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Bridge Mountain

 
Bridge Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Nevada, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 36.13190°N / 115.5016°W

Object Title: Bridge Mountain

Elevation: 7003 ft / 2135 m

 

Page By: redsplashman23

Created/Edited: Dec 7, 2004 / Apr 7, 2013

Object ID: 153419

Hits: 28227 

Page Score: 91.09%  - 34 Votes 

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Overview

 
Sunrise Bridge Mountain
 
Named for a large sandstone arch near its summit, Bridge Mountain is one of the most impressive, most imposing and most elusive summits in the entire Red Rock NCA area. Although hidden from view from most of the Red Rock scenic loop behind neighboring Bridge Point, its monolithic summit block invites hikers and climbers alike when they finally see it.

The traditional class 3 route to the summit, which is discussed in further detail in the route section, entails, as Andy Zdon describes it, "a virtual obstacle course" across incredible limestone and sandstone terrain to the magnificient summit, where wonderful views of the Red Rock area await. Although I've come across several Red Rock NCA routes possessing more of an obstacle course-like nature, the traditional Bridge Mountain route is a lot of fun and does have a sort of playground feel to it.

Near the summit, if one explores around enough or knows where to look, can be be found several tinajas, which are natural catch basins in the sandstone. These tinajas tend to hold water the majority of the year and one of them, located only a short distance NE of the "bridge" is of considerable size and depth.

Also located near the summit is a hidden forest. Nestled high up in the sandstone, a small, but spectacular, grove of ponderosa pines tucked away there make a great camping spot.

Getting to the summit of Bridge Mountain via the traditional route from Red Rock Summit requires a high clearance vehicle, good route-finding skills, and the ability to travel across exposed class 3 terrain. Despite these deterrents (or perhaps, because of them), Bridge Mountain is, at one time or another, on every Vegas-area hiker's/climber's to-do list.

*You might also check out my fledgling outdoor site (www.backcountry-explorer.com), which provides access to trip reports, beta, photos and other stuff covering hiking, scrambling, climbing and canyoneering around Las Vegas. My new hiking and scrambling guidebook, Rambles & Scrambles: The Definitive Guide to Peakbagging Around Las Vegas, is now available.


Getting There

From Charleston Blvd. and highway 215 in Las Vegas, take Charleston Blvd. (Highway 159) west for about 5 miles until you reach the entrance to Red Rock Canyon NCA. Once inside the park, follow the main loop road to the Willow Springs turnoff (just before mile marker 8). Follow the paved road for about 1 mile until it turns into a dirt road. Although passenger cars can continue for another 1/2 mile or so, the road quickly deteriorates and a high clearance vehicle, at minimum, will be necessary for the duration. Continue on the dirt road for about 5 miles until you reach Red Rock Summit, which is an obvious pass between limestone ridges. On the left, you will find adequate parking for 5-6 vehicles and a sign designating the trailhead.

On 7-22-12, Bob Sihler added:

"The driving directions on the page make it sound as though it is about 6.5 miles from the Scenic Drive to Red Rock summit, but I clocked it a week ago at 5.1. Also, there is no longer a sign at Red Rock Summit.

I mention this because there is a possibility that not knowing it could get someone unfamiliar with the location in trouble. Because the sign is not there, one might pass Red Rock Summit at 5.1 miles and think it is the beginning of yet another dip before climbing to the true summit 1.4 miles later. The danger is that less than a mile from RR Summit, the road becomes so nasty that it would be difficult for someone in a stock SUV or truck to get through, and a stubborn or foolish person might get stuck or incur serious vehicular damage in trying to continue to where he thinks the trailhead will be."

On 11-29-06, MoapaPk added:

"For those coming from CA, it might be easier and faster to take Lovell Canyon road, then approach Red Rock Summit from the SW. This is the route described in the DPS guides.

From the intersection of routes 382 and 160 (west side of Pahrump), drive 29 miles east on rte 160, to the Lovell Canyon Road. Turn north on the paved Lovell Canyon Road and drive 7.7 miles. Turn right (east) on a dirt BLM road, and drive up as far as you can. (This road first goes straight for a short distance, the crosses a wash, curves radically NNE, then radically S, then heads east again, all within the first 0.25 miles!) Park and walk up the road to Red Rock Summit, where a marked trail leads east to Bridge. The first part of the trail is easy to follow. However, once you hit the sandstone, watch for cairns.

The SW end of the Red Rock Summit road has deteriorated much since the DPS guide was issued, and I wouldn't drive my Subaru more than 1.5 miles up. A true high-clearance vehicle might be able to go 0.5 or so miles farther, but after that, there are extremely rough washouts in a few places. I saw some 4WD tracks, but probably from a short-wheelbase, HC jeep; I also saw lots of broken car parts and boulders with nasty scrapes."

Red Tape

A $5 entrance fee is required to enter Red Rock NCA.

