Photograph Arches National Park
Utah › La Sal Mountains Viewpoint
Added by Kyle Aiton
Amazing Views year-roundExcellent location for sun rising over the La Sal MountainsInside Arches National Park with countless hiking and photographic opportunitiesIncredible location for panoramic views of the entire park and famous rock formationsGreat location for star gazing as well
Located in Southeast Utah, 5 miles North of Moab, Utah. From Hwy 70, take Exit 182 towards Crescent Jct/Moab, taking Hwy 191 S for about 25 miles until you reach Arches National Park on your left.
From the Visitor Center, the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint area is about a 4 mile ride on your right. There is a sidewalk to park along at the viewpoint with multiple kiosks describing the park and different landscape formations in front of you. From here you have a breathtaking view of the La Sal Mountain range and the eastern portion of the park in the distance, housing Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock, as well as the Window Arches. You also have a remarkable up close view of the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint: including the Tower of Babel, The Organ, Sheep Rock, and the Three Gossips rock formations.
It is in and around this area I have found some of the best sunrise/sunset pictures I've ever taken in the park. Arches as well as Canyonlands are probably my most visited parks, so I have spent a considerable amount of time photographing sunrises/sunsets in both. From in and around this viewpoint, you have a mesmerizing opportunity to see the sun's first light rise over the La Sals and hitting formations like the Tower of Babel and The Organ immediately following. Watching the sun slowly move across the valley and up these formations at first light is enough to make you want to put the camera down and simply be in the moment.
Even when the weather is not ideal and overcast, the sun rising in this specific location offers views of morning clouds or fog rolling over the La Sal range with speckled rays of the rising sun scattered about the mist as seen in one of my pictures above. I took a time lapse video of a storm rolling in over the distant plateaus at sunset from this view with my go pro as seen in one of the pictures above. As with most locations in the park, this is a great area for star gazing and night photography as well with little to no light pollution and a perfect mix of contrasting rock formations and an open valley sky. And of course, once done hiking and photographing, treat yourself to a delicious meal and micro brew at the local Moab Brewery less then 8 miles down the road in Moab.
With all the amazing, popular locations in the park to visit like Delicate Arch, the Devil's Garden, and the Fiery Furnace; this is an often overlooked gem for photography during all seasons.
- Camera with sun guards and cleaning cloth to help with wind and dirt
- Plenty of water
- Appropriate hat and clothing for being in the desert
- Up-to-date info on sunrise/sunset times
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Chillin, Hiking, Photography
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Plenty to see
I went in the summer and found an endless amount of fascinating arches and other massive rocks to photograph. The real beauty to me, however, comes when the light softens at sunset and the colors become warmer. Looking forward to seeing it in the winter when the snow contrasts with the orange rock.
Super Neat Place
I will come back to this place. Probably over and over again. Especially want to try and get out during winter. It would be cool to photograph some of the arches with light snow covering them. 10/10, Arches.
Beautiful & iconic; watch out for crowds
Arrived around 8:45am on a Sunday, which (surprisingly) allowed us to beat the worst of the crowds. If you've never been, I'd recommend doing the driving tour and enjoying a few of the smaller hikes to the Windows, Double Arch, and more. Even in the mid-morning, the light made for nice photos. All around, amazing experience!
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