“Detour to reach an isolated perch above Ethel Lake and a beautiful natural bridge along the way.”
— Megan W
Views · Wildflowers
This side trip to visit a natural bridge is a worthwhile detour when hiking the ever-popular Northern Loop
trail. Near Windy Gap, look for a side trail leading north/northeast from its junction with the Northern Loop
Trail. Contour gently downhill, around a sparsely wooded and scree hillside. There may be a series of snowfields to cross here too. Arrive at the signed intersection with the Natural Bridge Side Trail
. Take this short, twisty path to a chunky but handsome 200-foot arch protruding from a slope. It is possible to capture stunning pictures of the arch with Lake Ethel and Lake James in the background.
If pressed for time, retrace your steps back to the Northern Loop
Trail. To complete the Mosquito Flats Trail, continue north through more scattered snow patches. Start a mellow ascent along a ridgeline which eventually terminates directly west of Lake Ethel.