Hiking to Corona Arch in Utah: The Complete Guide

Hiking to Corona Arch is the perfect way to spend the day if you want to see an incredible natural arch outside of the National Parks near Moab, Utah.

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corona arch near Moab

Corona Arch is impressive. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see me walking underneath the arch – it helps put into perspective how large it actually is!

This Corona Arch Trail Guide covers:

  • the best time of year to hike Corona Arch
  • how to get to the trailhead
  • Corona Arch trail details
  • potential hazards and challenges
  • recommended hiking gear
  • other things to do nearby in Moab
View of sandstone rock in the afternoon on the Corona Arch Trail

1) Best Time to Hike to Corona Arch

The best time to hike the Corona Arch trail is in the Spring, Fall, or Winter. You definitely can hike it in the Summer too, but be warned that the Summer months are VERY hot, and there isn’t much shade on this hike.

Best time of year to hike the Corona Arch Trail near Moab, Utah

See average temperatures for Moab, Utah above.

If you’re going to hike in the Summer, it’s best to go in the morning or late afternoon and avoid hiking in the hottest part of the day, which is around 10am to 3pm.

This is a very popular hike in the Moab area, so if you’re looking for solitude, the Winter months will have the least amount of people.

2) Corona Arch Trailhead Directions

The Coronal Arch Trailhead is about 20 minutes from Moab, Utah.

Directions from Moab, Utah:

  • From Moab, head North on Hwy 191 towards Potash Road (aka State Road 279).
  • Turn left onto Potash Road.
  • Drive about 10 miles down Potash Road until you see a sign for the Corona Arch Trailhead.
  • Turn right into the trailhead parking lot.
Bowtie Arch along the Corona Arch Trail hike

3) Corona Arch Trail Details

Hike Type: Out & Back
Distance: 3 miles round-trip
Dog Friendly: Yes
Elevation Gain: about 440 ft
Time: about 2 hours
Fees and Permits: None

Corona Arch Trail details including where the trail starts, and where Bowtie and Corona Arches are located

The Trail Details:

In my option, this trail is pretty easy to follow.

Soon after you start the hike (about 0.1 miles in), you’ll cross railroad tracks. After that, most of this hike is in sand, or on sandstone.

Look for cairns along the trail that will help you stay on track. Cairns are small piles of rocks that mark the way. Avoid making your own, they may confuse future hikers.

Most of this trail is easy, but there are a couple steeper sections of rock to hike up.

The first short steep section has a set of safety cables that help you balance as you move through this section.

Soon after this steeper section with the cables, you’ll have to climb up a five-step ladder that’s bolted to the rock.

After the ladder section, you’ll be able to see Corona Arch!

Continue left around the sandstone bowl. The trail does parallel several steep drop-offs, so make sure to watch small children.

Before you reach Corona Arch, the trail will take you past Bowtie Arch on the left. Bowtie Arch is a pothole arch that formed when a pothole filled with water, and over time, eroded a hole in the rock!

Continue hiking past Bowtie Arch along a sloping sandstone slab (pictured below) until you reach Corona Arch. You can walk right under Corona Arch, relax, and take some pictures.

Turn around and come back the way you came!

Amanda hiking along the Corona Arch trail near Moab

4) Potential Hazards and Challenges

Sun and Heat:

As I mentioned above, it gets hot on this trail. It’s very exposed, which means there is little shade. Even though this trail is relatively short and easy, don’t underestimate how tiring it can be to hike in the heat. When you’re out hiking in the sun, it’s important that you have sun protection and that you drink enough water throughout your hike.

Dive Deeper: 7 Tips for Desert Hiking (that you NEED to know)

No Water:

There is no water available at the trailhead or on this hike. Make sure to fill up your water reservoirs in Moab, or at the nearby Arches National Park visitors center before your hike.

No Cell Service:

Don’t count on cell service in this area.

Hiking on Sandstone:

Hiking on sandstone can be slippery, even when dry. That’s why it’s sometimes referred to as “slickrock”. Be careful as you hike up and over it.

Drop-offs:

There are a few steep drop-offs in the area. Follow the trail and make sure to keep small children close-by.

5) Hiking Gear I Always Pack

Even though this hike is short, it’s still important to be a prepared hiker. Here’s the basic day hiking gear that I always pack:

  • Hiking Backpack
  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Moisture-wicking clothing
  • Sun protection
  • Food and snacks
  • Plenty of water
  • First-aid kit
  • Navigation tools
  • Multi-tool or a knife
  • Headlamp
  • Satellite Communicator for emergencies
  • The 10 Essentials

Dive Deeper: The 10 Essentials for Hiking [What to Pack for a Day Hike]

Beautiful sandstone rock walls along the Corona Arch hiking trail in Moab, Utah

6) Other things to do nearby

Moab, Utah is an adventure-seekers dream! If you want to hike more, camp, mountain bike, climb, or visit the national parks, Moab has it all.

Below are a few nearby things to do:

Corona Arch is one of my favorite hikes near Moab! I hope you find this hiking guide helpful as you’re planning your own hike. If you have any questions, just comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. What is the road like to Corona Arch trailhead?
    We have a Ford Transit 250 camper van – not AWD.
    Thanks!