Nevada, United States
Bridge Mountain is one of the mountains surrounding Red Rock Canyon in the Spring Mountains of Nevada. It is named after the natural feature of a bridge-like natural arch near the summit. Bridge Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The ascent is a popular hike.
The hike begins at the Redrock Pass summit, accessible by 4W drive only. Hikers can park at the north Willow Springs campground and walk 5 miles to the summit. Alternatively, hikers can turn south from Highway 160 and drive 7.5 miles SW on the Lovell Canyon Road and park where the pavement ends. The hike from here to the summit is about 3.3 miles and has less elevation gain.
The hike climbs over the crest of the shale formed, north-south oriented Spring Mountain Range, and rewards the hiker with panoramic views of the Redrock Escarpment below. A marked trail along the crest descends to the sandstone escarpment. Here steep free climbing down a chimney—possible without technical gear—takes the hiker to a narrow neck of rock that separates the drainages of Pine Creek to the south and Icebox Canyon to the north. The hike is marked by cairns that show the route to proceed up toward the base of a cliff, angling left just above the northern drop-off. The hike gently ascends the slickrock here, in a crack in the rock. (This crack provides easy climbing) After about 150 feet, the route comes to a point where there is a broad, flat ledge on the left, then continues about several feet to the left where a wider gully climbs to the top of the cliff. This leads up to the natural bridge for which the mountain is named. The bridge itself is the remains of a tinaja, or water tank, that eroded and left a remnant of the side, now a bridge.
In order to get to the top, one must climb over a fallen tree, bringing the person within reach of several pools, access to the bridge, and near the Hidden Forest (see below). heading south for several hundred feet, one then much climb along a steep, difficult ridge to get near the top, where it's easy from there. At the top, a small box, like one used to store money, contains two Composition notebooks' worth of people who have made it and signed in. The view of Las Vegas is stunning from there.
In a cleft in the sandstone of Bridge Mountain's summit, there is a small hidden forest of Ponderosa pine. Expansive views of the Las Vegas Valley can be seen from the Eastern end of the hidden forest.