Hiking is the number-one activity here. From the trail heads, you can hike separately to each of the bridges, or start at one and do a loop hike to all three. Be prepared for summer afternoon thunderstorms that can cause flash flooding. Although the possibility of encountering a rattlesnake is very small, you should still watch carefully. During the hot summers, all hikers should wear hats and other protective clothing, use sunscreen, and carry a gallon of water per person for all but the shortest walks.

The easiest hike -- more of a walk -- leads to Owachomo Bridge (.4 mile round-trip), with an elevation gain of 180 feet. Look toward the eastern horizon to see the twin buttes named Bear's Ears. Allow a half-hour.

The Sipapu and Kachina Bridge trails are both considered moderately strenuous -- allocate about 1 hour for each. The trek to Sipapu Bridge has a 500-foot elevation change, climbing two flights of stairs with three ladders and handrails on a 1.2-mile round-trip trail. This is the steepest trail in the park, and it ends with a splendid view of the bridge about halfway down. The hike takes about 1 hour.

The 1.5-mile round-trip hike to massive Kachina Bridge has a 400-foot elevation change, descending steep slickrock with handrails. Under the bridge is a pile of rocks that fell in June 1992, slightly enlarging the bridge opening. Allow about 1 hour.

Those planning to hike the loop to all three bridges can start at any of the trail heads, although rangers recommend starting at Owachomo. The round-trip, including your walk back across the mesa, is about 9 miles. Although the trails from the rim to the canyon bottom can be steep, the walk along the bottom is easy.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.