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Ribbon Falls Bridge: The Gift of Safe Passage

The irresistible pull of Ribbon Falls.

Ribbon Falls Bridge Rendering Final 2023 06 01

For hikers on the North Kaibab Trail, Ribbon Falls is a must-see destination.
This gorgeous natural wonder is one of the most accessible—and frequently visited—waterfalls in Grand Canyon National Park. During hot summer days, the falls become a lifesaver as visitors seek refuge in the shaded canyon that hosts the cool, soothing pool that lies beneath the rushing water.

It is also a sacred site for the Zuni, who consider Chimik’yana’kya Dey’a (Ribbon Falls) their place of emergence into the world. In their creation story, the first beings emerged from the Earth to become “people of the upper world” at Ribbon Falls. Once the people left the waterfall, they left behind glyphic and structural signs that Zuni still recognize.

Getting to Ribbon Falls, however, requires crossing Bright Angel Creek, a fragile ecosystem teeming with life. For decades, visitors used Ribbon Falls Bridge to pass safely over the creek. But the bridge was recently deemed to be structurally unsafe. It was closed and demolished.

A new bridge is critical for two key reasons: ensuring visitor safety and protecting the environment. Even though the old bridge can no longer be accessed, the pull of Ribbon Falls is strong. Rather than not seeing it, many visitors cross the creek on their own. As any experienced Grand Canyon hiker knows, this can be dangerous, especially when water levels are high. Crossing without a bridge can also do lasting damage to the creek ecosystem.

Give the gift of safe passage

Your gift will:

  • Ensure the construction of a safe, modern pedestrian bridge that will replace the former 79-foot timber and steel truss bridge that spanned the creek.
  • Provide helicopter transport for construction materials, in order to maximize worker safety and greatly reduce the environmental impact relative to ground transport.
Grand Canyon Moments

Grand Canyon Moments: Ribbon Falls

Episode 2 features the Zuni tribal connection to Ribbon Falls (Chimik’yana’kya dey’a)—a sacred site for the Zuni people, who consider it to be their place of emergence into this world.

Ed keable grca headshot min

Ed Keable

Superintendent Grand Canyon National Park

“Ribbon Falls is an unmissable destination for the thousands of people who hike the North Kaibab Trail every year. A new bridge is essential for keeping visitors safe and for protecting the Bright Angel Creek ecosystem.”

Ribbon falls

Close up view of Ribbon Falls at Grand Canyon National Park.

Ribbon Falls

For the A:shiwi (Zuni), Chimik’yana’kya dey’a (Ribbon Falls) is not just a waterfall, it's their place of emergence.

Fundraising Goal


Project Partners

Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon Conservancy
Pueblo of Zuni


Contact us to receive more information about this project.