The Gateway Arch was named an official National Park in February 2018. Even though it is our nation’s smallest park, it offers a whole lot of history. The Arch was originally built as a monument to symbolize the role St. Louis played in westward expansion during the 19th century.
The Arch measures in at 630 feet—uniquely just as tall as it is wide. Its actually the tallest man-made monument in the United States. On a clear day, visitors at the top of the arch may be able to see 30 miles in either direction.
While visiting, we took a tram ride to the top. We learned that an elevator, escalator, and Ferris wheel were all considerations to build to get people to the top. The tram ride takes about 4 minutes up, and 3 minutes back down. Each group is allotted 10 minutes at the top for pictures and views. It’s a little eerie at the top, but the Gateway Arch is designed to withstand earthquakes and lightning strikes, and is built to sway up to 18 inches in 150 mph winds, so it’s a sturdy structure.
Before departing this urban park, we toured the museum at the base, had some snacks at the Arch Café, and took some cool pictures outside with the downtown scene in the background.