The Agate Bridge

The Agate Bridge at the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. June 13, 2011.

The Agate Bridge in the Petrified Forest National Park is a 110-foot long petrified log across a gully washed out by centuries of flood waters.  The stone log, which was harder than the sandstone around it, resisted erosion and remained suspended as the softer rock beneath it washed away.

After the Petrified Forest National Monument was established in 1906, conservationists felt the bridge needed architectural support.  In 1911 masonry pillars were erected beneath the log.  In 1917 the pillars were replaced by the concrete span seen in the picture above.

Current National Park Service philosophy allows the natural forces to continue to act upon unusual features.  If it was discovered today, the Agate Bridge would be left in its natal state.  Even with the support placed under it nearly a century ago, the same forces that created the Agate Bridge will eventually cause it to fall.

For another perspective of the Agate Bridge click HERE.

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15 Responses to “The Agate Bridge”

  1. Darla Says:

    This is so interesting!

  2. diane Says:

    another geological surprise that you have found. It makes sense to let erosion follow its natural path.

  3. The Incredible Woody Says:

    It is so very cool!

  4. Sandra Says:

    i am glad we have finally learned to let nature do it’s thing and not pour concrete in or on or under.

  5. bertN Says:

    Lucky you! I’ve never been to the Petrified Forest National Park yet.

  6. Rose Says:

    I really like this…wonder how much that thing weights?

  7. Sylvia Kirkwood Says:

    I agree with Sandra, about time we finally learned to let nature do its thing — we’ve got enough concrete for several worlds! Terrific capture of an amazing sight, George! The Petrified Forest is indeed an awesome place! Hope you have a great day!!


  8. Ginny Hartzler Says:

    Heavens!! Well, I’m assuming and hoping that no one is allowed ON this bridge?? I’m sure that is one that you and Betsy would not attempt!

  9. Ruth Hiebert Says:

    That is pretty amazing.

  10. happyone Says:

    Thanks for the posting the picture and telling us about it. I wonder how much weight it can support. I’m assuming you aren’t allowed to walk on it.

  11. Colin (HB) Says:

    Having noted that two of your viewers enquired if people were allowed onto that bridge, I hope there are signs ‘”DO NOT CROSS BRIDGE” in place. It would be completely foolhardy to try that stunt. Some “clots” would I presume. Maybe the approaches are sealed off?????
    Very interesting post.

  12. ladyfi Says:

    What a great find!

  13. Angela Says:

    That is just amazing! Wouldn’t mind seeing that one in person.

  14. madrassi Says:

    Amazing! great knowing about it in detail

  15. Loren Says:

    I am always learning from you & Betsy 🙂 such amazing details!

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