Mesa Arch is a very photographed and scenic arch located right on the edge of the cliff overlooking the white rim trail of Canyonlands National Park. The arch’s span is 90 feet and the height is hard to determine because of the way it hugs the cliff, but is basically 7 feet above the cliff where you’ll be viewing it. It is located in Canyonlands National Park in the Island in the Sky district.
The view through the arch includes the formation known as the Washer Woman on the left side as well as the White Rim Trail.
Mesa Arch has nice photography features for many times in the day. At sunrise, expect there to be a bit of a crowd as the sun can be photographed rising below the arch for a nice shot, but once it rises very far, the sun will be behind the arch and the arch will remain in shadow until mid-day, making morning after sunrise the worst time to visit. Mesa Arch is lit by afternoon sun and you can get a nice balanced photo at that time. At sunset, the sun brightens the arch in nice color, but shadows lengthen quickly and put the canyon you see through the arch in heavy shadow and eventually shadows are cast on the arch itself. Don’t wait too late to take your late-day picture.
You can climb up on the rocks to the right to shoot the arch at a slightly different angle.
From Moab, Utah, head north on highway 191. After about 11 miles, turn left onto Utah 313 – you should see a sign for Canyonlands National Park. You’ll arrive at the entrance to Canyonlands National Park in about 14.6 miles. Continue 12.8 miles and you should see parking for the trail on your right. A $10 per car fee is required to enter the national park or a previously purchased park pass. There is other nice things to do in Canyonlands National Park, so plan on spending more time there.
The Mesa Arch trail is an easy .7 mile round trip hike that traverses the desert landscape from the parking area to the arch. The trail is not paved, but a large wheel stroller will easily handle it. Seasonally, there are some nice wild flowers growing. Please stay on the trail to prevent unnecessary damage to the desert.
To read about all the arches and bridges I’ve visited, go here.
Utah is a beautiful state full of things to do. Check out a few here.