Corona Arch is a 3-mile hike with a couple of technical sections where cables have been placed to hold onto and steps have been dug into the Sandstone. It’s a two- arches-for-one-hike as you pass Bow Tie (I have seen this as Bow Tie and as Bowtie Arch. On the BLM website and on the sign at the trailhead is says Bowtie) on your way to Corona Arch.
Corona Arch is a 140 ft. tall natural arch with a 105 ft. high opening that is as magical as the desert itself. With stunning views, an open landscape this hike is a joy. 12.3 miles from Moab and a 3-mile round trip hike on a well-marked trail in, this is worth a side trip after mountain biking or climbing on Wall Street, a few miles down the road. This is a good trail for families as you can stop about halfway, before anything technical, and still see the arches.
What Makes It Great
The geology of the Colorado Plateau with it’s mixed, mashed, sense of time in millions of years and the jumbling of the layers of earth’s crust is enough to keep the imagination wondering for a long time. Freestanding arches or “openings”like Corona Arch that defy common sense in their relationship gravity are a marvel. It is a beautiful arch and Bowtie Arch next to it is pretty neat, checkout the tree that is able to live off the water that comes down the walls to the little basin the tree is in.
The hike is well marked and it is 1.5 miles from the trailhead to Corona Arch. One doesn’t need to go all the way to the Arch,through the technical sections to enjoy it, it is visible from across the basin that you contours to get to the Arch. Make note that there is little shade on this hike, go early in the morning or later in the afternoon if it is hot and be sure to carry plenty of water. Spring, winter and spring would be ideal times to hike this trail to avoid the heat.
The technical sections consist of a cable to hold onto while going by an area with exposure, the ascent of “Moki Steps” steps dug into a steeper section of Sandstone that has a cable to hold onto. And finally a short ladder.
Who is Going to Love It
This is a great hike for a family in reasonable fitness with shoes appropriate for hiking. It would be a great, quick 3-mile run after climbing to finish off your day. Remember to bring water on your hike and stay hydrated,there is no water at the trailhead, there is an outhouse.
It would be hard to imagine not loving this hike as long as you are able to hike 3 miles with a 440-foot elevation gain. The heat will be the only issue and being realistic about fitness level.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Drive north on route 191 2.3 miles, take a left on Potash Road and go 10 miles. The trailhead for Corona Arch is well signed and is after the parking area for Poison Spider/Dinosaur Tracks. This is BLM land, there is no fee for use, but please sign into the register on the trail.
This is important. There are viral videos on the Internet showing people using Corona Arch as a swing, repelling off it and slacklining. This has been shut down and no longer legal.
This is BLM land and dogs are allowed. It is Desert Bighorn Sheep Lambing Grounds, thus a leash is recommended. Remember in the heat that your dog needs water too. Under no circumstances should your dog be left in the car as your hike.