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Mesa Arch: The Must-See Natural Wonder of Canyonlands

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The natural world is a complete package of unmatched beauty, especially compared to man-made buildings and majestic natural structures created over time.

However, natural structures keep changing their visibility over time. Whether for better or worse, it is clear that they will not remain the same. But seeing this constant change in nature-made formations is also a thrilling part of enjoying natural beauty. One such natural structure is the Mesa Arch in Utah.

A Wonderful Natural Formation

Mesa Arch Sunrise

One of the fantastic structures that nature can provide mankind is the Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. Mesa Arch Trail is one of the most exciting hiking places in the world.

The trailhead is situated on the Island in the Sky district, about 6 miles north of Grand View Point and 7 miles south of the Island in the Sky Visitor Center.

Mesa Arch

This arch in Canyonlands National Park faces the sun early in the morning during its rise. The reflection of the sun’s morning light on the edges of this porthole arch brings the orange rock alive and beautifies it even more.

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An Incredible Location for Photography

Mesa Arch Beauty

The unique formation of this landmark makes it one of the best locations to click some amazing pictures. The right time to capture the remarkable beauty of Mesa Arch is early in the morning when the sun hits it. The colorful rays of the sun highlight its features to the next level, leaving an extraordinary impact.

The Mesa Arch is one of the places around Canyonland National Park photographers frequently visit. Thousands of people from different regions visit this special place yearly to witness its raw beauty.

Most people suggest going there before sunrise to capture its unmatched beauty. This ensures you get the right spot to take the best shots of the arch. 

Moreover, the changing clouds and light over the arch make it a perfect daytime photography spot. From different angles and perspectives, you will see various lights and textures on this stone arch. 

Some people find it challenging to reach the arch before sunrise. After all, sleep is incredible. I would say that sacrificing your bedtime to get there on time would be worth it. 

Image Gallery

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Views from the Mesa Arch

Mesa Glow

Perched right on a cliff edge, Mesa Arch Canyonlands offers some great views from the arch. Some spectacular views that you can enjoy from this point are as follows:


Catching a sunrise view of the Mesa Arch is necessary if you visit Canyonlands. Every morning, the sun rises behind the arch and highlights its underside. The trip to this unique destination is incomplete without capturing the sunrise’s beauty. To enjoy the unmatched view of the rising sun, get there before sunrise. 


Mesa Arch

At sunset, the sun is usually behind the view through the arch and lights up the gold & red sandstone in the valley. It also highlights the peaks of the La Sal Mountains in the distance. Overall, visiting Mesa Arch in the evening can be a great end to a day of exploring Canyonlands National Park.

Rock Formations

Mesa Arch Canyonlands National Park Utah View
Tupungato / Adobe Stock

Mesa Arch is also known for its striking rock formations all around. You can see unique constructions like pinnacles, spires, natural bridges, canyons, and buttes. If you look closely, you can enjoy the view of Buck Canyon, Woman Arch, and the La Sal Mountains in the distance behind the arch.

Colorado and Green Rivers

Another awe-inspiring view from Mesa Arch is the Colorado River and Green River. Both rivers are known to carve out the canyons of Canyonlands National Park and divide the park into two sections, ensuring a picturesque view from the top of the arch.

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Best Time to Visit

Mesa Arch Canyonlands

This spectacular stone arch is open year-round. However, the Fall and Spring are the most popular times to visit, as the temperature is comfortable during these seasons. Consider visiting Mesa Arch Canyonlands in the chillier months between November and March to avoid crowds.

April to June and September to October are the most crowded time. Conversely, crowds are non-existent from December to February as the temperature is below freezing.

Although it’s significantly colder, consider visiting Mesa Arch Canyonlands in the chillier times between November and March to avoid crowds. Planning a trip to Mesa Arch during the winter can help you get some incredible shots with snow on the arch.

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Places to Stay Near Mesa Arch

Hotels near Mesa Arch

Most visitors to Mesa Arch Canyonlands prefer staying in the nearby town of Moab. The easy accessibility and small-town feel make it a top pick. Since the place features multiple accommodation options, you may choose any hotel that meets your needs and budget.

1. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Moab

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Moab

This hotel is 9.2 km from the arch and just a 5-minute drive from Arches National Park. It offers free parking, WiFi, an outdoor pool, and air conditioning to ensure guests’ comfort.

