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WMWR Natural Bridge - Earthcache

A cache by Lotus Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/16/2005
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
4 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

Parking and the Elk Mountain Trail Head are available at the Sunset Picnic Area. The trail begins at a small metal bridge near the parking area and meanders through the mountain for about a 1.5 kilometers until you reach the top.

This cache has been placed with the permission of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The WMWR has a "Leave No Trace" policy and all visitors should honor this policy. This includes staying on defined trails as best as possible, avoiding direct contact with any wildlife, and when done - departing with everything you brought and nothing you found along the way. As long as we all respect this policy we can all continue to enjoy all the beauty the Wichita Mountains have to offer.

To obtain credit for this cache you must take a picture of yourself standing in front of (or behind; or just be creative ;) the Natural Bridge at the posted coordinates.


A natural bridge is formed by erosion of rock through various forces. This includes water (both frozen and running) and wind. Bridges are also more easily formed in soluble (can be dissolved by water) rocks such as sandstone, limestone, and basalt. The natural bridge found at these coordinates likely started as a small overhang of rock. The bridge itself was initially formed by running water off the top of Elk Mountain. As water poured through a ravine in the overhang, it continued dissolved the granite and created an opening to the ground below. Additional running water and steady winds blowing through the opening furthered the expansion of the gap until the bridge you see today was formed. I'm not sure how long it took this bridge to form, but I would speculate it took several hundred years or more.

The bridge is approximately 15 meters long and 2 meters tall at the apex. The bridge is less than a meter wide.

Additional Geological information about the WMWR is available on the refuge website.


From the top of the trail (there are some close virtual caches up here) you will proceed towards the posted coordinates along the top of the mountain. If your elevation changes drastically, you have taken an incorrect route (there are lots of draws in this area so it might be helpful to use a topo map to find the correct path to the cache). If all else fails, just remember to keep to the "right" on your way to the cache. It is probably another half of a kilometer from the top of the trail to the cache.

Be sure to take a camera, water, sunscreen, and perhaps a book to read at the top (there is some nice shade under the bridge).

Good luck and I hope you have fun!



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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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