Wild River Road Walk & Off Trail Exploration

Date of Hike: 5/16/18

Wild River Road & Wild River Trail: 12.6 miles

Trip Report:
- Decided to head over to Wild River Road to check out the road conditions and to do some off trail exploring.  Well, the road will not be open anytime soon!  About a half dozen small to medium washouts and two significant washouts that will need some major work.  I wouldn't think this is at the top of the list to fix, but I have no idea how the repairs for roads work, just a gut feeling.
- Also checked out the site of the former Moriah Brook Trail suspension bridge, total destruction to the river banks, incredible to see!
- Finally, I went off trail for some old Wild River Railroad exploration and found some old intact rails, which have survived over one hundred years of weather!

 About a half mile in is the first washout

Took a pic for scale, up two two feet washed away.  There were about a half dozen of these short washouts along the road

Two miles in is the most significant washout.  The culvert pipes are showing in a couple different places. this was 0.2 miles in length
A crew must have came through to put some dirt over the pipes so they could drive and scope out the rest of the road.  No other work has been done yet, might be awhile! 

Another washout about five miles in

Washout at the Wild River / Moriah Brook trail junction 

Former site of the Moriah Brook suspension bridge, the west bank.  The yellow circle is all that is left of the concrete abutment, a bigger piece was a few hundred feet downstream.  The yellow arrow is a trail junction sign!

 Good thing the bridge was removed before the OCT 30th storm or the bridge would have been destroyed!

 Looking downstream, the arrow points to where the concrete abutment washed away to

The east bank of the former site of the bridge

Closer look at all that is left!

The Wild River, I didn't cross it but it would have been an easy ford on this day

Afterwords I went off trail to explore an old railroad grade

Stumbled upon an old intact rail from the Wild River Railroad, in existence from the late 1800's to early 1900's

Choo choo! 

I followed the rails into the water 

Always interesting to see this stuff knowing it's been there for over one hundred years! 

Last section of rail  

It just ended abruptly.  I traveled the stream a little further but didn't find anything else.  I will return soon with a secret treasure map I found in the attic of my friend Mikey's house to find some other off trail stuff in this area!


  1. One of my favorite areas of solitude. I once was the maintainer for the Black Angel Trail in the early 80s and spent a lot of time in there. Las summer I spent a while looking for the Old Sanctuary Trail which ran from near Eagle Crag in the Baldfaces to Spider Bridge back in the logging days. I did find fragments of it and discovered where it joined the Black Angel trail just before the Spider Bridge crossing.

    1. That is really cool to have found evidence of the Sanctuary Trail, any idea of when it was abandoned? I've heard of a Spider Camp cabin that was left behind after the RR days right in that area of the bridge, but I heard it was ultimately burned down by the forest service, however I don't know when this was. Did you ever stumble upon the cabin or any remains??!!

  2. I'm so sad to find that the suspension bridge is gone! Spent the best part of my youth and early adulthood at Wild River. Glad you found those old rails. BTW, there are remnants of fire fighting equipment up off the Rim Trail from a fire in the mid-forties. Also, there used to be an old Model T out in the woods just off Blue Brook. Lots of stuff up there! Wonderful place.

    1. Hi Jon,

      That must have been really fun exploring the woods in that area as a child! I found the Model T when I went back later in the summer last year, that was such a cool thing to look at and see in the woods! I'll have to look for the remnants of the fire fighting equipment next time I'm hiking the rim trail. :)