Sunrise at Mesa Arch
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Sunrise at Mesa Arch – For the last 3 weeks, the mountains of Colorado had experienced absurdly warm temperatures (60°+) just making me crave summer. I just couldn’t kick the nagging feeling I just had to get out of there for a few days so with a random Tuesday/Wednesday off from work, I just decided to hop in the car and roll solo to Moab for a few nights.
A roaring campfire and whiskey with strangers is always a tough thing to walk away from and after finally saying “goodnight” at 2a.m., it felt like my head had barely hit the pillow before I was already crawling back out into the cold. With sunrise at Mesa Arch being such a popular shot, I knew I needed to get to the trailhead early and I was pretty shocked to find only one other car in the parking lot. As I finished off the half-mile hike, I posted up right next to the only 2 people there. Making small talk, we waited for ‘the show’ as about 30 other people filled in all around us. Most people were set up with some nice camera rigs, but I was surprised to see a few ambitious families there – most notably a family from New Jersey who was not only very proud to be from New Jersey, but extremely oblivious that anyone else was there and nobody had coffee yet. It was beautiful, but definitely not a peaceful sunrise…
The sun’s rays eventually broke over the La Sal Mountains bringing in fantastic light onto Washer Woman Arch, Airport Tower, and Buck Canyon. And for some reason, people began packing it up and leaving as if it was over. Which was fine – It allowed the rest of us to start freely moving around a bit for some different angles without worrying about losing the prime spots. I stayed long enough for the sunburst to come over the top of the arch and decided to head back for breakfast when a train of people were coming down the trail. I had a good feeling I had gotten what I had wanted that morning.