If you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve likely seen (or at least heard about) Delicate Arch. This arch is Arches National Park’s most popular and most photographed destination because of its unique natural ground-to-ground configuration.
However, like many other natural wonders in this country, it’s constantly overrunned with hundreds and hundreds of tourists. In fact, more than one million people visit Arches National Park every year and more than half of them attempt the 3-mile uphill trek to the unique Delicate Arch according to the Arches National Park website.
While I’m partial to supporting the national parks, I’m also a strong believer that nature should be wild and free of overcrowding. In this guide, I’ll introduce you to one of Moab’s lesser known and severely underrated arches where you’ll find breathtaking views unblemished by mobs of tourists. Read ahead to learn more about Corona Arch!
Corona Arch Overview
Who Can Go: anyone who can walk several miles and is comfortable with a tiny bit of climbing
What to Bring: sunscreen, at least two liters of water (four standard water bottles), and a trail snack or two
How Long It Is: 3 miles round trip; 1.5 hours without stops
When to Start: between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. or in the late afternoon
Where It Is: approximately 15 miles north of downtown Moab
Directions to Corona Arch Trailhead
Go north on US-191 for about four miles until you reach UT-279. Turn left on this road and follow it on the north side of the Colorado River for about 10 miles. On the right, you’ll see a sign for Corona Arch and Bowtie Arch.
The parking lot is fairly large so you should have no problem leaving your car there. You’ll also find a fairly nice bathroom in the parking lot which I recommend using before you hit the trail.
The trailhead doesn’t have an address per say but you can locate it on Google Maps. If you plug it into the Google Maps app, it’ll get you there just fine.
Things to Keep in Mind on the Trail
While this trail is rated a three or four out of ten on the difficulty scale, there are many things that make this trail unique. In this section, you’ll find some helpful tips to keep in mind while you’re hiking to Corona Arch.
1. The trail markers are hard to find in places.
At the trailhead, you’ll find a map. Either take a paper one or take a picture of the map on your smartphone (or both!) even though the trail will be marked. Along the trail, you’ll find cairns (stacks of stones) and green paint splotches that mark it. Make sure you don’t get too far without seeing them because it can be easy in some places to get lost.
2. You need to go over the train tracks.
The first part of the trail is a fairly steep climb on about 0.3 miles worth of switchbacks. At this point, you’ll encounter a railroad track. It’s imperative that you cross these tracks. Do not follow these train tracks.
3. There are several unconventional parts of the trail.
Most of the trail is flat and beautiful. However, there are several parts of the trail that are a little funky. First of all, you’ll encounter a metal ladder at one point. There are also a couple of spots that you’ll need to hold on to a rope to pass by a steep part of the trail.
4. Stop every once in a while to take in the view!
While you are hiking to Corona Arch, there are plenty of other neat things to see along the way including Bowtie Arch. This nifty arch is considered a pothole arch in that it faces downward and skyward rather than out to either side.
Have fun on your hike and always tell someone where you’re going before you leave!