"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bushwacking cactus to Sunrise Arch

Why would anyone bushwack through cactus? We started our hike just off Bush Highway by the Salt River, excited that we were going to see one of the Goldfield Mountains secrets. These mountains have many natural arches. Most hikers do not know this nor have they been to any of them because there are no trails throughout most of these mountains. There are a few faint jeep roads around the lower elevations but the majority of hiking would be off trail.
Wild horse family in the river

We changed our water shoes into our hiking boots after crossing the river.

Good thing Mike carries his handy pliers to remove the chollas as we weaved between the cactus. There were plenty of opportunities to remove the buggers from our body parts.

Another wild horse.
There is controversy over the management of the growing wild horse population in AZ.

There is some steep scrambling the last 1/4 of a mile reaching the arch.

The arch goes through an outcropping of rock with a rock cliff directly behind it is difficult to pick out from afar.

The actual arch is about 25 feet high and 30 plus feet across and has a saguaro growing on top of it. It is called the Sunrise Arch because at one point in the morning the sun from the east shines through the arch. At all other times it simply blends into to rocky backdrop.

The arch is beautiful with varied colored rock walls and the views of Saguaro Lake and the Salt River are spectacular

Time for a snack and rest.

Happy Thanksgiving with Matt and Megan


  1. Nice! We have been wondering how you get to Sunrise Arch. We have hike to Delicate Arch, which is in that area. Where did you cross the river and start up? The hike to Delicate Arch actually has a trail most of the way.

    1. We parked in the pullout past Blue Point, walked across the river and changed our shoes. There was no path but we saw how to get to the Delicate Arch trail on a map as we walked towards the hole in the rock, Sunrise Arch. Mike wanted me to way that we lassoed a horse and rode it up.

  2. That wild horse family is so sweet! Another great hike—you guys know how to pick them.