Natural Bridges Trail


Where? : Located in calaveras county on E18 road that connect Columbia to  Vallecito.

Google Map Link


What? : A nice 2 mile loop hike that will take you down to an interesting place: a river that is going through a cave.


When? : Year round, Hot summer weekends can be crowded.


Due note 1: The most important tip I can give is come early, at mid-summer day the small parking lot get full and the trail and the cave are packed with people.


Due note 2: Dogs and bikes are not allowed.


Due note 3: People recommend bringing with you a small inflatable for the swim inside the cave.


My thoughts: We visit here on a warm winter day, so we did not get into the cave, the hike is not difficult, and the cave entrance is interesting place to visit.


The visit:

Once you get into the parking lot and it looks full keep going and try to find parking on the narrow road.

During summer parking get full so you need to find a place you can park on the main road (need to see sections without no parking signs).

The trail start right near the entrance to the parking lot, is easily descend to the forest below and from there to the main canyon. After 1-mile hike you will find the trail that is going down to the river and the cave entrance.

Here you can get into the cave; I understand it is deep so you will need to swim in some sections. We cam at Thanksgiving so we did not enter the cave.

You can also take the unmark trail that following the stream down the river. We were short on time, so we did not walk to much in that direction. After going back to the cave entrance we connect back to the trail we arrived with, here you can go back on the way you came down or take left and take this trail back to the parking lot, it is less maintained but you can follow it up the hill and to the end of the car parking lot.