The Corona Arch Hiking Trail Guide
Seeing the iconic Corona Arch in person is awe-inspiring, and the hike to it is fairly easy. For these reasons, this hiking trail just outside Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, is extremely popular.
We’ve gathered the details you need for the trek from start to finish.
Let’s take a look!
About the Corona Arch Hiking Trail
Sometimes called Little Rainbow Bridge, Corona Arch is quite imposing itself at 105 feet high and 140 feet wide. Photographs don’t always do it justice. Look closely to see if there’s a hiker in the frame – that will help put it in perspective.
The best way to appreciate the beauty and size of this naturally formed sandstone structure is to see it in person. Fortunately, it’s just a 1.5-mile hike there and back, and it’s mostly flat.
The trail is located off Potash Road (State Highway 279) and runs alongside the Colorado River. Besides seeing the incredible Corona Arch, you’ll also experience other natural formations such as Pinto Arch and Bowtie Arch. In fact, one of the prettiest views along the route is from Pinto Arch.
Another is once you’ve crossed through the Corona Arch itself – be sure and turn around to take in that view, as well.
How Do You Get To The Trailhead?
The Corona Arch trail is located on public property (maintained by the federal Bureau of Land Management), and it’s easy to get to. From Moab, head north on U.S. Highway 191 for about four miles, turn left on State Highway 279 South, then go about 10 miles. You’ll see parking and the trailhead on your right, which is the north side of the road.
What Is The Best Season To Hike This Trail?
When planning a trip to Corona Arch, you should consider the weather. Late spring and early fall are probably the best times of year to visit because it’s not too hot or cold. Average high temperatures in April and May are in the 70s and 80s, and the same goes for September and October.
Summers see brutal temperatures of 100 degrees and above. There’s no shade on the trail, so if you visit during the hotter months, go as early in the day as possible. Also, it’s probably better to hike it during the week, if possible, because it can be pretty crowded on weekends.
As we said, the trail to Corona Arch is so popular in part because it’s a fairly short and easy hike. Rated as moderate, it starts with some steep rocky steps but soon levels out.
There are only a couple of somewhat difficult areas. There’s a short stretch with a steel ladder up a sharp incline that’s about six feet high. In another section, you may want to grab onto a cable guardrail as you navigate a slickrock passage over a narrow ridge. The overall elevation gain is around 400 feet.
You could easily wind up the round-trip hike in about an hour and a half. If you’re not in a hurry, though, there are plenty of sights to see along the way. There are some intriguing caves and rock cairns, desert wildflowers, and several kinds of cacti.
We could easily see this enjoyable hike stretching out to three hours or so with great weather conditions.
Are Dogs Allowed on The Corona Arch Hiking Trail?
Another reason so many hikers love this trail is that their dogs can join them. Just be sure to keep them on a leash. Depending on their own skill level, they may need a little boost on the short section with the ladder.
What To Bring On A Day Hike
It’s always important to be fully prepared, even on short hikes such as Corona Arch. Travel as lightly as possible, but not without a few necessities.
Drinking water is a must, and some food (or at least a snack) is a good idea, too. Be sure to protect yourself from the sun with proper clothing as well as sunscreen. Good footwear is a must considering the rocky and somewhat slippery terrain. We also always have a knife or multi-tool with us, and we keep a small first-aid kit in our backpack.
Pro Tip: These 5 Surprisingly Common Hiking Mistakes may ruin your trip.
Corona Arch is a Must-See in Moab
Just a few miles outside of Moab, the scenic Corona Arch is overlooked by many travelers. But it’s a cool destination that’s just off the beaten path and not too far out of the way. It takes just a little bit of time and effort to explore this remarkable sandstone treasure.
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