Phoenix Arch in Los Alamos County, New Mexico
Photo by Dick Johnson
NABSQNO 13S-380040-3974565. Phoenix Arch is a fin natural arch eroded through Rendija Rhyodacite, a five million year old lava flow from the famous Valles Caldera. It is located on the northwest edge of Los Alamos in the Santa Fe National Forest, Los Alamos County, New Mexico. Access is via Forest Service hiking trails, first the Mitchell Trail, then the Natural Arch Spur Trail.
The Forest Service refers to this arch simply as Natural Arch. The official name, Phoenix Arch, comes from the appearance of the arch rising from the ashes of the Cerro Grande fire of 2000, a horrific forest fire that devastated the area around the arch. It is also an appropriate name because the arch emerges from, but is also suspended above, the remnants of a lava flow.
Phoenix Arch has a span of about 15 feet and a height of about 12 feet.