A short, easy hike to a stunning natural arch!


0 - 1









FATMAP difficulty grade



"Mesa Arch is a spectacular stone arch perched at the edge of a cliff with vast views of canyons, rock spires, and the La Sal Mountains in the distance," [writes the NPS](https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/cany-mesa-arch.htm).

This short loop to and from the arch forms an ultra-popular short hike in the Island in the Sky region of Canyonlands National Park. Made famous by social media, Mesa Arch perfectly frames the sunrise, with the rock glowing a rich gold color if you catch it at the perfect time. The trail to and from the arch is well-built, with stone steps to handle the small amount of elevation change.

Almost anybody with any fitness level can cover the 0.7-mile round trip distance, especially if you're willing to take your time.  Once at the arch, take some time to soak in the beauty.

While sunrise is easily the most popular time to photograph the arch, "throughout the day, the changing light and clouds over Mesa Arch [make] it an excellent photography spot," according to the NPS.

"Any time of day can provide a variety of light and textures on the famous arch.

Consider other angles and perspectives to get a different view." As you hike to and view the arch, respect the fragile desert environment by staying on the trail and only stepping on hard surfaces.

Whatever you do, make absolutely sure that you do not walk or climb on Mesa Arch.