Mesa Arch In Canyonlands National Park
Mesa Arch is located in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park and is one of the parks most recognizable and popular locations.
This pothole arch spans over fifty feet across the top of a 500-foot vertical cliff. It is made of Navajo Sandstone and was formed as surface water pooled and eventually eroded through the bedrock. Views of the canyons below carved out by the Colorado river and the snow-capped peaks of the La Sal Mountains in the distance can be seen from the arch.
This is a very easy family friendly hike. It is only a little over 1/2 mile long and only has an elevation gain of around 65 feet. Along the trail you’ll see signs pointing out some of the common plants that can be found while exploring Canyonlands National Park.
Mesa Arch is a very popular location for photographers at sunrise. As the sun rises each morning it’s rays illuminate the underside of the arch. Because of this the area can become very crowded at dawn with multiple photographers trying to capture that perfect shot of the sun through the arch.
We were there around 9 am and there were still a couple of photographers hanging about. They were set up right in the center of the arch so I couldn’t get a pic of the whole thing, but I think I still managed to get some nice shots. It was a fun short hike and the arch itself was pretty cool with some incredible views. This is a definite must stop on your trip to the park.