World’s Most Spectacular Natural Arches and Bridges

Some of the most beautiful natural arches and bridges from around the world:

Vallon-Pont-d’Arc – France

Vallon-Pont-d’Arc is a commune in the Ardèche department in south-eastern France. Vallon-Pont-d’Arc is a capital of prehistoric and cultural tourism. This small village, peaceful in wintertime, sees its population multiply 10 times in summer. Its touristic importance largely comes from the fact that it is the departure point for the descent of the gorge of the Ardèche river from Pont d’Arc to Saint-Martin-d’Ardeche.

Vallon-Pont-d’Arc is situated at the threshold of one of the most beautiful tourist sites of France: “les gorges de l’Ardèche” (the Ardèche canyon). The famous Pont d’Arc, a natural arch of more than 30 meters height, carved out by the Ardèche and classified as Great Site of France, gave it its name.

1.8 km (1.1 mi) southeast of the village, the river Ibie flows into the Ardèche, which forms all of the commune’s south-western border.

Natural Bridge – Utah, USA

A natural arch or natural bridge is a natural formation (or landform) where a rock arch forms, with a natural passageway through underneath. Most natural arches form as a narrow ridge, walled by cliffs, become narrower from erosion, with a softer rock stratum under the cliff-forming stratum gradually eroding out until the rock shelters thus formed meet underneath the ridge, thus forming the arch. Natural arches commonly form where cliffs are subject to erosion from the sea, rivers or weathering (sub-aerial processes); the processes “find” weaknesses in rocks and work on them, making them bigger until they break through.

Rainbow Bridge – Utah

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is administered by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, southern Utah, USA. Rainbow Bridge is often described as the world’s largest natural bridge. The span of Rainbow Bridge is 275 feet (84 m), and at the top it is 42 feet (13 m) thick and 33 feet (10 m) wide. Two other natural arches, Kolob Arch and Landscape Arch, both also in southern Utah, have confirmed spans several meters longer than Rainbow Bridge, but by most definitions of the terms are described as arches but not bridges. With a height of 290 feet (88 m) Rainbow Bridge does indeed stand taller than either of its longer competitors, but it is outdone by Aloba Arch at 394 feet (120 m), which is in turn dwarfed by the world’s tallest arch, Tushuk Tash in China at an estimated 1,200 feet (366 m). It is probably the most accessible of the large arches of the world, as it can be reached by a two-hour yacht ride on Lake Powell or by hiking several hours overland from a trailhead (obtain a permit from the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona).

Pravcicka Brana – Switzerland

This splendid rock formation is located in Bohemian Switzerland. This area is also known as Czech Switzerland, a picturesque region in the north-western Czech Republic.

Natural Bridge – Kentucky, USA

Natural Bridge State Park is a Kentucky state park located in Powell and Wolfe Counties along the Middle Fork of the Red River, adjacent to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area and surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. Its namesake natural bridge is the centerpiece of the park. The natural sandstone arch spans 78 ft (24 m) and is 65 ft (20 m) high. The natural process of weathering formed the arch over millions of years. The park is approximately 2,300 acres (9 km2) of which approximately 1,200 acres (5 km2) is dedicated by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission as a nature preserve. In 1981 this land was dedicated into the nature preserves system to protect the ecological communities and rare species habitat. The first federally endangered Virginia big eared bats, Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus, recorded in Kentucky were found at Natural Bridge State Park in the 1950s.

Azure Window – Malta

The Azure Window is a natural arch in the Maltese island of Gozo featuring a table-like rock over the sea. The Inland Sea, Gozo, and Dwejra Bay, were created millions of years ago when two limestone caves collapsed. This and the near by Blue Hole and Inland sea are popular scuba diving sites. Dwejra is a tourist village that belongs to the town of St. Lawrence, Gozo, Malta.

Turret Arch – Utah, USA

Our next beautiful and interesting natural arch formation is located also at Arches National Park and it is the Turret Arch.

El Arco de Cabo San Lucas – Mexico

El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, or Lands End, Cabo San Lucas is a distinctive rock formation at the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas, which is itself the extreme southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. The arch is usually known as El Arco in the town of Cabo San Lucas.

Skyline Arch – Utah, USA

Offcourse! – Utah ! Name of this beautiful arch is Skyline…

Arch of Akakus – Libya

Acacus Mountains or Tadrart Acacus is a mountain range in the desert of western Libya, part of the Sahara. They are situated east of the Libyan city of Ghat. They streach north from the Libyan border about 100 km. Tadrart means ‘mountain’ in the native language of the area (Tamahaq language). The area has a particularly rich array of prehistoric rock art.

Metate Caprock Arch – Utah, USA

Metate Arch is one of the main attractions of the Devils Garden natural area now part of the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument in southern Utah. It is reached via the historic Hole in the Rock road and is about 18 miles southeast of Escalante, Utah.

The Wonderful Bridges – Bulgaria

The Wonderful Bridges is a rock formation in the Rhodope Mountains in southern Bulgaria. It is located in the Karst valley of the Erkyupryia River in the Western Rhodopes at 1,450 metres above sea level, at the foot of Persenk Peak. The “bridges” were formed by the erosive activity of the once high-water river. It transformed the marble clefts into a deep water cave, the ceiling of which whittled up through time and collapsed, allegedly during an earthquake. Geologists suppose that the water carried the debris away.

