Today, on the way to Ohio for the weekend, we visited the St. Louis Arch. While the arch visitor center is under some renovation and the Museum of Westward Expansion was closed, the arch itself was still open to visitors and we were able to walk through the base of the arch, view the 30 minute informational video detailing the construction of the arch, and walk through the gift shop. The kids were able to complete the Junior Ranger program booklet for the arch and received their Junior Ranger badges. I really am appreciative that the National Parks Service has continued the Junior Ranger program at all their parks for the kids as the kids really seem to enjoy it.
The arch itself is quite large, standing approximately 640 feet tall along the Mississippi river, beside the Missouri/Illinois state line. Made of structural steel and concrete and skinned with stainless steel, it is an impressive sight to see in person. While it can be seen for miles around, and we viewed it from the freeway last May on our way through the city, I am glad we took the time to actually visit the site this year. The fact that we have a National Parks Pass made it even better, as admission was free with our pass. I will note that we made this a side trip with just the van. Trying to find parking near the arch for the truck-RV combo or the van-box trailer combo would have been much more difficult if possible at all. In all we spent about 2.5 hours at the arch before piling back in the van and continuing our trip to Ohio. As with most, if not all, of the National Parks sites I would recommend making the stop if you are in the area.