Riding To The Top Of The Gateway Arch In The Tram Car: What It's Like & What You Can See Of St Louis (2023)


Riding To The Top Of The Gateway Arch In The Tram Car: What It's Like & What You Can See Of St Louis

When I was a kid growing up across the river from St. Louis, I got to ride the tram to the top of the Gateway Arch many times. Everytime relatives or friends from out of town came to visit, they wanted us to take them to see it, and I always got to go up with them. I never got tired of that view, or of witnessing the excitement, and even trepidation, of those going up in the Arch for the first time. But I had since moved about 100 miles from St. Louis, and hadn't taken the trip on the Arch Tram in several years. The grounds around the Arch, as well as the Visitor's Center and the Museum, underwent a major renovation and transformation that was officially revealed on July 3, 2018. We hadn't had the chance to see up close what they had done to the Gateway Arch National Park, so we took a trip to check it out. That visit also seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to take the tram ride once again! I was excited about trying it, and was looking forward to seeing if it was like I remembered. The experience was great, and the view from the top of the Arch is still as amazing as I remembered. It's an incredible structure and a marvel of design and engineering combined, making it one of the wonders of my world, at least!

#GatewayArchSTL #StLouisArch #GatewayArchNationalPark

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Gonna go up in the Arch today! It's, been years since I've been up in the Arch.

I used to go all the time.

When I was a kid and I lived across the river in Cahokia.

So I'm gonna.

Do it again today.

You used to go in by walking to either one of the legs.


Those are just exits: now.

Since, they've redone, the Arch, you actually enter from the top of the hill.

Downtown St.

Louis, is that way.

There's, the Old Courthouse.

So across from there.

This is the actual entrance to the Arch.

And before you get on the tram ride to the top of the Arch, right near the entrance to the Arch is a replica of the cars that you'd be riding in.


You can actually get in, sit.


Try the seats out to see if it would be comfortable for you to go up in the ride.

It's about a four minute ride.

Up, three minute ride: down.

And! You could be sharing it with four other people...the cars hold five people at the most., If you're, a claustrophobic.

You can figure out if this is too close for you.

Maybe too cramped.

And you take the escalator down after you go through Security.

Everybody goes through Security.


You walk through the museum area.

First to get to the north or south leg of the train.


My ticket is for Adult, North Tram.

And before you get on the tram.

This kind of gives you an idea what you might see once you get up there.

Looking east to Illinois and looking west over to downtown St.


This is the entrance that goes underground to the start of the tram.

As you're waiting in the queue to board the tram, there's some facts about the Arch.

Arch height is equal to the Arch width.


We're going to be heading right down this way.

If, you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I will be happy to answer them, because I am, after all, a tour guide.

And as such, a virtually endless font of mostly useless information.

Now, we'll be heading the rest of the way into this room.

The Finnish-American architect, Eero Saarinen submitted the design for the Gateway Arch.

The Arch is 630 feet, tall, that's 192, meters, 210, yards, 7560 inches, or about 63 stories.

It cost $13 million dollars to build.

That was big money in the 1960's, but in today's currency, that would be closer to $200 million dollars.


Take your picture against a blue screen, give you a card, and we go.


I got Tram Car 5.

There's, not too many of us, so I may be by myself.

And that compares the height of the Arch to other things, other monuments.

There's different things showing on each door, but I.

Imagine eventually everything will show on your door.


You can hear the tram coming down.


So those people will get off and go up the stairs and then we'll get in.

Please keep clear of the door.

The Tram door is now closing.

Enjoy your trip to the top.


We go! No windows on the sides or the back.

But out the front door where you came in there is a window.

Not, much to see.

And, the capsule adjusts itself to level every once in a while.

It goes up.

A little ways, starts to tilt, and then adjusts back to level.

A little bit different feeling.

There's stairs that go up., There's somebody's workbench, area.

And, the capsule's, a little small...not real big.

But, unless you're very claustrophobic, I think you can probably handle it.

Here's a quick look, around.

I'm sitting in the back seat, and there's two seats on the left, two on the right.


Just some vents up there.

Those are vents.


If there was five people in here, we'd probably be elbow to elbow.

We're slowing down.

It's only about 17 feet wide at the top.

And we're adjusting more frequently as we're getting towards the top.


We go.

We're heading up to the top.


You can see.

There is room for a lot of people up here.


This is the Missouri side.

Missouri side.

And, there's where we entered in the Arch complex right, there.

There's, the Courthouse.


There's the St.

Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium.

Way out there is the Enterprise Center and Union Station.

That's Kiener Plaza right there, where the skating rink, is.

There's, the dome...America's Center.

You have a really good view up: here.

Wow! And.

If it wasn't a cloudy, hazy, foggy day, whatever that is out there, you could see even further.

This is the Illinois side.


There is the riverfront, St.

Louis Riverfront.

There's, the Gateway Arch Riverboat.

There's, the Casino Queen right across the river.

There's, the Gateway Geyser.

There's, the Poplar Street Bridge, and that's interstate 64 going across.


There is East St.



That way is Cahokia.

And, of course, the mighty Mississippi.

And plenty of windows for everybody to get a chance to look out.

And, you can stay for a while, or as soon as you come up, you can go back down on the next Tram.

Whatever you want to do.

