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Swinging Bridge

HomeSwinging Bridge

Just a short hike from The Redwoods In Yosemite is the historic Wawona Swinging Bridge (which boasts the best natural rock waterslide in Yosemite)!

Wawona Swinging Bridge

Distance:  0.75 miles (1.2 km) round trip

Trailhead Elevation:  4,140 feet (1,260 meters)
Elevation Gain:  very little


Why hike to the Wawona Swinging Bridge?  To cross a swinging bridge that actually swings, unlike its counterpart in Yosemite Valley. You don’t need that much imagination to test your Indiana-Jones-and-the-Temple-of-Doom chops here. You can also swim in the river, the primary attraction for most visitors.

Scenery Summary:  Pleasant enough, but not Yosemite’s best work. There’s nothing objectionable about the views up and down the Merced River, and you can take a peaceful walk through the woods if you continue along the left-hand trail on the other side of the bridge, but this area is more famous as a swimming hole.

Best Time to Visit:  The bridge swings year round. But plan on spring or early summer if you want to see wildflowers (hike the downstream trail on the far side of the bridge if this is your aim), or the heart of summer if you want to swim in the river. The river can be swift and high early in the year, there’s no lifeguard on duty, you enter the water at your own risk, etc., etc.

Crowd Factor:  Not nearly as chummy as Yosemite Valley, but still there always seems to be a handful of people here swimming or wading in the river on summer evenings.

Difficulty:  You need to be able to walk to get to the bridge. That’s about the only obstacle, though. Trails don’t get much easier. It’s wide and flat and generally free of rocks for most of the route.

Parking:  Dirt lot at the trailhead that holds 20 or so cars.