Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Jim Ferri
Canyonlands National Park, about a five-hour drive south of Salt Lake City is a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries.
Mesa Arch is a sandstone arch on the Island in the Sky Mesa, one of the four sections of the park. A cliff-edge arch, it provides stunning views of the La Sal Mountains in the distance.
Although you can enjoy the view at Mesa Arch any time of day, it is most popular at sunrise when the rising sun’s glow turns the bottom of the arch red. Nearly every morning, numerous people hike the .3 miles (.5kms) over the rocky, uneven ground to the arch to witness the phenomena. It is, in fact, one of the most photographed arches in southeast Utah.
In addition to Mesa Arch being one of the most spectacular places in the park, for many it is also the most magical at sunrise.
Carved by the Colorado River, Canyonlands National Park offers visitors hiking, stargazing, camping, and technical rock climbing.
Established in 1964, the park preserves 527 square miles of colorful landscape that has eroded into countless canyons, mesas, arches, and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The Colorado and Green rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration.