NATURAL ARCH TRAIL
narrow ledges to
Soon, the hiker turns a corner and is overwhelmed by the arch
which looms directly ahead. Under the arch, the trail splits: a short branch
to the left leads to a refreshing pool filled by water dribbling off a mossy
rock; a somewhat longer branch heads up to the top of the arch along a trail
which is not for the meek as it requires navigation along massive roots of
trees which are precariously perched at one end of the arch. Once on top,
the intrepid hiker will need to be very careful as it is a long way down in
almost any direction. But what a view!
A trail to this dramatic spot was constructed by Deer Park residents many
years ago and a visitor's book was kept under the arch. Now, the book is
long gone, and visitors leave their names as unwelcome graffiti on the
rock walls. A few years ago the Forest Service reconstructed about two
thirds of the trail from a sheltered boat landing in the bay just north of
the re-incarnated Brooklyn settlement, directly across the Lower Arrow Lake
from Deer Park.
The new trail sector is relatively gentle compared to the
much steeper old segment to which it joins soon after crossing a scenic
rocky gully. The remaining old segment tackles the very steep and rocky
hillside in a formidable fashion, finding steep ramps and
The arch was formed over geologic time as water from a small pond fed by the
existing creek gradually weakened the underlying lamprophyre plug in the
more resistant syenite rock. Eventually, it eroded away the crumbly
lamprophyre, leaving the pinkish syenite in place as the impressive arch. If
one looks carefully, chunks of the crumbly black lamprophyre can still be
found in the debris under the arch and along the walls.
The trail is steep with dangerous drop-offs. Please use caution, wear
properly soled boots for traction, and keep small children close at
Total hiking distance is about 2.2 km. (one way) from the marked trail-head
in the bay; this is accessible only by boat.