Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park

This will unfortunately be my last post about our spontaneous Utah trip! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the series. I’ve really enjoyed blogging about this road trip and sharing my picks about where to visit on your own Utah National Park road trip.

Mesa Arch had been on our bucket list for awhile. There’s an iconic photo of the sun rising underneath the arch that pretty much every photographer will seek out to capture at some point or another. When you see it, you’ll understand why!

Canyonlands National Park is only a short 30-minute drive from Arches National Park, so it’s very easy to spend one day at one park and the next at the other.

The trailhead for Mesa Arch is at a large parking lot along the Grand View Point Road. The very short and easy, 0.6 mile round trip hiking trail is well-signed and easy to follow. Just don’t be like us and forget a piece of your camera gear or you’ll have to run back to the car and then book it back to Mesa Arch to catch the sunrise!

Needless to say, this is a very busy spot for photographers. We pulled in to the parking lot about an hour before sunrise and there were already a handful of cars parked. These were mostly photographers waiting at the famous viewpoint, setting up their tripods in an attempt at staking their claim on their chosen spot to photograph the beautiful arch from.

The viewpoint is swarmed with photographers at sunrise, but the view and the shot is worth it.

Once you arrive at Mesa Arch, the view from the edge of the plateau is expansive and stunning. You’ll want to stay long after the sun has risen and the colors have disappeared – promise.

Outside of Mesa Arch, there are so many beautiful spots to explore in Canyonlands National Park. The park is divided into four districts by the massive canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers. We unfortunately were nearing the end of our trip once we arrived into Canyonlands, so we weren’t able to spend too much more time exploring….but we did stop during our drive at a few beautiful lookout spots. They are plentiful in Canyonlands!

Enjoy your Utah trip 🙂

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Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park


I’m Jenn, a photographer, travel writer, and content creator based out of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I’m glad you’re here – now let’s explore!

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