Sunday, June 9, 2013

The 12 (or 9 or 5) natural arches in the Black Hills

I enjoy discovering the secrets of the Black Hills. Every once in a while I will get an idea from the Black Hills Travel Blog and I was looking through contest pictures on their Facebook page and became intrigued with the question of how many natural arches are in the hills. I mean Utah is famous for its arches, but what about the Hills.

A little Googling came to this answer:



Natural Bridges in the Black Hills:
 True -- There are at least nine natural bridges in the Black Hills. The locations are not widely known. (Allegedly there are actually twelve, but we have only been able to confirm only nine.) The Eye of the Needles along the Needles Highway in Custer State Park is one.

Another site claims there are 5 confirmed natural bridges.

The hunt is on! I have set the goal to find these arches this summer. I had two down before I started - the needles eye, and I have climbed Gossamer, near Rushmore.

Upon hearing of my quest, my friend Chris revealed the location of another along Whitewood creek. We quickly launched an expedition.

The arch is beautiful but takes some scrambling over debris to get to.

A neat feature of the arch is the tree growing downward behind it.

Other features in the area are the C & NW tunnel and Barker's Cave. I found this image on the Lawrence County Historical Society site interesting.

Where are the others? I have a few leads: Here, here, here, here, here, and here.

I think it is safe to say there are more than 5 in the Hills. There is also at least one in the Badlands.


Edit 7/29/2014: The geocachers have identified this arch.

6 comments:

Shube said...
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Shube said...
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Shube said...
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Shube said...
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Shube said...

Clue for whitewood arch: http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC1YQ6G_whitewood-creek-reclamation-project