After years about hearing about the arch up on the Dewdrop Escarpment, the clues were sufficient enough to go look for it. We couldn’t spot it from below, even though we had been assured it could be seen. What we found out was that the place to see it is farther up the road. We headed uphill to where we thought it might be and after about 10 minutes, my friend Nic spotted it, high on the slopes above. Soon afterward, we followed an old track and noticed some white diamonds on trees and some occasional flagging tape up the hill. It was a steep rough but not a scramble, following a loose route around the side of the rock slopes and to the top of the hill, directly below Castle Butte. The arch was now below us, so we had to edge our way down to look through it. Without some scrambling on loose rock, it is impossible to see right through the center of the arch from above. Slowly and with caution I lowered myself to the bridge at the head of the arch to get the photo.
This is not a recommended descent without a rope. It looked to me as if there was an easier approach up into the cave from below so we decided to loop around to look in. We retraced our steps down the trail and started across the slopes below the cliffs. After traversing the talus slopes, we could see that it would take a scramble on rock to climb up to the base of the cave. If we go back, we would bring harnesses and a rope, scramble up the rock to the base of the cave, climb through the cave, climb over the bridge at the end of the cave to the top of the bridge (which is about two feet wide) and rappel down the other side down a steep gully opposite the white streaks of a spring coming out of a cliff side.
For now, anyone who wants to go up the arch can follow these directions. Drive on the Frederick Road across the Dewdrop flats and turn onto the upper rougher road. Follow this road to a parking area on the right side. Park and head upward to the north. Bear off toward the escarpment looking directly at Castle Butte, the prominent reddish buttress. Watch for an old road coming in from the east and follow it to the top and then follow markers up the hill. Farther up the hill, we saw another trail coming in from the west with fresher trail tape, so there may be a route in from farther up the road. Trust the trail and follow it as it winds up a gully to the west of the arch. Emerge on a hilltop right below Castle Butte, an 1000 foot elevation climb. The arch is below, but it is not easy to see down through it. From safe terrain, you can get a partial view.
Is the arch worth the effort to hike up the rough trail? Everyone will have different priorities, but for our part, we enjoyed the spot, directly below Castle Butte, across from numerous caves, faults, and ragged volcanic rock features. There is another smaller arch higher up, just below the Dewdrop Trail, so it may be a better bet for some. Two natural arches. I wonder if there are any more?