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Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located in the Island in the Sky district of the vast Canyonlands National Park, this easy-to-see arch has become very popular with photographers over the years. Even in the dark of pre-dawn people jockey for position to catch the sun rise below the arch and over an amazing landscape full of rocky spires and dark canyons.

Access is very convenient; there is only a short 0.35-mile hike each way to view the arch. This is one of the few easy-to-see features in the vast park. The arch sits 500 feet from the closest cliff and 1,500 feet from the rest of Buck Canyon. The La Sal Mountains rise in the distance and greet the rising sun along with several sandstone spires. It's no surprise you will find this site on everything from ads to Apple desktop backgrounds.

The views are amazing even with the crowds, so it's worth seeing once. you look down onto a Mars-like landscape called Buck Canyon. Show up early to beat the crowds, but there's no guarantee. Mesa Arch is so popular that the crowds may rise early with you. You might find fewer visitors a few hours after sunrise than at the crack of dawn. Walking across the arch is prohibited but easy to do, so it's a common sight.

Dogs are allowed on a leash.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to hiking essentials to get you started:

Backpack: Osprey AG Pack

Hip Belt, Adjustable Torso, Compression Straps, Raincover + Hydraulics LT 2.5L Water Reservoir Included

Men's Manta 28L • $98.93-107.25 • Osprey | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's Mira 26L • $98.93-107.25 • Osprey | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

 

Hiking Shoes: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Shoe 

Cushioned, GORE-TEX, High Traction Contagrip, 15.8 oz

Men's • $123.71-165.00 • Salomon | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $124.93-165.00 • Salomon | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Shirt: Mountain Hardwear Canyon Pro Long Sleeve Shirt 

Sun Protective, Moisture Wicking, Quick Drying, Roll-up Sleeves

Men's • $71.25-75.00 • Mountain Hardware | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $44.98-47.47 • Mountain Hardware | Amazon | Backcountry

GPS Watch: Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch

Waterproof, Calorie Burn Tracker, GPS, Sleep Tracker, Shock Resistant, Speed Tracker, Lap Timer

$128.03-170.00 • Garmin | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Trekking Poles: MSR DynaLock Explore Poles 

Aluminum, Adjustable with DynaLock Levers, Four-season Functionality, 20 oz.

$99.95 • Amazon | REI

Socks: Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock 

Made in USA, Anti-bacterial, Merino Wool, Breathable, Fast-drying

Men's • $17-22 • Darn Tough | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $12.19-22.00 • Darn Tough | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Headlamp: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp 

LED, Waterproof, Maximum Beam Distance: 80 m, Takes AAA Batteries

$49.85-49.95 • Black Diamond | Amazon | REI

First Aid Kit: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight .5 Kit

Ultralight, Watertight, Group Size: 1 person, Trip Duration: 1-2 days

$16.95-19.47 • Adventure Medical Kits | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Short hike. Beautiful views. Amazing sunrises.

Cons

Crowded.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Big vistas
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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