Corona Arch

Round Trip Distance: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 3943 - 4343 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Corona Arch
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic redrock canyons and arches

Corona Arch is located in a side canyon of the Colorado River called Bootlegger Canyon about 10 miles west of Moab, Utah along Highway 279, aka The Potash Road. Corona Arch is connected to the sandstone cliff on one side while the other end stands freely upon the slickrock. Besides the scenic slickrock canyon with views of the Colorado River hikers are also treated with the nearby Bowtie Arch. Some older maps show Little Rainbow Bridge as the name for Corona Arch but they are one and the same.

Restrooms are located across the highway from the trailhead. The sign at the trailhead shows a one-way distance to Corona Arch of 1.5 miles but the actual distance is almost a quarter mile less than that.

The trail begins by climbing the hillside behind the trailhead. This is the steepest section of trail but it only lasts for about 500 feet. There are scenic views of the Colorado River and the surrounding area from this point.

The BLM has a trail register just before crossing the railroad tracks.

The trail begins a more gentle climb up a rocky wash after crossing the railroad tracks. This is probably the most primitive section of the trail.

After crossing a sandy bottom the trail gets onto the slickrock and rounds the cliffs toward the head of the canyon. A safety cable is strung along one sloping section of slickrock that is probably helpful during wet conditions but not entirely necessary otherwise.

Some steps carved into the slickrock provide an ascent up the slickrock where a second cable proves to be almost essential.

The final shelf has a short ladder that provides the needed assistance. The ladder is easy to climb and to transition yourself off of but when coming back down you will probably have to sit on your butt to get onto the ladder.

A large slickrock bench takes you the rest of the way to the arches.

There is so much modern graffiti on the cliffs that it is hard to pick out the older stuff.

The trail passes below a seep beneath Bowtie Arch. If this were the only arch on the hike it would still be worth the price of admission.

Corona Arch shows some resemblance to Rainbow Arch in the Glen Canyon area. I suppose if you imagine yourself standing on the coronal surface of the sun then the arch might look like one of the magnetic loops that flare up.

This cliff really should have a name appropriate to its appearance. (Skull Cliff, Ghost Rock, Stone Face, The Watchman, Silent Sam, Indian Joe, any suggestions?)

Corona Arch has everything that you look for in a hike around the Moab area. There is lots of slickrock with scenic canyons and arches. To top things off though there are several places you can pull over along the road from Moab to see some very nice petroglyphs. Then there is the short Dinosaur Tracks trail that also has some nice petroglyphs and the tracks of course. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.