Bridge from Death
The Natural Bridge Trail is one of Death Valley's most popular trails. The hike is a dusty one up a slot canyon to a rugged arch in the Amargosa Range. The parking lot is often packed, and solitude is nearly impossible unless you're into 120 degree heat. A wide trail runs up to and underneath the bridge, and continues up the canyon a ways. After the trail disappears, a slick-rock section is encountered, followed by an easily bypassed boulder clogging the slot canyon. The hike comes to a screeching halt at a twenty-foot slick-rock cliff.
The bridge itself is made out of the unconsolidated alluvium of the alluvial fan in which the canyon is carved. If you walk up to the canyon walls, the rock looks similar to soil, and will crumble when grabbed by human hands. The bridge is made of this same material. It definitely would not make for a safe crossing. Continuing up the canyon, a few interesting dry waterfall chutes can be seen in the alluvium. Slowly metamorphic country rock in the form of brilliant green serpentine replaces the rotten alluvial rock. Two beautiful peaks of the Amargosa Range can be seen above. After a short scramble up the serpentine slick-rock, a huge boulder clogs the slot canyon. Don't worry, a grown person can easily squeeze to the right. After a couple more short turns in the canyon, a twenty-foot serpentine cliff blocks your path. It could be climbable, but the serpentine is incredibly slick, a fall from that height might not be much fun. This is a short, relatively easy hike, but it is Death Valley, so be smart about water. Hike distance and elevation are estimated, but are close to reality.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.