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Little Bridge Canyon - Death Valley National Park

Summary: A hike to a little visited canyon and two natural arches near Stovepipe Wells Village.
Directions: From Stovepipe Village drive east on CA 190 about 3.1 miles to where the road completes a wide bend to the north and park next to the side of the road. If you happen to have a GPS, I parked at UTM 491588mE, 4050702mN.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car
Navigation: Moderate
Length: 4 - 6 hours
Date Hiked: November 2004
Weather Conditions: Sunny and warm
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: The entrance to this canyon is a bit tricky to find. From the road begin hiking in a wide arc to the southeast, keeping a long, low brown hill (which has a steel electrical box connected to a line of telephone poles perched on top of it) off to the east (your left). Parallel the hill for a distance (UTM 492976mE, 4049246mN) then begin swinging right towards a prominent 'V' shaped cleft in the mountains above you. Do not walk right up the drainage that crosses CA 190 like I did, since this will lead you to a series of shallow uninteresting drainages. Eventually, by heading towards the cleft, you will enter the prominent rocky drainage of Little Bridge Canyon (not named on the map). You'll know you're in the right place if the walls of the canyon are colored with dark red streaks (UTM 492820mE, 4047978mN). Slog your way up this wash and after about 10 minutes you'll pass a white rocky outcrop of rock that reaches to the drainage floor on the right (facing up canyon) and 10-20 minutes later you'll reach a small, 5 foot, arch located in the right canyon wall (UTM 492460mE, 4047080mN). Continue up canyon another 20 minutes (0.5 miles) to the little bridge which sticks out from the right canyon wall giving the canyon its name (UTM 492900mE, 4046610mN). I went quite a ways further up this canyon, exploring several side drainages as I went (based on reports of narrows), but found nothing further of interest worth the effort. When ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and his wife spent a bit of time getting lost and finally route finding a way into Little Bridge Canyon. We then explored up to the bridge, then further up canyon into several side drainages before returning to our car in 5.5 hours.
Maps: Trails Illustrated - Death Valley National Park
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

The littler bridge. Another view.
The little bridge. Another view.