PointofInterestRoadSigns.com - Arizona - Navajo Bridge - Natural Barriers to Exploration


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Navajo Bridge - Natural Barriers to Exploration and Transportation


Location of sign - Navajo Bridge on US 89 in Arizona


Photo taken- July 2008


Natural Barriers to Exploration and Transportation Interpretive Sign at Navajo Bridge in Arizona

Close up view of sign


Natural Barriers to Exploration and Transportation Interpretive Sign at Navajo Bridge in Arizona

Wide view of sign


Text of sign:


Natural Barriers to Exploration and Transportation


Native People...


For centuries, the Colorado River and its deep canyons have been formidable natural barriers to travel, but for hundreds of miles 

the preferred crossing of the river has always been here, near Marble Canyon.  Archeological evidence and oral tradition indicate

that native people frequently forded the Colorado River in this vicinity when natural river flows were low enough to make crossing





In 1776 to Franciscan priests, Fray Francisco Antanasio Dominguez and Fray Silvestre Velez de Escalante, led an expedition 

across this area in search of an overland route to California.  Because they anticipated being followed by soldiers, priests, and

settlers, the Dominguez-Escalante expedition provided the first written record of this region.


Almost 100 years later, in 1869, the Colorado River gained fame from the writings of Major John Wesley Powell, who conducted

by boat the first scientific exploration of the Colorado River.  Powell led a second expedition in 1871-72.  His purpose was to

determine if the river was navigable, map the river's canyons, and record geologic formations. 




A ferry crossing of the Colorado River began operating at the mouth of the Paria River in 1871.  The crossing is widely known as

Lee's Ferry, after its first operator, John Doyle Lee.  During the 19th century, thousands of pioneers crossed the Colorado River at

Lee's Ferry.  The wagon route became known as the "Honeymoon Trail" because recently married Mormons from new settlements

in Arizona traveled this route to St. George, Utah to have their marriages sanctioned in the Mormon Temple.


and Modern Travelers...


In 1929, the historic Navajo Bridge replaced Lee's Ferry river crossing.  The bridge was so significant to this remote and rugged 

region that more than 5,000 people attended the dedication ceremony.  Since then, travelers enroute to and through some of this

country's most magnificent landscapes, have crossed the Colorado River in relative comfort and convenience by automobile.


"Nowhere in North America, and in very few localities in the world, are there any such barriers to road building as the Grand 

Canyon of the Colorado"  - W.G. Lubertivre State Engineer 1926

Graphics on the Sign


In addition to the text there are historical photos of transportation on the river.


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