St Louis Arch- Gateway to the West #IGTravelThursday

Last Updated on October 1, 2014 by Jody Halsted

We made a quick trip to St. Louis last weekend so the girls could compete in two feis (Irish dance competitions). And while we didn’t have a lot of time to do anything extra, we did find time to visit the Gateway Arch.

Gateway Arch Beyond the Old Courthouse, St Louis
Gateway Arch Beyond the Old Courthouse

Four years have passed since our last visit to the Arch, and with the girls a bit older – and more likely to remember this visit- we spent a couple hours.

Jr Ranger Badges at Gateway Arch, St Louis
Jr Ranger Badges

The girls were excited to earn a new Junior Ranger badge and worked hard to complete their workbooks.

Then we made our trip to the top. If you’ve never experienced a ride to the top of the arch, it’s very sci-fi and slightly surreal.

Gateway Arch, St Louis
Waiting for the pods

These doors slide open, quite 1960s spaceship-like, and you enter a small pod. The pod, which seats 5 in a rather cramped semi-circle, has windows which allow you to see the interior of the arch. Which I understand is really quite interesting – if you can take your eyes off the fact that, if the pods stop somewhere mid-arch you are nowhere near any steps that would allow you to leave the pod. If the pod doors would even open.

Yes, I might have a slight fear of heights and maybe even a bit of claustrophobia.

Of course we make it to the top of the arch, 630 feet above St. Louis, and are awarded with simply stunning views for miles.

Gateway Arch view - 630 feet above St Louis
Gateway Arch view – 630 feet above St Louis

I’m always amazed how people in St. Louis can pass by the Arch without a second glance. I suppose that comes with it being there every day. But every time I pass through I always take a few minutes to stop and look at it as it changes with the light, reflecting clouds that pass overhead.

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  1. Glad you enjoyed the Arch!  I think its a must-see in my hometown of STL 🙂

    It’s going to take them years, but they are gutting it and rebuilding the entire museum & surrounding park etc….so come back in 2017 and visit the newer version!

  2. What a cool place to visit, I didn’t know that one could actually go up the arch. I might have been a bit scared to actually get into a small pod to go up!

  3. I’ve never been up the arch but I’ve been to St. Louis several times. My wife is fearful of heights, so this might have to be something my son and I do next time we drive up from Memphis for a visit.

    1. I have to admit, Lance, that I am quite fearful of heights as well. The ride up the arch is the most difficult, but the views from the top are completely worth it.

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