Death Valley: Natural Bridge, It’s Another World

Death Valley National Park is a phenomenal study of erosion, weather, geology, sand dunes, salt formations, and huge spring wildflower blooms on rare occasions.

This post covers the Natural Bridge Trail, a two+ mile out-and-back round-trip. It’s an easy hike that passes under a natural bridge with views of faults, chutes, dry waterfalls and other formations.

The geologic formations and metallic-hued lava flows are out of this world.

If you only have a couple days in the park, this would not be one of my top choices to visit. But if you have a week, please take the time to explore the area.

Feature Image Details

This is a composite image of two exposures. There is one exposure for the bridge and a second exposure for the background mountains covered in snow.

I purposely did not include sky above the bridge making the shot look more like a hole in the wall rather than a natural bridge.  The feature image is from behind, looking back towards the trailhead.

Here is another view, as one would see the scene hiking towards the bridge.

I have seen the above shot with wild blue, green, and yellow colors. Such images are fakes. The color on the bridge, at any time of day, is simply not that vibrant.

The best part of the trail is towards the end. The metallic-looking lava flows and marble formations do not appear to be from this world.

The trail dead ends at this point.

It’s a relatively easy scramble up that lava flow for a view looking back towards the trailhead. This is what it looks like.

The above image was taken with my Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at 16mm.


Every image in this set is a composite image. By that I mean I took multiple exposures for the brightest and darkest parts of the second and blended them manually, in Photoshop. I use the fewest number of exposures I can get away with. My preference is one.

All of these images were a blend of two exposures. On occasion, I use three.

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you missed them, please check out my previous articles.

  1. Death Valley: Zabriskie Point Sunrise, Manly Beacon
  2. Death Valley: Dante’s View Sunrise
  3. Death Valley: Artist’s Palette
  4. Death Valley: Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Sunset
  5. Death Valley: Badwater, Salt Polygons, Devil’s Golf Course
  6. Death Valley: Golden Canyon Sunset and Moonrise Images


If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Much more coming: Click to Subscribe by Email.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Leave a Reply