Natural Bridges in Calaveras County is a day-use area with a very scenic, naturally formed geological cave on Coyote Creek. The area is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation and is open to the public year-round. Activities there include hiking, swimming, picnicking, photography and exploring.
The hike to Natural Bridges is moderate with some steep sections and rocky terrain. Beware of the poison oak which is there year-round but more difficult to spot in the cooler months when the leaves are gone. The one-mile hike takes you down to the lower entrance of the cave. To reach the upper entrance, back track to the main trail, turn left and climb another few hundred feet and descend down to the head waters of the Natural Bridges cave.
Simply put Natural Bridges is awesome and likely something you have never seen before. Although Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties are literally full of caves and caverns, many of the more common ones are privately managed and fee-based. But Natural Bridges is entirely free.
The most popular time of the year to visit Natural Bridges is during the warmer months where swimming or floating through the cave is a popular activity but be forewarned, you may encounter lots of people. If you do decide to swim here I highly recommend wearing shoes or water socks so you don’t become a victim of someone’s negligent glass disposal. If you prefer a little more solitude I recommend visiting Natural Bridges during the off-season.
According to a sign posted at the trail head there are no pets allowed so leave your furry friend at home.
The parking area to Natural Bridges is located 1.25 miles northwest of Parrots Ferry Bridge, just off of Parrots Ferry Rd on the west side; look for the sign.