Mesa Arch is a 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. It’s on the eastern edge of the Island in the Sky mesa in Canyonlands National Park in northern San Juan County, Utah, United States.
This hike to Mesa arch is level, easy and only 1/2 mile long.
Canyonlands is adjacent to Arches National Park. The drive from Moab, Utah to the arch takes about 50 minutes per Google and about 40 minutes if you drive like me.
The nearness to Moab and the short easy nature of the hike makes this an extremely popular site. You will not have this location to yourself except maybe at 2:00 AM and perhaps not even then if Milky Way shooters are out and about.
Plan the Shot
To get this shot, you need to be at the arch no later than 45 minutes before sunrise and that’s likely cutting it close. There are 5-7 prime spots (elbow to elbow) and there may be 25 people or more at the arch at sunrise. If there is a photography workshop going on, forget about it, unless you beat them to the spot.
Assuming you get to Mesa Arch in time to get a good spot, you still need clouds. And you need to have an idea of what exactly you will be doing. You might have a minute or two to get it done, at most.
I was there in the dead of winter almost one hour prior and before sunrise there were 30+ photographers.