We visited Canyonlands, Island in the Sky Area on September 29, 2020 and our first stop was Mesa Arch.
Canyonlands National Park is in Utah and divided into four districts. They are, Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and The Rivers. On a map the districts look like they are connected and close to each other, but there is no easy or short way to get from one district to the other and each area is unique and showcases different recreational activities and geological formations.
Island in the Sky
Island in the Sky is the easiest to get to from the town of Moab, Utah. It is also the easiest to explore with many well marked trails of various length and skill level. There is also a 4×4 road to drive called White Rim Road which takes you into the canyon.
In one day we were able to hike 4 trails and travel on the White Rim Road so it is possible to see and do a lot here in one day.
Mesa Arch is one of the most popular sites in Canyonlands because of its accessibility and beauty. We went there first to avoid the crowds. It was just after sunrise and so beautiful.
From the Canyonlands entrance follow the main road for 8.3 miles and parking will be on the left. You can’t miss the trailhead, follow it to the right and you will come upon Mesa Arch in about a quarter of a mile.
The trail continues as a loop and totals 0.6 miles, or you can follow the same route back. The trail is a fairly easy dirt trail with a few rocks.
Mesa Arch is quite majestic and overlooks the canyon below. It is a natural arch and known for beautiful sunrises. Even though we missed the sunrise, the early morning sun still created a nice glow on the arch.