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Natural Arch Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

This page is marked as a Closed Hike. Some or all of this hike has been closed by a governing body and hikers may be liable for fines or even arrest. At least part of this route may be dangerous and hard to follow, or it may cross areas with sensitive plant life or wildlife habitat. Trailkeepers of Oregon does not endorse or recommend hiking this route. When restrictions are lifted, this notice will be removed.
The Natural Arch (cfm)
The Natural Arch from below (bobcat)
Checkerspot on St. John's wort, Natural Rock Arch Trail (bobcat)
Map showing Rocky Top and Natural Arch Trails (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Natural Arch TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Natural Arch
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 1.0 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 460 feet
  • High Point: 3,860 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Spring - Fall
  • Family Friendly: yes, for older kids
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

NOTICE: Trails in this area were affected by the 2020 Beachie Creek Fire. Please check on current closures with the Oregon Department of Forestry before planning an outing.

This hike is located in the Santiam State Forest which is heavily managed for timber production. The 50-foot tall, 40-foot wide arch was discovered in 1951 after the Sardine Creek Fire scoured the hillside and removed the tree cover.

From the Natural Arch Trailhead, go back ten yards and find the trail. The trail makes four switchbacks in secondary forest to the nose of a ridge. Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and vine maple predominate over a bear-grass, bracken and Oregon grape understory. Cross a scree slope and drop steeply down to make six switchbacks. Some of the steepness is ameliorated by wood-reinforced steps. Then, there’s a short traverse down to a rock face. You can scramble through the arch and down to the right and then climb up to the top of the rock and go right to sit on the top of the arch. Small caves indent the base of the arch. Be careful! Combine this visit with the nearby Rocky Top Hike.


Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • No passes needed for the trailhead.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region by Matt Reeder

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.