Woodpecker Arch – Ramah, New Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Woodpecker Arch

This bird-shaped rock formation defies gravity, time, and classification.  


This enormous rock formation on the northern face of El Morro National Monument in New Mexico resembles a large woodpecker hanging from the side of a tree. As a result, it has earned the name Woodpecker Arch because of the vertical arch-like feature. 

Due to its odd shape and form, the Natural Bridge and Arch Society has had a difficult time classifying Woodpecker Arch. It’s considered a true natural arch, but defining its taxonomy is difficult. Essentially, it is deemed an irregular natural arch. 

Regardless how it is listed, Woodpecker Arch defies both gravity and time by hanging precariously from the northern face of the monument’s stone edifice.

Know Before You Go

Woodpecker Arch can be readily viewed from either direction on a 1.8-mile loop trail. If possible, be sure to follow the entire loop trail as El Morro National Monument and surrounding scenery are spectacular. The Inscription Rock portion of the trail is hard-surfaced. 

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