Crescent Bridge Canyon features lengthy narrows and an incredible major natural bridge which has a unique design unlike any other and is located in the Grapevine Mountains. Difficulties encountered on the hike include figuring out the location of the canyon and dealing with a highly difficult and challenging bypass (which will stop most hikers) located beyond the natural bridge in order to reach the red-colored second narrows. Route maps and GPS coordinates are not provided in order to avoid a large amount of increased visitation to this area and to protect fragile formations.
Crescent Bridge Canyon was my final hike for our Spring 2012 trip, and it proved to be one of the best hikes and trip highlights. There is nothing better than ending a DV trip with an outstanding hike and then getting to reflect back on that hike during our 10-hour drive back home to the Bay Area. Crescent Bridge was discovered and named by a well-known regular Death Valley hiker named Robbie in the Spring of 2011. Robbie is also known for being the only person to ever document a hike through Cameo Canyon. But his discovery of Crescent Bridge Canyon set off fireworks. Before leaving for my Spring 2012 trip, I had heard that a few people in the park service were buzzing over Crescent Bridge Canyon. It was the talk of the park, and those few who had managed to find it were all very impressed. Thus, I set out to explore it for myself in March 2012 and see what all the excitement was about. And I definitely feel that Crescent Bridge Canyon delivered big time. There are two fantastic set of narrows which are deep and high, with many times only a very small path to walk through on. There are impressive towering walls with interesting formations, textures, and overhangs. There are some fun passageways that you have to crawl through and navigate over or around in parts. And then there is Crescent Bridge, one of the coolest-looking natural bridges in the park with its curving lines that almost make you feel dizzy. I think it was my visit to Crescent Bridge that really built up my excitement over the park's major natural bridges and made me want to start documenting them more thoroughly. There is one major obstacle in the canyon about halfway up (but past Crescent Bridge) which will put a stop to most regular hikers. It's a boulder jam which has to be bypassed on the right side on a steeply-angled loose scree slope with exposure. So that is probably a good spot to end the hike and head back down the canyon if you don't have a skilled climber with safety gear with you. Two other groups that I know of who found Crescent Bridge and attempted to continue hiking were stopped by this obstacle because of concerns for their safety. In November 2014, I returned to Crescent Bridge on a solo hike to explore some side canyons. You can read about that hike under my report for Crescent Bridge Main Side Canyon. Crescent Bridge was the 10th major natural bridge to be discovered in Death Valley and it was discovered one year after Tunnel Bridge was discovered. Our hike took place on March 11, 2012.
This hike contains sections of climbing, exposed bypasses and/or high dry falls and may require safety ropes and equipment in order to complete the entire hike. Those without the proper training, experience, and safety gear should stop at the bottom of the large boulder jam which requires a bypass on a slippery slope.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT