Gateway Arch National Park Facts

Aleena Mehmood2024-06-03

Table of Contents


St. Louis, Missouri, thrums with a vibrant energy, a place where history whispers on the breeze and modern innovation takes center stage. Nestled along the mighty Mississippi River, a gleaming stainless-steel giant captures the imagination – the Gateway Arch National Park. Tripshepherd, your trusted travel companion, is here to whisk you on a journey through this iconic landmark, where westward expansion unfolds and breathtaking views await.

Gateway Arch National Park

(Photo credit@KennyNguyen/Unsplash)

Gateway to the West

The Gateway Arch National Park, established in 2018, is a testament to the pioneering spirit of the United States. Its centerpiece, the Gateway Arch, is more than just a monument; it's a soaring symbol of westward expansion. President Thomas Jefferson's vision of a nation stretching westward following the Louisiana Purchase finds its embodiment in this awe-inspiring structure. Imagine Lewis and Clark, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, embarking on their epic expedition, forever etching their names in the annals of American exploration.

A Design Competition for the Ages

The design of this national treasure is a fascinating story in itself. In 1947, a nationwide competition was held to choose the architect who would bring the Gateway Arch to life. The winning design came from Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. His vision – a gleaming stainless-steel arch reaching 630 feet towards the sky, both 630 feet wide at its base and symbolic of the endless possibilities that lay westward.

Construction of the arch began in 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965. The journey to reach the top for visitors wasn't complete until 1967 with the installation of a one-of-a-kind tram system. This unique tram system, a marvel of engineering, whisks visitors to the top of the arch in a mere 4 minutes.

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Reaching the Top

The reward for braving the climb? Breathtaking panoramic vistas! From the top of the arch, the city of St. Louis unfolds before you, a tapestry of bustling streets, historic landmarks, and the mighty Mississippi River snaking its way through the landscape. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of Illinois on the opposite bank.

But the Gateway Arch National Park experience isn't confined to the arch itself. The park encompasses the Old Courthouse, a historic landmark where the Dred Scott case, a pivotal moment in the fight against slavery, unfolded. Exploring the park's museum sheds light on the rich history of St. Louis and the significance of westward expansion in shaping the nation.

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What is the Gateway Arch National Park?

Established in 2018, the Gateway Arch National Park encompasses the St. Louis Arch, the Old Courthouse, and the surrounding grounds. It commemorates westward expansion and the Louisiana Purchase.

How tall is the Gateway Arch?

The Gateway Arch stands at a staggering 630 feet, making it the tallest monument in the United States.

Can you go to the top of the Gateway Arch?

Absolutely! A unique tram system takes visitors to the top of the arch in just 4 minutes, offering stunning panoramic views of St. Louis and the surrounding area.

What else is there to see in the park?

The park includes the Old Courthouse, a significant landmark in the fight against slavery, and a museum showcasing the history of St. Louis and westward expansion.


Soaring 630 feet into the sky, the Gateway Arch National Park beckons as a testament to American ambition and a gateway to the nation's rich history. From the breathtaking views atop the St. Louis Arch to the echoes of the past whispering through the Old Courthouse, this national treasure promises an unforgettable experience.

Plan your St. Louis adventure with Tripshepherd today! Our expertly crafted tours unlock the stories waiting to be unearthed, ensuring you leave with memories that will last a lifetime. Embark on a journey through time and discover the wonders with our St. Louis tours.