2. Red Cliffs Lodge

Red Cliffs Lodge

Only 10.3 km from Mesa Arch, this beautiful property is set against the picturesque backdrop of towering red cliffs and the Colorado River. One of the best things about this lodge is its homey feel.

3. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab

This is another fantastic accommodation option in Moab. The 3-star hotel features free WiFi, express check-in and check-out, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center. Each room boasts mountain views.

4. Moab Springs Ranch

Moab Springs Ranch

This facility, only 11 km from Mesa Arch, provides beautiful accommodations with free private parking, a garden, a restaurant, and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool.

5. Archway Inn

Located off Highway 191 and just 10.1 km from the arch, Aarchway Inn is known for spacious rooms, free WiFi, and free shuttle services for guests. The property also has a basketball court.

6. Element Moab

Element Moab

Situated within 11 km of the arch, this hotel offers comfortable accommodation to guests with free parking. The property boasts an outdoor swimming pool with a stunning view in the backdrop.

Camp Sites near Mesa Arch

Camp Sites near Mesa Arch

You will find multiple camping sites at the destination if you love to camp. Some of the top camping spots include:

  1. Sand Flats Recreation Area: 0.9 miles away from the arch
  2. Moab Rim RV Campark: 2.2 miles away from the arch
  3. Sun Outdoors North Moab: 2.3 miles away from the arch
  4. Slick Rock Campground: 2.4 miles away from the arch
  5. Grandstaff Campground: 1.8 miles away from the arch

What to Pack

Travel accessories and backpack line art illustration with camera, keys, water bottle, map, smartphone, headphones, watch, and notebooks.

Before you plan to visit Mesa Arch, there are a few things that you need to know to ensure a smooth experience. Some of these critical points include:

  • Mesa Arch is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Visitors are not allowed to take their pets with them on the trail.
  • The parking area is limited, so it can fill up quickly, and you may not get a parking spot.

Visitors must have proper essentials to make their hike memorable, comfortable, and safe. Here’s a list of things no one should forget to take.

  • High-quality hiking sandals or shoes
  • Hiking shorts
  • Long or short-sleeved t-shirts
  • Drying Towels
  • Hiking poles for support
  • A flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • A sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • A camera
  • Enough drinkable water
  • Snacks
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Bug spray
  • First-aid kit

How to Get There

Located in an area called Island in the Sky, getting to Mesa Arch is no challenge. If your hotel is in Moab, reaching the Canyonlands Park Entrance will take less than an hour. Once you get there, drive ten more minutes to the Mesa Arch Parking area. This small lot can accommodate up to 40 vehicles.

You will quickly get a parking spot if you arrive early, around 45 minutes before sunrise. Once you’re ready, start hiking on the Mesa Arch trail. It will take around 15 minutes to reach the arch from the parking lot.


Mesa Arch Glow

If you read the reviews of people who have been to the Mesa Arch, you will see many positive reviews. You can read mostly positive things about this particular section of Canyonland National Park.

It seems almost every visitor agrees that this place is magical. Even people with an impressive travel history to various national parks across the globe have ranked Mesa Arch as one of the top arches they have witnessed with their own eyes.

For skeptics, a trip to the arch can unquestionably change their perspective. The picturesque view that Mesa Arch offers its visitors is enough to change anyone’s mind. Moreover, seeing it yourself is the only way to witness the magnificence of this Distinctive spot. 

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Visit for Unmatched Beauty

Visit Mesa Arch for the Unmatched Beauty

Mesa Arch is an easy and quick hike with breathtaking views of canyons, Washer Woman Arch, and the La Sal Mountains. Due to its ease of hiking, the place is a bit crowded.

That means you might have to wait a while to snap incredible shots of the arch from different angles. Moreover, the picturesque view at the end is worth the wait. 

If you’re eager to validate the information in this article, consider taking a trip to Canyonland National Park! Get there for your next vacation and plan a hike to Mesa Arch to make the most of your visit.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does it take to hike to Mesa Arch?

Mesa Arch is an easy hike of about 20 to 30 minutes. It is just 0.8 kilometers or 0.5 miles long (the total distance for the entire hike). That means hiking to this spectacular arch and back can take up to half an hour.

Can I walk across Mesa Arch?

Walking across Mesa Arch is at the top of most tourists’ to-do lists. Though visitors can walk on top of this beautiful natural formation, they must remember that it can be windy. One misstep can put their lives in danger! Therefore, it is suggested that they be attentive and careful if they want to walk on top of Mesa Arch.

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