Visit the historic monument which symbolizes the Western Expansion by Lewis and Clark at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO. Experience the majesty of this architectural masterpiece which boasts a height of over 630 feet. This magnificent steel monument is the tallest man made monument in the Western Hemisphere and became open to the public in 1967. The Gateway Arch remains one of the most visited attractions in the world, but only one fourth of the tourists who visit this iconic symbol of St. Louis ever venture to the top of the arch.
Things to See & Do
- Explore the Museum of Western Expansion which contains a number of artifacts from the 19th Century relevant to westward expansion.
- View two films about the Arch; it's history and how it was built and Lewis and Clark.
- Venture to the top of the arch for a 45 minute tour via the 1067 feet of stairs, the 372 foot travelling elevator, or the tram ride to the observatory area. From the observatory, guests can expect to see:
- Up to 30 miles on a clear day
- Breath taking views of downtown St. Louis and the Mississippi River
- Once you are on the top spend as much time as you would like before heading back down the same way you came up. This is one of the few places in the Midwest where you can get such an amazing view. On a clear day it is possible to see a distance of approximately 30 miles.
Gateway Arch Insider Tips
- This is a once in a lifetime experience, as the tram and elevators do not travel on a straight upward path.
- Taking the trip to the top is not for someone who does not like to be in confined and cramped spaces.
- Make sure that you arrive as close to opening time as possible. There is a great deal of security to get through at the arch and limited space to travel to the top on each ride up. Long lines form quickly.
- The tram heads to the top every 5-10 minutes depending whether one or two trams are running. There are no stairs available to reach the top. The stairs they have are for emergency use only.
- The complete cycle takes approximately 45 minutes
- There are no facilities of any kind on the top. If you are traveling with children you might want to make a pit stop before the journey up so you don’t have to come back down sooner than you want to.
- There is no maximum time you can stay on top. You can enjoy the view for as long as you wish or until closing time.
- While you are waiting for your turn in the tram to the top make sure to visit the Museum of Westward Expansion and discover things you might not have known about our expansion to the Pacific Ocean, Lewis and Clark and the many people involved in their journey.