Beginning about 1900, the bridges were often visited and popularized by authors, photographers, and painters who were guided into the canyons by local ranchers. In 1904 the National Geographic magazine sponsored an expedition to the area. By 1908 the bridges were sufficiently well-known for President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside the area as a national monument. The first dirt road was extended to the monument in 1928. Zeke Johnson, a well-liked canyon country guide and famous story teller, was monument superintendent in the 1940s.
The visitors center features a solar-power generating system that was designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was the world's largest at the time of its inauguration in 1980.
See: Ward J. Roylance, Utah--A Guide to the State (1982); and Utah Writers Project, Utah--A Guide to the State (1941).