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Bridge Mountain

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Las Vegas + Southern Nevada, Nevada

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Bridge Mountain

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  • The trail to Bridge Mountain is actually marked with a legitimate sign and is somewhat maintained. You're in luck!- Bridge Mountain
  • The canyon behind the Red Rock Escarpment that hides the Rocky Gap road leading to the Red Rock Summit.- Bridge Mountain
  • Behind the towering sandstone cliff faces at Red Rock canyon lies a beautifully rugged landscape filled with limestone peaks, Pinyon and Juniper woodlands, and hidden mountain springs.- Bridge Mountain
  • During the winter and spring, the Spring Mountains hold snow that helps the surrounding desert community thrive through the heat stress that summer months bring.- Bridge Mountain
  • Another view of Bridge Mountain and the city of Las Vegas to the east from the trail in the pinyon pine and juniper (PJ) forest.- Bridge Mountain
  • Rock cairns mark the way after the trail turns into slickrock. The cairns are well placed an obvious along the route.- Bridge Mountain
  • Looking at Bridge Mountain from near the end of the trail in the pinyon pine and juniper forest. - Bridge Mountain
  • A helicopter on a training mission found a landing zone on the shoulder of Bridge Mountain.  - Bridge Mountain
  • Views to the north of the Spring Mountains and North Peak.- Bridge Mountain
  • Looking west toward the saddle the route to Bridge Mountain descends down to. - Bridge Mountain
  • A scenic shot of a helicopter fly by on a training mission in the area.- Bridge Mountain
  • A wonderful natural arch exists on the north side of the peak just below the summit. During most of the year, this pothole holds water. - Bridge Mountain
  • Scramble up this block to attain flatter ground and views of the hidden forest. - Bridge Mountain
  • The crack in the center is the route to get to the summit. This stands as one of the steeper sections of the scramble to the summit.- Bridge Mountain
  • A piece of the Hidden Forest is visible below the true summit of Bridge Mountain.- Bridge Mountain
  • The saddle that separates Bridge Mountain from the limestone ridge to the west. This section of the scramble is well marked with cairns.- Bridge Mountain
  • Views south along the Red Rock Escarpment. Mount Potosi, the southernmost of the Spring Mountain peaks, sits on the horizon, and Mount Wilson, the crown jewel of Red Rock, sits to the upper left. - Bridge Mountain
  • North Peak is the sandstone peak in the left center of the photo, and it is a short distance away from Bridge Mountain. A spur trail to North Peak branches off of the Bridge Mountain trail at the saddle around 7,000 feet. - Bridge Mountain
  • - Bridge Mountain
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Amazing views. Solitude. Unique ecology. Natural arch.
Cons: 
Rough four-wheel drive road. Long hike. No water. Some exposed scrambling.
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Region:
Las Vegas + Southern Nevada, NV
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Recommended Equipment:
Additional ice tools
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade II
Net Elevation Gain: 
3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,457.00 ft (1,968.09 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Bridge Mountain makes for an ultra-classic desert scramble that offers grand views of the Spring Mountains, Rainbow Mountain and Mount Wilson as well as the city of Las Vegas to the east. The rough and deteriorated four-wheel drive road to access the trailhead at Red Rock Summit and the Class 3 scrambling up an improbable looking crack keep the crowds away on the climb, and it is common to not see another soul while out exploring this area and the attic of the Red Rock Escarpment.  

From the Red Rock Summit on Rocky Gap Road, follow a well-worn trail through a nice pinyon pine and juniper forest to a point on the ridge at roughly 7,200 feet. The views from here are expansive and allow for a quick scout of the route down and over to Bridge Mountain. From this point, a trail marker exists that separates both the North Peak and Bridge Mountain trails. Follow the Bridge Mountain trail for roughly another 1.2 miles as the trail turns into slickrock. The trail here is well cairned, but it turns into a virtual obstacle course on the way to the summit. Carefully descend through the sandstone shelves and cracks down to a low saddle following cairns along the way. From this point, cross the slickrock and head up and left looking for an imposing crack that runs for 200 to 300 feet up and to the left of the summit, and is much more secure than it looks from the base!

Ascend this crack up to a large and relatively flat area where you will see a lovely natural arch. Behind the arch lies a large pothole that has a large ponderosa pine growing and that is generally filled with water during most of the year. Keep an eye out for tinajas, which are water catchment basins, many of which hold water from winter throughout the year.

From the pothole inside the natural arch, continue up to the top of the prominent cliff above the arch via the path of least climbing resistance. After reaching another prominent flat area, look for a small, healthy stand of ponderosa pines below the true summit of Bridge Mountain, which has been referred to as the Hidden Forest. Make an effort to check out this on the return trip as ponderosa pines in this area are a rarity and create a wonderful contrast to the Joshua-tree-filled Mojave scrublands below the peak.

Descend to the south toward the edge of the forest with an overlook of Pine Creek Canyon below. From this point, continue around and to the east, following Class 2 and Class 3 slabs and the path of least resistance to the summit.

On the return trip, those with time to spare can add try to tick off North Peak as well, which is only a few short round trip miles away. North Peak offers nice views of Bridge Mountain as the sun starts to hang lower in the sky.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(27 within a 30 mile radius)

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Who's Done It
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13 Adventures Explored
6 Adventures Published

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