The Gateway Arch which stands on the west bank of the Mississippi River is one of America’s most famous icons. I was thrilled to get a chance to visit the landmark and take my son up to the top of the arch.

With all our stops at National parks and monuments it was only fitting that I discover that the arch too is a National Park Service site. I had always assumed it was some sort of privately owned building.

The building is stunning to say the least. It is the tallest man-made monument in the United States and its stainless steel siding is blinding in the midday sun. Its grandeur aside, the interior is just as impressive.

You enter the monument underground where the Museum of Western Expansion is held and you board the trams to the observation deck above. The trams are really more half-Ferris wheel and half-elevator. You travel up in egg shaped capsules that reminded me of something from a 70s sci-fi film.

We stayed quite a while at the top. Trey insisted on looking out of each of the 32 small rectangular windows. On the way up we shared our capsule with four other visitors, but we waited to secure one for ourselves on the descent (video below).

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