If you’re in the mood for another short hike, you can take a dirt road up to the trailhead for the Natural Bridge trail. Before leaving the parking area, climb up the mound of dirt behind the restrooms and take in the view.
It takes about a half mile hike to reach this trail’s namesake, the Natural Bridge. But it’s a tough half mile, uphill the entire way. You’ll be glad you brought a bottle of water.
The trail continues (still uphill!) past the bridge. Go far enough and you’ll find a couple of dry waterfalls. I chose to turn around.
If you don’t keep a close eye on the trail as you hike down from Natural Bridge, you might end up in the wrong place. Near the parking lot, the trail separates from the wash. I didn’t realize where I was until I saw the parking lot in the distance. I didn’t mind, though. Because of my mistake I found a spot where wildflowers were springing up everywhere.
These are just a few of the flowers I found flourishing in the dry wash. Of course, I’m sure it wasn’t dry a few months earlier, during the heavy rains of 2004 and 2005.
Note: This trip was first published in 2005. I spent much more time in Death Valley during the Superbloom of 2016.