The Natural Bridge Hike in Death Valley is down near Badwater Basin. This is about as far south as you want to go in this national park. The Natural Bridge Hike is a climb, but it is an impressive rock feature. The trail is only 0.6 miles roundtrip, so we rate it family-friendly.
The drive to the Natural Bridge Trailhead requires one mile on a rough dirt road. Plenty of cars were doing fine on this road, but it is bumpy and has a few big, loose rocks to avoid. Take it slow as you drive out to the small parking lot.
The hike up to the natural bridge is only about a third of a mile, making it 0.6 miles roundtrip, but it is a bit steep. Not only that, the soft gravel in the wash tugs at your feet. This can make walking difficult, especially for little ones. Most hikers can easily make it to the arch, and it is well worth it.
On hot days, the Natural Bridge Hike in Death Valley is one of the few hikes that actually provides a bit of shade. As long as it is not high noon when you hike, if you stay near one of the canyon walls, you can find some relief.
The walls are straight up and down, and the canyon is about as narrow as a two-lane road. It doesn’t take too long before the bridge comes into view. The natural bridge is pretty impressive. The bridge itself is very large and completely spans the narrow canyon. The trail continues right under the arch, which is fairly thick, too. You can walk up and view the bridge from the other side if you have the energy. You’ll find shade on this side of the bridge, too.
We found the Natural Bridge hike in Death Valley to be quite easy and it only took about 30 minutes to complete. Add this trail to your itinerary on your next trip to Death Valley National Park. For other family-friendly trails in Death Valley, check out our post on Death Valley Kid Hikes.