Mesa Arch | Canyonlands

Mesa Arch is a short, very popular trail in the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. This hike is short, flat, and easy. It leads to a beautiful arch with amazing views in the background. The only drawback is the number of people that you’ll pass along the trail. Despite the crowds, Mesa Arch in Canyonlands is the must see hike in this national park.

Mesa Arch is one of the best spots in Canyonlands.

Mesa Arch is right near the junction along the main road in Island in the Sky. There is a large parking area that is always full of cars, so you can’t miss it. This hike is a small loop, but many people walk it out and back to the arch, which makes the half-mile roundtrip slightly shorter.

The hike heads across the flat to the rim of the canyon. It winds around a low hill, and though it is short, wheels would not work on this hike. The trail is rocky and narrow in places. After only a quarter mile, you reach a large crowd. On many days, you’ll need to get in line to take a picture by Mesa Arch in Canyonlands.

The trail is rocky, and goes up and down.
There are a few information signs along the way.
There are usually a bunch of people on this trail.

The reason this arch is so well-loved is that it stands right on the rim of the canyon, so as you look through the arch, you see the sprawling landscape of Canyonlands in the distance. It really is very breathtaking. Of course, this means that the arch is quite dangerous, too. There are signs saying not to climb on the arch, and even getting into the arch comes with some peril. Keep little ones close as the drop through this arch is downright frightening.

Mesa Arch is beautiful.
Look at those views! 😍

It’s easy to get a safe picture in front of the arch, though. You can sit low on the left side of the span, or use the ready-made rock that sits in front of the arch. Either makes for a great photo. When you visit, you’ll see why Mesa Arch in Canyonlands is the most popular trail in Island in the Sky. For other hikes in Canyonlands, check out our post on family-friendly trails in Canyonlands.

You can get a good family pic right in front of the arch.

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