Mesa Arch Sunrise Photo

Mesa Arch is a spectacular natural sandstone arch at the edge of the Island-in-the-Sky region of Canyonlands National Park. It literally juts up and out from the mesa, hanging over the chasm with an unbroken drop many hundreds of feet below. For a few minutes at sunrise, if the horizon is clear of clouds, the underside of Mesa Arch glows a warm, deep red. I had Mesa Arch to myself one morning last week. It was -4°F, clear blue sky, new snow and not a speck of wind.

Mesa Arch, Utah.  An exuberant hiker greets the dawning sun from atop Mesa Arch. Yup, that's me, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park

Mesa Arch, Utah. An exuberant hiker greets the dawning sun from atop Mesa Arch. Yup, that’s me.
Image ID: 18036
Location: Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

The image above is a self-portrait, one that is not for the faint of heart. A simple slip or stumble while atop Mesa Arch has serious consequences. This risky maneuver should only be attempted by qualified, registered, insured, well-trained stunt photographers under highly controlled circumstances (i.e., no Moab brewery the night before). Do not attempt this at home.

Mesa Arch spans 90 feet and stands at the edge of a mesa precipice thousands of feet above the Colorado River gorge. For a few moments at sunrise the underside of the arch glows dramatically red and orange, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Mesa Arch spans 90 feet and stands at the edge of a mesa precipice thousands of feet above the Colorado River gorge. For a few moments at sunrise the underside of the arch glows dramatically red and orange.
Image ID: 18037
Location: Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

See Mesa Arch photos and Canyonlands National Park photos.