NATURAL ARCH TRAIL

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
narrow ledges to follow. 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!

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 hand. Total hiking distance is about 2.2 km. (one way) from the marked trail-head in the bay; this is accessible only by boat.


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