Upper Natural Bridge Trail

EASY 257 reviews

Upper Natural Bridge Trail is a 2.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Vallecito, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
2.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
380 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

This majestic spot features a large creek that flows through massive caves. Bring shoes that can get wet and a sense of adventure! Bring a tube to go through the cave! There are picnic tables along the trail and at the end of the trail as well. The river is shallow and has tons of areas for crawdad catching, tadpols, fish, or to put up a hammock! This is about an hour from Manteca. Great for kids, can get crowded.

8 days ago

Love this place. Probably one of my favorite hikes. Please remember if you pack it in then please pack it out. And please DONT TOUCH the caves. The oils from your hands ruin this natural beauty.

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful trail !! Great for families.
Is a short hike with lots of rocks so make sure to come properly equipped with hiking shoes or good water shoes. The rocks are very slippery , so be careful.
There’s two sides you can hike down.
Make sure to make the first left to the first side of the springs. Or else you will be hiking down a rope through s very steep rock. Dangerous by super fun

hiking
12 days ago

Take the southern entrance to the trail, near the gate to the access road. The northern entrance of the loop is closed and the trail is unmarked. Once at the bottom you’re greeted with a beautiful pond and a cave you can swim through.

29 days ago

Loved it!!! Definitely bring a tube float with you so you can see the other side of the cave!

1 month ago

It's an awesome, easy trail and the creek at the end, although pretty cold, is really fun to swim through. You can also swim through the cave to the other side and walk along the creek on that side too. Overall a great trail.

1 month ago

makes it so easy to find trails and get active. I get lost easy and this helps me stay on track.

hiking
1 month ago

About a mile hike in. Trails are defined and rugged at times but family friendly (5 years and up). The river and falls to Natural Bridges is impressive and a must see. Parking (along hwy) can be a bit tricky starting late morning, but well worth planning to go early in the morning. Swimming area is shaded in areas, shore is rocky and steep in areas. Beautiful location. Watch out for Poison Oak along Trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great time today, on Mother’s Day, for a hike. The wife and kid braved the cold water and swam through the cave to the other side. The wife even ran into her cousin!
Easy hike down, and fairly easy uphill all the way out.
Bring a pair of water shoes and a towel.
We will be back!

hiking
1 month ago

Really fun trail , cave 1 visually beautiful and fun to explore around in , also a neat place to swim.Hike further down to cave 2 some scrambling and climbing required but don’t leave without exploring the second cave, this one was occupied by bats and a couple other critters.On the way to the second cave the stream was flowing with fish and there are some cool spots to sit on the smooth rocks and enjoy the stream. Save some energy to hike back out remember it’s uphill the whole way

hiking
1 month ago

Writing again as a father of 4. As many have said this place can get busy. We arrived just prior to 9 AM on a Saturday and were the first ones there. The restroom at the trail head is pretty rough but usable. The trail itself is easy in length but there are a couple spots that involve significant drop offs next to the trail. You'll want to keep the little ones close. There is also a ton of poison oak so stay on the trail. The cave is amazing! It's shallow enough for smaller children and those not brave enough to head into the cold dark water. For the bigs and the brave the inner part of the cave is spectacular and the other side of the main cave is less crowded. The river leading out of the cave can be traversed for quite a ways but I HIGHLY recommend water shoes. There were plenty of places to check out fish, crawdads, and tadpoles for the kids. Overall upper natural bridge is a great place to bring the family for some outdoor fun.

Absolutely beautiful! The cave is amazing, too cold right now but looking forward to going back in the warm weather.

3 months ago

Great hike/climb...we past the first cave over-run with people and followed the trail to a second cave. it was difficult in spots having to climb a bit, but well worth it! there are picnic tables to enjoy your lunch and we encountered the biggest hawk I've ever seen. take care if dipping into this water as there are many crawdads and quiet a bit of trash built up in the cave. Also at the second cave, a huge wasp nest. Overall, great hike!

nature trips
3 months ago

Fantastic hike to do with family with a spectacular destination of a CAVE!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike especially for a late spring or early summer morning. Loved playing in the cave and swimming through it. Water is pretty cold year round.

4 months ago

Super easy hike even on the way back which is uphill. Must watch your step due to uneven terrain. The cave is pretty cool and easy to explore. Great family hiking area.

7 months ago

Went on this trail two days ago. Loved the wow factor at the end which was the cave. A moderate trail all downhill on the way and all up back. Cave was beautiful and soothing. Too late in season to test out water. Would love to come again in early summer.

7 months ago

Love this trail. Second cave is much prettier!

hiking
8 months ago

Short and sweet little trail. Took us 20 mins to hike in. Great for a picnic (there are tables).

hiking
8 months ago

Great little hike. Pretty heavily trafficked when I went but everyone was friendly so it made for a pleasant experience. Whole bunch of little veering off trails to follow made for a great afternoon.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing crystal clear water, natural grotto

8 months ago

had a great time. our 3.5 year old did great

hiking
9 months ago

The hike can be intense going back depending on what time you head back. We were in direct sunlight the whole way back which made it slightly challenging. The hike is definitely worth the views and water! Definitely planning on coming back soon! Just a little earlier in the day than we did this time ;)
OH, and water shoes are VERY important! We tried walking through the cave barefoot and the rocks are PAINFUL

hiking
10 months ago

went today Monday 8/14/2017. It took us about 55 minutes to the Cave. May take some quicker but for my 5 year old first hike. I believe we did well. I would suggest take water shoes as suggested poor to my review. I took a small ice chest nothing to heavy to carry, We loved it. The water was a bit cold. We swam thru the cave to the other side. in the middle of it, you can not touch the ground. I had my daughter take her vest. suggest take a float tube as well. a lot of rock and rough on the feet. its very slippery.

10 months ago

Steep at times, but relatively easy hike to an exciting and refreshing (read: cold) swimming hole! Great spot

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful swim and cave to explore on a hot day. Bring an intertube

hiking
10 months ago

Nice little hike down, then back up. Lots of people, we were there by 10:30 on a Saturday morning and almost didn't get a place to park. Get there as early as you can.

10 months ago

Beautiful scenery with an amazing swimming cave! Water is not too cold either. Always a great time

10 months ago

Amazing experience! Highly recommended

10 months ago

Loved this place. Took my two kids and mom Bring a dollar raft or floaty with you if you plan on swimming in the cave water is cold to say the least. Even had a bat flying around while we swam Only down fall was the garbage people left behind and the port o potty was gross. Bring water for the way back up the hill.

hiking
10 months ago

Decided to check this spot out. So glad I did. So nice. Easy trail.

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