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Climbing
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Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Class II
Elevation Gain
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Distance
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Amazing views. Solitude. Unique ecology. Natural arch.

Cons

Rough four-wheel drive road. Long hike. No water. Some exposed scrambling.

Pets allowed

Yes, with restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

6,457.00 ft (1,968.09 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)

Address

Bridge Mountain
Las Vegas, NV 89161
United States

Features

Backcountry camping
Rock climbing
Big vistas

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

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