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Mesa Arch


Trai Length: 0.6 miles round trip

Trail Type: mixed of maintained dirt, rock and sand.

Mesa Arch is one of the most iconic views in the American Southwest with epic views looking down onto the White Rim and Buch Canyon.

Getting There

Mesa Arch is located within the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. Access is from Highway 313 which turns into the Grand Viewpoint road. Enter into Canyonlands and drive until you see the parking lot. Follow the trail

Trail Description

The trail itself is fairly simple to follow. It is generally safe for individuals of all ages. In mid-summer, the temperatures can be quite hot and unpleasant, but during other times of the year, temperatures are cool to quite cold. The trail rises over a hill at first then descends onto the arch. It is easy to not notice while hiking, but a keen eye will spot the arch on the cliff top soon after cresting the hill.

Once getting to the arch enjoy the views then continue on your way. Other structures of interest are the Washerwoman Arch to the left side of the arch in the distance. If you are wanting the iconic shot of the sun rising through the arch, you will need to arrive well before sunrise to get a spot.

Washerwoman arch at sunrise
Washerwoman Arch

Nathan's Take:

I generally like to visit mesa Arch in the winter for the sun position. Photography tip: The sun is further south in the fall and winter and is in a better position for photographing at sunrise. You can also do a bit of exploring along the rim here if you are feeling brave and know your way back to the trail. That's how I got the image above.

Mesa Arch


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