*All photos are protected by copyright and the property of Briana Nickas unless they are stock photos or otherwise noted.
We recently took a road trip down to Arizona to visit my mother-in-law and decided to take the longer scenic route through Moab, Utah. This allowed us to hike a trail that’s been on our list for a long time – Corona Arch!
Despite all the times we’d been in Moab before, we had somehow never hiked to this arch before. We were always focused on the Utah National Parks in the area instead. But Corona Arch rivaled the arches in Arches National Park and was a fantastic hike!
What would have usually been a 13-hour drive ended up turning into an 18-hour day. And even though it was rough being out that long, it was so worth it! Sometimes a detour is just what you need.
“Live your life by a compass, not a clock.” ― Stephen Covey
Don’t rush through life. Rather than looking at your clock and getting where you’re going as quickly as possible, slow down and take the scenic route. Look around you at nature and spend time soaking it in. You’ll be glad you did!
And if you’re visiting Moab, UT, be sure to make time to hike to Corona Arch! It’s a fairly short and easy trail with an awesome payoff: one of the most accessible and impressive arches in the area!
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How To Hike to Corona Arch
Getting to Corona Arch Trail
It’s actually really easy to get to the Corona Arch trailhead with it being only about 14 miles from downtown Moab.
Also, the turnoff from the main highway is practically across the street from the entrance to Arches National Park.
From the I-70, head south on US-191 for about 27 miles. Then turn right onto UT-279/Potash Rd.
From Moab, head north US-191 for about 4 miles. Then turn left onto UT-279/Potash Rd.
From UT-279/Potash Rd, drive roughly 10 miles on UT-279/Potash Rd. You’ll see the parking lot for the trailhead on your right.
Just a heads-up, the road to Corona Arch Trail is apparently a fabulous rock climbing area. There were countless climbers on the roadside and all along the rock face lining the road.
The road is somewhat narrow, so just be on alert and keep your eyes open for climbers or bikers to share the road with.Visiting Moab, UT? Be sure to hike to Corona Arch! It’s a fairly short and easy trail with an awesome payoff: one of the most impressive arches in the area! #hikeutah #moab #moabutah #coronaarch Click To Tweet
Parking for Corona Arch Trail
There’s a decent size parking lot off Potash Road right across from the Gold Bar Group Campground that borders the Colorado River.
The parking area is dirt with the trailhead just a few steps to the right. Since Corona Arch is outside of the nearby Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, there’s no entrance or parking fee (yay!).
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Corona Arch Trail Details
• Location: Corona Arch Trailhead (roughly 14 miles north of downtown Moab)
• Trail: Corona and Bowtie Arch Trail on AllTrails
• Distance: 2.4 miles roundtrip
• Elevation: 482 feet
• Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
• Trail Type: Out & Back
• Hiking Time: 1.5-2 hours
• Entrance Fee: FREE
• Dog-Friendly: YES (see details below)
When I say this trail is dog-friendly, I mean that dogs are allowed to use this trail (so long as they’re kept on a leash).
The trail is mostly suitable for dogs. There’s one section that can be a little tricky with/for dogs. Keep reading for more on that.
Starting Out on Corona Arch Trail
From the parking lot, you’ll find the trailhead to your right. Climb the steps, and then pass through the fence.
Just a heads-up, the fencing is narrow with barbed wire and a tight turn to pass through. Shimmy through carefully.
You’ll then cross a railroad track. Not sure if any trains still run on this track. But to be on the safe side, do what your mama told ya and look both ways before you cross! 😉
Keep following the trail. There are some sandy areas, some rocky areas, and some slickrock areas for a variety of terrain.
The trail is clearly marked. But if you find yourself off course, look for the rock cairns along the way or the green paint marks on the slickrock. There are also some chains to follow.
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Pinto Arch from Corona Arch Trail
You’ll also notice that there are a couple of turn-offs to another arch (Pinto Arch). If you decide to venture to the other arch, you can start at the first turn-off and get back to the main trail from the further one.
It’s 0.5-mile each way to Pinto Arch, which would add another 1-mile round trip for a total of 3.4 miles if you were to do both Corona Arch and Pinto Arch.
We didn’t make it to Pinto since we had been driving all day and still had a long way to go to reach our destination. But if you have the time (and energy), go check it out!
Continuing to Corona Arch
Beyond the turn-offs to Pinto Arch, you’ll eventually come to a steep section with a cable to hold onto and small, shallow foot grips to use as you climb up.
This part can be challenging for dogs. With our 6.5-lb Maltipoo, we had to carry her in one arm while gripping the cable with the other hand.
It was a little tricky, but we managed to make it up and back down without injuring ourselves or our fur-baby. #winning
I saw other larger dogs scale the climb in a few seconds like they had simply floated up it. So it will depend on your dog.
You know your dog best and what they’re capable of versus what they can’t handle. So use your best judgment on deciding whether or not to bring your fur-baby on this hike.
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Bowtie Arch and Corona Arch
Once you make it to the top, you can see Corona Arch in the distance. You’ll then come to a short ladder to climb. This is another area that can be tricky for dogs.
But you can go up and around to the side instead (just be careful). After the ladder, you can see both Bowtie Arch and Corona Arch.
This brings you to a large bench that leads to the arches. Follow the rock cairns as you cross the slickrock to Corona Arch at the end of the trail.
You’ll pass Bowtie Arch on your way. Take your time appreciating the massive arch as it towers over you before you head back the way you came.
Wrapping Up How To Hike to Corona Arch
The National Parks in Utah are all amazing! And with 2 of the Utah Mighty 5 in Moab, it’s no wonder Moab is such a popular place.
But make sure you venture out from the main attractions and do some of the other hikes in the area like Corona Arch. You’ll be glad you didn’t miss this awesome hike and incredible arch!
After catching the sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park or taking the scenic drive in Arches National Park, head over to Corona Arch for some more exploration.
Before you hit the Corona Arch Trail, be sure to grab your free Hiking Gear Checklist to make sure you have everything you need on the trail!
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What an epic hike Briana. My wife and I love our hikes. We enjoyed a few here in the mountains of rural Crete. The most dramatic thing that happened so far is me being rushed by 3 massive Kangals protecting their flock of sheep. I remained calm but they were fast as can be and pretty intimidating LOL. The shepherd called them back and they sprinted away. Just another day hiking in a rural area!
My hubby and I live for hiking! Sounds like you had quite the scare. Glad you survived to hike another day! 😄 What’s been your favorite hike so far, Ryan?