatively impact native vegetation and wildlife. Participants will be hiking between 3-10 miles daily to get to the worksite, mainly off trail in canyon bottoms, including steep descents/ascents (approximately 500 feet) to access canyon bottom. Participants will camp near the Visitor's Center and will have access to their cars. This project will provide the satisfaction of potentially clearing all the Tamarisk from the National Monument!

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.

Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Check out more photos from our previous service project at Natural Bridges National Monument in our photo gallery.


Sep 19th - Sep 25th 2021

Service Project

Invasive removal of Tamarisk and other annual exotic plants.

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Free Days

Day hikes to explore natural bridges, ancient sites & rock art, photography


Tent camping near cars.

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : Strenuous: hiking, bending, digging, pulling. Long, 4-8 mile, off-trail day hikes to remote canyons


Christopher Riccardo
Bill Goolsby

Equipment List