Ayres Natural Bridge

After visiting Fort Fetterman on July 10, 2010, our next objective was to find Ayers Natural Bridge.

I had the GPS unit set for shortest distance instead of fastest time and, unfortunately, the shortest distance settings took us down a route that wasn’t! 

After we had gone through a farmyard, the “road” degenerated into a rutted, muddy path that was getting progressively worse.  I was on the verge of looking for a place to turn around when a farmer who set out after us on a four-wheel ATV caught up and told us that the track we were on wasn’t a road.  Apparently, we weren’t the first to be directed through his land by their GPS device.

Ayres Natural Bridge, Converse County, Wyoming, July 10, 2010
Ayres Natural Bridge, Converse County, Wyoming, July 10, 2010

When we made it to Ayers Natural Bridge, we found it was the centerpiece of a very nice county park.  We had a picnic and spent about an hour in the park.

Unlike most natural bridges formed by water, Ayers Natural Bridge still spans the stream that cut through it. In May 1920, the bridge and surrounding 150 acres of land was donated to Converse County by Andrew C. Ayres for use as a free park, which bears the same name as the formation.

The arch over the creek was occasionally visited by emigrants on the Emigrant Trails, but it wasn’t an easy undertaking.

Mathew C. Field – July 12, 1843: Rode off in advance of the camp with Sir Wm., to visit a remarkable mountain gorge – a natural bridge of solid rock,over a rapid torrent, the arch being regular as tho shaped by art – 30 feet from base to ceiling, and 50 to the top of the bridge – wild cliffs, 300 feet perpendicular beetled us, and the noisy current swept along among huge fragments of rock at our feet. We had a dangerous descent, and forced our way through an almost impervious thicket, being compelled to take the bed of the stream in gaining a position below. We called the water Bridge Creek!  (Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office)

Ayres Natural Bridge Park, Converse County, Wyoming, July 10, 2010
Ayres Natural Bridge Park


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Ayres Natural Bridge

american history, history, landscape, now that's cool!, parks, photography, stream, summer, travel, Travel Photos, wyoming

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  • Hilary Aug 28, 2015

    Hi Mike – what a lovely looking place .. if it wasn’t full of other people! Interesting to read Mathew Field’s description … but GPS isn’t perfect – here people drive onto railway lines and want to follow them … where has common sense gone … though in your case I know you have that – so you don’t have the need to get agitated by my comment! Cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…Blog Sandwich Update 5 … Sharon; Bomber Command Memorial Eastbourne; Canterbury Cathedral’s Ancestor’s Medieval Windows and some food …My Profile

    • Mike Aug 29, 2015

      We’ve had other “adventures” with the GPS, but, for the most part, GPS navigation is quite accurate… and getting better… so long as it’s set up right, which generally isn’t to try to go the “shortest distance.”
      Mike recently posted…WinterMy Profile

  • nick Aug 29, 2015

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a natural bridge – it’s quite something!

    That’s the reason I’ve never tried using GPS – I’ve heard of rather too many mishaps due to faulty directions.

    • Mike Aug 29, 2015

      We’ve actually seen quite a few natural bridges (formed from water erosion) and natural arches (formed from wind erosion).

      In a few weeks, we’ll be heading out, guided by GPS, on a trip to Southwestern Utah. Because of the stops we’ve planned, most of the trip will be off the beaten path, but, after several long trips by GPS, I’m comfortable following it. Total driving distance will be about 3300 miles over 4 weeks.
      Mike recently posted…On DeckMy Profile

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