When To Climb

The mountain can be climbed any time of the year, although winter snows can make the dirt road to Red Rock Summit virtually impassable to vehicles. If you hike up the dirt road to the trailhead, the rest of the route is perfectly doable in winter, although close attention should be paid for the presence of ice along the more exposed portions of the route. Unfortunately, these more exposed portions are difficult to protect in the event of ice.

If attempting routes other than the one from Red Rock Summit in the winter, icy exposure on the sandstone cliffs and ledges can be treacherous and is to be taken seriously.

Also be cautious when climbing the mountain during or after a rain. Moisture on the sandstone can make it very slick.

Camping

Backcountry camping is allowed above 5000 ft (with permit). Although there are no established camping areas within the RRCNCA scenic loop area, the Red Rock Canyon Campground is nearby and accepts walk-ins. To get to the campground, head east two miles on Hwy 159 from the park's entrance station to Moenkopi Road and turn south. The campground entrance is located one mile south of Hwy 159 on Moenkopi Road.

Mountain Conditions

Fortunately, the Las Vegas area has fantastic weather. In the odd chance there could be nasty weather, I suggest contacting the Red Rock Canyon NCA Visitor's Center (702-515-5350) for current info.

External Links

  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
    BLM website.
  • Panorama from Bridge Mountain
    Interactive panorama taken from the summit of Bridge Mountain

Summit Portraits

 
On Bridge Mountain
 
 
Summit Shot on Bridge Mountain
 
[img:128631:alignleft:small:]

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-5 of 5    
MoapaPkApproach from CA side

MoapaPk

Voted 10/10

For those coming from CA, it might be easier and faster to take Lovell Canyon road, then approach Red Rock Summit from the SW. This is the route described in the DPS guides.



From the intersection of routes 382 and 160 (west side of Pahrump), drive 29 miles east on rte 160, to the Lovell Canyon Road. Turn north on the paved Lovell Canyon Road and drive 7.7 miles. Turn right (east) on a dirt BLM road, and drive up as far as you can. (This road first goes straight for a short distance, then crosses a wash, curves radically NNE, then radically S, then heads east again, all within the first 0.25 miles!) Park and walk up the road to Red Rock Summit, where a marked trail leads east to Bridge. The first part of the trail is easy and easy to follow. However, once you hit the sandstone, watch for cairns.



The SW end of the Red Rock Summit road has deteriorated much since the DPS guide was issued, and I wouldn't drive my Subaru more than 1.5 miles up. A true high-clearance vehicle might be able to go 0.5 or so miles farther, but after that, there are extremely rough washouts in a few places. I saw some 4WD tracks, but probably from a short-wheelbase, HC jeep; I also saw lots of broken car parts and boulders with nasty scrapes.
Posted Nov 29, 2006 2:12 am
cp0915Re: Approach from CA side

cp0915

Hasn't voted

Thanks Harlan. I put your comments into the text on the main page...with credit, of course.
Posted Nov 29, 2006 9:06 pm
edevartRed Rock NCA Phone Number

edevart

Voted 10/10

The number you've listed for the NCA Visitors Center isn't the correct or direct one anymore. The correct number is 702-515-5350.
Posted Dec 20, 2007 3:35 pm
cp0915Re: Red Rock NCA Phone Number

cp0915

Hasn't voted

Thank you. I updated the info.
Posted Dec 20, 2007 5:53 pm
Bob SihlerRoad Distance

Bob Sihler

Hasn't voted

The driving directions on the page make it sound as though it is about 6.5 miles from the Scenic Drive to Red Rock summit, but I clocked it a week ago at 5.1. Also, there is no longer a sign at Red Rock Summit.



I mention this because there is a possibility that not knowing it could get someone unfamiliar with the location in trouble. Because the sign is not there, one might pass Red Rock Summit at 5.1 miles and think it is the beginning of yet another dip before climbing to the true summit 1.4 miles later. The danger is that less than a mile from RR Summit, the road becomes so nasty that it would be difficult for someone in a stock SUV or truck to get through, and a stubborn or foolish person might get stuck or incur serious vehicular damage in trying to continue to where he thinks the trailhead will be.



Hopefully, you can update this page accordingly. I'll post this on the North Peak page as well, and I'll post a picture to both showing the trailhead as it currently looks.



The road is really rough. I definitely needed 4wd to get through in a few spots, and the old 4Runner I was in had higher clearance than just any stock SUV you see these days. Some people in Explorers were turning around. I'd recommend skid plates in addition to high clearance and 4wd, though I only scraped bottom once.



I'll also email CP for future editions of his book. I realize he was the original owner of this page, and it seems that the directions may be the ones he originally had since they closely match what is in his book.



Thanks,



Bob

Posted Jul 22, 2012 8:12 pm

Viewing: 1-5 of 5    

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