So, it's a great view of the sights of St.

Louis from up here.

I'm gonna go down.

Now, and I was supposed to go to car #4, and stand on the yellow, paint.


There will be another car coming up, soon.

And, the trip down is faster.

Three minutes versus four minutes.

So should be a pretty good ride.


With the extra speed and the shifting back and forth.

And we're headed down.


It does feel a lot faster.

It's a little bit more of a thrill-ride going down.

A little more speed.

A little more fun! And when I was up in the Arch.

I didn't really feel like I was way up, high.

It didn't trigger any fear of heights or anything like that.


Guess it's because you're just enclosed in this big metal structure, and you feel pretty safe.

I enjoyed my look around at the top.


Was there maybe 15 minutes, and then I came back down.




That was fun!.


Riding To The Top Of The Gateway Arch In The Tram Car: What It's Like & What You Can See Of St Louis? ›

How long does the Tram Ride to the Top take? The entire tour takes on average 45 minutes to an hour. First, your tour guide will lead you through an interactive multimedia experience prior to boarding the tram. Once on the tram, it is a 4 minute ride to the top and a 3 minute ride back down.

How long is the ride to the top of the Gateway Arch? ›

How long does the Tram Ride to the Top take? The entire tour takes on average 45 minutes to an hour. First, your tour guide will lead you through an interactive multimedia experience prior to boarding the tram. Once on the tram, it is a 4 minute ride to the top and a 3 minute ride back down.

How long is the tram ride at Gateway Arch? ›

Visitors have one tram cycle at the top of the arch before riding back down. This works out to approximately 7-9 minutes at the top. The approximate time of a complete tour to the top is 45 minutes. The last tram of the day goes up approximately an hour before closing time.

Is there an elevator to the top of the Gateway Arch? ›

A special one of a kind elevator will take you to the top observation deck by going up one of the Arch legs. Since the legs of the arch are curved a very different type of elevator had to be invented just for the Arch. It is a combination of an elevator, Ferris wheel, and escalator that we call the tram.

How much does it cost to go to the top of the St. Louis Arch? ›

While admission is always free, Gateway Arch National Park charges a $3 entrance fee on every adult tram ride to the top of the Arch and tickets to its documentary movie. On fee-free days, National Park Service fees are waived at the Gateway Arch and all other National Park sites throughout the U.S.

Is the Gateway Arch air conditioned? ›

ST. LOUIS – Air Masters has completed the first-comfort HVAC upgrade inside the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Is the area around the Gateway Arch safe? ›

The Gateway Arch and a surrounding park sit right on the banks. This area is full of tourists, field trips, and local business workers, so you can feel safe here. The Museum of Westward Expansion is under the arch and shows how pioneers crossed the river to explore the West.

Is the Gateway Arch tram worth it? ›

Advanced ticket booking is a must! The bubble capsule tram ride to the top of the arch sells out fast so book tickets well in advance. You'll have to go through airport-like security to get in but once inside, the exhibits and your quick ride up, and views from the tiny space up top are worth it.

Is the St. Louis Arch tram worth it? ›

It's still worth the ride up. There's just not much going in inside the top of the Arch. Taking a trip up the Gateway Arch is definitely worth it, just to check off the bucket list. As long as you're not scared of heights!

How many people fit in the Arch tram? ›

Each of the 16 tram cars, or "pods", can hold five seated persons.

Is there a weight limit for the St. Louis Arch tram? ›

There is no weight limit to ride the tram. You can ride the trams at any age or weight.

What is the hole at the top of the elevator door for? ›

The small dime-sized hole in an elevator door is a keyhole that allows the door to be opened during an emergency or for routine maintenance.

Is it free to see the Gateway Arch? ›

The Museum Under the Gateway Arch is always free for all visitors and does not require a ticket or an entry fee. Due to security measures at the Gateway Arch, all visitors to the Arch must pass through an airport style security checkpoint.

What is the best time to go up in the St. Louis Arch? ›

August and September: The crowds thin out as kids return to school. November and December: Fall can be a busy time due to many group tours. The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year, so be sure to book your tickets in advance and arrive early if you plan to visit that day.

Do you have to make reservations to go up in the St. Louis Arch? ›

Tickets sell out early and often, advance reservations are strongly recommended. Pending availability, additional tickets may be available for same-day purchase beginning at 9am each day through our website, call center, and ticket center at the Gateway Arch.

How much is parking at the Gateway Arch? ›

It is $9 for 5 hours. Pre-purchasing parking at iparkit.com/TheArch is highly recommended, especially on Cardinals game days or days when other large events are happening. If parking is not pre-purchased on event days, the special $9 rate will not be recognized and event day parking rates will apply.

Where is the best place to see the Gateway Arch? ›

Martin Memorial Park (MWMMP) is a passive public space situated directly across from the Gateway Arch. The park is home to the Gateway Geyser (the tallest water fountain in the U.S.) and the Mississippi River Overlook (a viewing tower that offers unprecedented views of the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis).

How does the tram work in the Gateway Arch? ›

Each train capsule has a 5-foot diameter barrel that is open on the front and closed on the back. There are five seats in each barrel, so the weight of the passengers helps keep the capsule in an upright position. Each capsule rotates approximately 155 degrees during the trip to the top of the Arch.

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