Death Valley – Natural Bridge

Just a short drive from Badwater Basin is the Natural Bridge rock formation.  The canyon was created by water flowing the path of least resistance down the mountain ultimately creating a natural archway in the stone.

From the trailhead it doesn’t take long for the canyon walls to rise up around you.  Temperatures today were starting to climb into the 70s/80s but it was much cooler in the shade.  Always enjoy these types of views.  Trails here are extremely smooth and easy to navigate – no twisted ankles here!

About 1/3 mile from the trailhead you reach the Natural Bridge.  The sun & shadows reveal an amazing contrast of color ranging from tan and orange to deep pinks and reds. (Don’t forget to click for larger photos!)

Further down the trail is a dry waterfall that from a distance appears to be a cave entrance.  Closer inspection shows where water carved this downspout from above.  Erosion has polished the stone into a smooth finish.

Around the bend the canyon walls widen and opens to views of the mountains above.

One more turn in the path and the easy part of the trail ends.  Ancient bedrock becomes exposed and requires scrambling over a 15 foot ledge.  It was very slick here and I wasn’t sure what was on the other side – decided to turn around and not risk a 127 Hours type situation.

Back at the trailhead, the views down the mountain back towards the salt flats are breathtaking.

Hiking Data

I quit the Boy Scouts back around 4th grade, and once again it shows because I wasn’t prepared with my maps.  Missed the last section but I don’t know if I was prepared for it anyways.  Still hiked at least 90% to completion.  Not much elevation and the path here is super easy, would recommend to anyone without physical limitations.

Lat = 36.2810249 , Long = -116.7699127 -- Show at Google Maps

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