As a result, the two remaining bridge-shaped boulders remained. The large one (situated upstream) is 15 metres at its widest and 96 metres long, and shaped by three vault arches, the largest of which is 45 metres high and 40 metres wide. The Erkyupriya River flows under the middle-sized arch. The large Wonderful Bridge is passable under the vaults where birds nest in the marble clefts. The smaller bridge is located 200 metres downstream. It is unpassable, 60 metres in length, with a total height of 50 metres, 30 metres at the highest place of the arch. A third, very little and hardly reachable bridge-like formation follows, constituting the entrance of a pothole cave where the river waters disappear underground, and show back up after 3 km.

Double Arch – Utah, USA

Double Arch is a famous close-set pair of natural arches—one of the more impressive features of Arches National Park in Utah, USA. The arches are reached by a short walk (approx. 200 meters) from the area parking lot. There are no guardrails or fences to prevent visitors from exploring directly beneath and through the arches. The area was used as a backdrop for the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, in which the arches are briefly visible. However, the cave shown in the movie does not exist.

Cerro de Arcos – Ecuador

The Cerro de Arcos (English: Hill of arches) is a windswept rock formation in the high paramo of the Ecuadorian southern sierra. It is situated on the border between the provinces El Oro and Loja, on the elevated plain between the Cordillera de Chilla and the Cordillera de Timbayacu at an altitude of 3700 m (12140f). The rock formation features towers, columns and several of the eponymous arches formed by wind and weather erosion. The formation covers an area of about 300 m by 300 m.

Landscape Arch – Utah, USA

The extraordinarily beautiful Landscape Arch is the world’s longest natural arch. The arch is among many in the area known as Devil’s Garden. The arch has a span of 290.1 ± 0.8 feet or 88.4 meters.

Durdle Door – England

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is privately owned by the Welds, a wealthy landowning family who own 12,000 acres of Dorset in the form of the Lulworth Estate. It is open to the public. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word ‘thirl’ meaning bore or drill.

Grosvenor Arch – Utah, USA

Grosvenor Arch is a unique sandstone double arch located within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. It is named to honor Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor (1875-1966), a president of the National Geographic Society, publishers of the National Geographic Magazine. Located in northern Kane County, it is close to and south of Kodachrome Basin State Park and is accessed from the north or south via Road 400, a dirt road that traverses Cottonwood Canyon, Utah and skirts the Grand Staircase on its western margin.

Delicate Arch – Utah, USA

The amazing and world-famous Delicate Arch is a freestanding natural arch located in Utah. It is the most widely- recognized landmark in Arches National Park and stands at 52 feet or 16 meters tall.

Natural Bridge – Wisconsin, USA

Natural Bridge State Park is an 530-acre (214 ha) Wisconsin state park featuring the largest natural arch in the state. Directly beneath the arch is a rock shelter once used by Paleo-Indians. The park is located southwest of Baraboo between the unincorporated communities of Leland and Denzer, in the town of Honey Creek.

Natural Bridge – California, USA

Natural Bridges State Beach is a protected area in Santa Cruz, California, featuring a natural bridge across a section of the beach. It is also well known as a hotspot to see monarch butterfly migrations.

Sewanee Natural Bridge – Tennessee, USA

Sewanee Natural Bridge in Franklin County, Tennessee, is a 25 feet (8 m) high natural sandstone arch with a span of 50 feet (15 m). It is essentially a giant sinkhole partially eroded to form a large stone bridge. A wet weather spring located behind the bridge in a rock cave probably contributed to the erosion forming the arch. It is called the Sewanee Natural Bridge as it was once owned by the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is a 3 acre (12,000 m²) designated state natural area.

Cedar Tree Arch – Colorado, USA

Rattlesnake Canyon is a scenic area within the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness which in turn forms the core of the Bureau of Land Management administered McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area in west central Colorado. The canyon contains 9 natural arches, the second highest concentration of such arches in the United States, after the much better known Arches National Park. Limited access and primitive facilities limit visitation and help preserve the wilderness in its natural state.

East Rim Arch – Colorado, USA

East Rim Arch (also known as Akiti Arch or Centennial Arch) has a span of 40 feet and an opening height of 120 feet.

Bridge Arch – Colorado, USA

Bridge Arch (also known as Hole-in-the-Bridge Arch) has a span of 40 feet and an opening height of 30 feet.

Natural Bridge – Virginia, USA

Natural Bridge, known by locals as Natty B, in Rockbridge County, Virginia is a geological formation in which Cedar Creek (a small tributary of the James River) has carved out a gorge in the mountainous limestone terrain, forming an arch 215 ft (66 m) high with a span of 90 ft (27 m). It consists of horizontal limestone strata, and is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the creek once flowed. It is crossed by a public road, U.S. Highway 11. There are fences on either side of the highway, blocking the view from the top of the bridge. Natural Bridge has been designated a Virginia Historical Landmark and a National Historical Landmark.

Sipapu Natural Bridge – Utah, USA

Sipapu Bridge is a natural bridge or arch located in the Natural Bridges National Monument in the U.S. state of Utah. The bridge spans White Canyon. Sipapu was long reported to have a span of 268 feet by the National Park Service, ranking it as the fourth longest natural arch in the world. A more accurate measurement obtained by laser survey in 2007 revealed the measurement to be a significant overstatement. The Natural Arch and Bridge Society has published a revised span of 225 feet, demoting the arch to a seventh place ranking.

Kachina Bridge – Utah, USA

Kachina Bridge is one of three natural bridges in the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah.

Owachomo Bridge – Utah, USA

Another spectacular geological formation located in Natural Bridges Monument is the Owachomo Bridge which means “rock mound” in Hopi and is named after the rock formation on top of the east end of the bridge.

credited to wikipedia

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