Bridge Mountain Trail is a 14.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, Nevada that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from February until November.
The signed trail starts at the summit of Rocky Gap Road. It heads SE with a slight incline, but soon levels. In about 400 yards the trail curves south and goes up a small hill. At the top of the hill you can see Rocky Gap road, the road you drove on to get to the trailhead. The incline becomes moderate as the trail heads NE and gains the next ridge. The trail passes outcrops as it stays on the crest of the ridge and heads east. After a few switchbacks, the trail nears the predominant north/south ridge. The trail stays a few feet below the ridge on the west side. As it heads south you pass a metal trail sign. Just after this point you get your first view of Bridge Mountain. What a contrast from the dull gray to the multi-colored sandstone. Two different worlds separated by the Keystone Thrust fault. The trail heads south and stays along the top of the ridge, which affords great views of Bridge Mountain and, if clear, Las Vegas. You quickly pass a wooden trail sign. The views are soon obscured as the trail weaves behind a ridge. The trail curves to the east and the views out to the south rival the vista of Bridge Mountain. Juniper Peak, Rainbow Wall and Peak, and Mt. Wilson are seen from the trail. The vistas keep getting better as the trail curves to the north and Bridge comes back into view. The trail starts to descend to the overlook. The deep canyon off to the right is Pine Creek Canyon. Follow the switchbacks down the red dirt and sandstone to the overlook. From the overlook, the idea is to climb down the shoulder to a bench. Begin by heading north down the wash 60 yards to where the terrain flattens. Follow the cairns across the sandstone heading directly toward Bridge Mountain. As you pass the ponderosas, you cross a dry drainage. If you walk east (right) in the drainage you get a great view of Las Vegas. Once across the drainage, follow the cairns up the sandstone 50 yards to the first of three chutes. A pine marks the start of the class 2 chute. At the bottom of the chute, turn left and follow a short path through the manzanita bushes. Once back on sandstone, cairns and black marks lead you 50 feet to the second chute. Descend the class 3 chute. Once down, follow the cairns and black marks to the third chute, which is only 20 yards away. After descending the chute, theres a 20- foot, class 3 wall you have to descend. Its only 15 yards from the bottom of the third chute. Follow the cairns down to the bench. You have descended the shoulder, now its easy going 150 yards across the bench. Hike up a steep ramp of sandstone to the start of the crack. Theres a large black arrow on the west (left) wall of the crack. Follow the black marks up the crack. If it is windy stay in the crack; otherwise follow the black arrows when they point up and to the right. Climb out of the crack on the east (right) side and up the beehive sandstone. People who have a fear of heights should stay in the crack. The climb outside of the crack is exposed. Staying in the crack is more protected, but it is a harder climb. As the crack passes a ledge, follow the black marks west (left) along a ledge for about 10 yards. You are now on the west (other) side of the crack. Climb the ramp as indicated by the marks. Its a 50 yard climb to the 30-foot tall and 50-foot wide arch. On the other side of the arch a giant ponderosa leans against the sandstone. This is a great area to take a break. Continue by going under the arch and friction climb along the left wall. A fallen log lies near the wall. At the top of the arch the dome-shape peak of Bridge Mountain can be seen. Go SE across the sandstone rim and around the Hidden Forest. The final ascent heads NE along a steep ramp, which is well marked with cairns. At the top of the ramp, the peak stands to the south. Its an easy 40-yard trek to the peak from this point. A large cairn with a sign-in book marks the peak. A natural shelter sits just below the peak. This is a good place to have lunch and escape the wind. The view from the peak has to be seen to be appreciated. Its awesome.
Great hike, however, I decided to climb the west face approach to the Arch which is easily a Class 4+ climb (3 pitches, all crack) with two more small pitches just prior to the summit. I was within 150m of the summit and was almost blown off the edge by 45-50mph wind gusts. Probably the hardest hike-climb combo in Red Rocks. Those interested in a similar climb should try free climbing the east approach (end of Calico Hills Trail) which requires you to park in Calico Basin and crack climb all the way up to the tanks and reverse route all the way around Red Rocks and enter the Basin area from the south...hug the western edge of RR back to parking.
This is by far the best & most dangerous hike over at Red Rock. Took the rocky gap 4x4 road up to the trail. We started around 8:04 got back to truck around 6:12. This includes some stops for pictures and lunch!
We were only able to get to the arch as it was already 3:30ish - Weather was approving fast - wind was over 40MPH then it started snowing, so we were not able to climb to summit.
As mentioned before it's one of the best hikes, but the snow and bad weather makes it a little bit harder. Definitely camping out there next time.
Once you passed the trail signed it's about 2.0 miles. There won't be no more trail, so you're on your own. Follow those rocks guides & arrows left by hikers.
This is by far one of my favorite hikes. It has been a while since I hiked it. Great view of Vegas. Hope to do it again someday.
Beautiful area and I would recommend it to anyone. The trip up there was half the funmust have a pretty sold 4wd vehicle; it is a rough trek up the mountain if you drive all the way up the trail head. Without a vehicle to get to the top I would see it as a very doable, long but doable walk. Worth the time and effort though.