This trail is HIKING ONLY. When doing this hike in hot weather from the various starting points it is very important to take at least 100 oz. of water to reduce the chance of potential deadly heat exhaustion of humans and dogs.
There are three major starting points (Dry Creek Vista Paved Parking Lot, Mescal Dirt Parking Lot and Long Canyon Dirt Parking Lot) for this very popular Devils Bridge Formation hike. Unfortunately due to the number of trails leading to the Devils Bridge trail many hikers become lost due to a lack of comprehensive signage, maps and written information.
Currently there are five different routes consisting of several trails to reach the Devils Bridge Formation. The following five routes have round trip distances of different lengths between 4.2 miles and 8.0 miles, so it is very important to pick the route that fits your hiking ability.
From at or near the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) paved parking lot three different routes that lead to the Devils Bridge Formation. If you don't take note of your original route to the Devils Bridge Formation on your return trip you may end up on a different route which will either get you lost, lengthen your hike or shorten the return hike. Most hikers user experience is great, but some people have a very frustrating experience getting back to their vehicle or starting point.
The three routes leading from the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) paved parking lot are as follows:
1. (4.2 mile round trip) Start at or near the paved the parking lot and hike the Dry Creek (Vultee Arch) FR 152 dirt road for 1.2 miles to the Devils Bridge trail where you turn right. Hike up the Devils Bride trail .9 mile and climb 350' elevation to the Devils Bridge Formation. See the route #1 map for this route.
2. (4.3 mile round trip) Start at or near the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) paved parking lot. Proceed to the parking lot kiosk (information) board and hike northeast 75' to the Chuckwagon trail. Proceed approximately 1/2 mile to the Chuckwagon/Dry Creek Rd. connector trail and turn right. Hike on the single track connector trail for about 200'. Turn left on the Dry Creek (Vultee Arch) FR 152 dirt road and hike northeast approximately 1/2 mile to the Devils Bridge trail where you turn right and hike .9 mile and climb 350' elevation to the Devils Bridge Formation. See route #2 map for this route.
3. (5.9 mile round trip) Start at or near the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) paved parking lot. Proceed to the parking lot kiosk (information) board and hike northeast 75' to the Chuckwagon trail. Proceed northeast on the twisty up and down Chuckwagon single track trail for 2.0 miles to the Devils Bridge trail and turn right. and hike 1.1 mile and climb 350' to the Devils Bridge Formation. See route #3 map for this route.
Due to recent heavy visitor traffic the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) maybe COMPLETELY FULL which forces visitors to park on Dry Creek (paved) Rd. in front of the parking lot. For those visitors who end up parking more than 100 yards NORTH of the entrance road there is a hiking short cut to the parking lot. This short cut starts where the Chuckwagon Trail crosses Dry Creek (paved) Rd. (see shortcut map). The Chuckwagon trail entrance to the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) parking lot starts about 260 yards NORTH of the parking lot entrance road.
On real busy days many visitors are parking to the NORTH of the Cockscomb trail entrance on the Dry Creek (paved) Rd., so rather than walking another 260 yards on the Dry Creek (paved) Rd to the Dry Creek Vista parking lot road entrance, it's much shorter to just take the Cockscomb trail to the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) paved parking lot. (see short cut map). Once you reach the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) paved parking lot you can choose between routes 1, 2 or 3 to hike to the Devils Bridge Formation. Remember to take note how you got to the parking lot, so you can easily find your way back to your car.
The other 4.2 mile hiking route starts at the Mescal dirt parking lot bordering the southeast side of Long Canyon Rd . The route is entirely on a dirt single track route which starts at the Mescal kiosk information board on the southeast side of the paved Long Canyon Rd. Note that during heavy rain periods there is a chance that the Dry Creek Wash will be running,so you may get your feet wet crossing the wash. During extreme periods of rain the wash will not be crossable. This high water condition happens maybe three times a year.
There is one route from the Mescal dirt parking lot which is on the south side of the Long Canyon Rd.
4. (4.2 mile round trip) This route starts at the kiosk (information board) next to the Mescal trail. Proceed south on the Mescal trail approximately 1/4 mile and turn left on the Chuckwagon trail. At the Mescal/Chuckwagon intersection take note of the signage so that on your return trip you will know where to turn to get you back to your starting point. If you don't make the correct turn you end up several miles from your vehicle. Continue east on the Chuckwagon tril for approximately 3/4 of a mile where you will reach the Devils Bridge trail intersection, Turn right and hike 1.1 miles up 350' elevation to the Devils Bridge Formation. Remember on the return trip to turn LEFT (west) at the Devils Bridge/Chuckwagon intersection. If you turn right you will end up over four miles from your starting point and you may end up real unhappy. See route #4 for this route.
There is one very long route from the Long Canyon dirt parking lot at the start of the Long Canyon trail next to Long Canyon Rd.
5. (8.0 miles round trip) This route is almost twice as long a hike as any other hike to the Devils Bridge formation,. If it is a hot day take extra water or you may suffer a severe heat stroke and possibly die if no one finds you. From the Long Canyon dirt parking lot proceed across Long Canyon paved road to the start of the Chuckwagon trail going east. Follow the Chuckwagon trail for approximately 2.9 miles to the Devils Bridge trail. This part of the Chuckwagon trail has lots of twists and up and down sections though various washes. The trail is basically routed in a horse shoe so when you reach the Devils Bridge trail you will be hiking in a westerly direction. Turn left on the Devils Bridge trail and hike 1.1 miles up 350' elevation to the Devils Bridge Formation. See route #5 map for this route. Note: that on the return trip you can shorten the return by turning left (west) at the Chuck Wagon intersection and hiking 3/4 mile to the Mescal trail and turn right to the Mescal parking area on Long Canyon Rd. There you turn right (northeast) and hike approximately 1/3 mile to your car.
The hiking routes to the Devils Bridge trail start at the Dry Creek Vista (Dry Creek) parking lot off Dry Creek Rd. and the Mescal dirt parking lot and the Long Canyon parking lot off of Long Canyon Rd.
More Stats for Devils Bridge (Hiking Only) mountain bike trail
Altitude change313 ft
Altitude min4,606 ft
Altitude start4,617 ft
Altitude end4,930 ft
Distance climb3,390 ft
Distance down1,150 ft
Distance flat449 ft
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