Photograph Arches National Park

La Sal Mountains Viewpoint

Amazing Views year-round. Excellent location for sun rising over the La Sal Mountains. Inside Arches National Park with countless hiking and photographic opportunities. Incredible location for panoramic views of the entire park and famous rock formations. Great 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.

Pack List

  • 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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Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Breathtaking

I’ve never seen anything like this place before, so it was a lot to take in. We arrived very early, just before 8, and had no issues driving straight in to what we wanted to see. By the time we left several hours later, the parking lot was completely full, and there was quite a line of traffic to get into this place. Can’t wait to go back and keep exploring. The day we went was quite windy, and I was glad to have a hood and sunglasses to help with dust. Wish I would’ve taken a bandana for the worst of it. Cannot recommend this park highly enough.

So much to see

There is plenty to see in this park. The arches do not disappoint at all and the landscapes are amazing. Make sure to bring plenty of water if you go during the summer because it gets extremely hot.

Wide variety of monumental landscapes

I was astonished at the amount of monumental peaks jutting out of the ground. Really want to get back here to shoot some night shots.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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