Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab

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Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
Corona Arch is one of Moab's most popular trails and one of the most impressive arches in Southern Utah. From Moab, Corona Arch is closer than that of any arch in Arches National Park, and dogs are allowed (whereas in Arches NP dogs aren't allowed to hike any trails). Though this trail is extremely popular, it doesn't see the traffic like Delicate Arch does. I believe this is simply because when people visit Moab, they only think of hiking in Arches NP, not hiking outside of the park. Yet, that's where the best hikes are! Hiking to Corona Arch takes less than an hour for most hikers and offers beautiful views of Bootlegger Canyon. 

From Moab, head West on HWY 279 (Potast Road). It soon parallels the Colorado River and cuts through, what's known as, The Portal. The drive passes by several campsites and climbing routes on the right. From the turn off onto HWY 279 drive about 10 miles and look for the large brown sign for Corona Arch TH on your right. There are plenty of campsites on the left at Gold Bar, and toilets are available. Here is a driving map.

Distance: 3 miles RT
Elevation gain: 550 ft
Time: 1-3 hours, 
depending on how long you stay to enjoy the view
Dog friendly? Yes! Again, the sign says to keep dogs leashed but nobody does.
Kid friendly? Yes!
Fees/Permits? None
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
All three nights during our time in Moab we camped at Sand Flats Rec Area, which is about 5 minutes from town. It's a super convenient location to camp (and my favorite camping area!), plus dogs are allowed off leash (but must be under verbal restraint). All mornings were pretty chilly, and once the sun rose over the ridge we tried to soak up the sun to warm up.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
We arrived at the TH by 9:30am on a Saturday, and the lot was almost totally full. I recommend arriving either really early or hiking in late afternoon to avoid the crowds. If you hike mid-week you are also likely to see way less people. There is a sign that says dogs must be leashed but nobody does. Everyone was really happy to see our pack of dogs.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
Starting out - you can see the waves of hikers ahead of us. Yikes! One of my biggest hiking pet peeves is too many people on one trail at once. Wished we started earlier.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
You'll cross the train tracks that cut through Bootlegger Canyon. The train that travels this section of the canyon actually serves a purpose - it carries potash (an alkaline potassium compound, especially potassium carbonate or hydroxide) from the mine down river.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
The trail heads North then wraps around a corner, heading East for a few minutes.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
Hike up a rocky section.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
Cairns are placed along the trail to help guide you. As long as you follow these you can't get lost.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
You'll come to this wire rope, which is designed to help you walk on the slope around the corner. 
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
As you turn the corner after the wire rope, you should have the first view of Corona Arch!
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
The 2nd wire rope is a bit steeper, but etched holes have been created over time to help you step up.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
Climb up and over the first & only ladder. Dogs can easily hike up and around it from other angles with no problem.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
Copper (a Blue Tick Coonhound) leads the way! 

On your left (not pictured) you should see Bowtie Arch in the roof of a deep alcove.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
My favorite view of Corona Arch is viewed East to West. Depending on what time of day you hike, the sun should shine on either side making it look like it's slightly glowing.

Corona Arch is the arch people used to be able to swing through - swinging, ziplining, rappelling, high-lining, and slack-lining were banned here January of 2015 due to a high number of deaths. To see an awesome video of people swinging here when it was legal, check out this video.
Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
Corona Arch is quite mammoth - it is 140 ft high, with a span of 335 ft! 

It should take fast hikers only 30-40 minutes to hike here. It's also a great trail for kids - we saw kids from baby-age to 10, and teenagers. Older adults should also find this trail enjoyable.


Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in UtahHiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah
My trail stats via Gaia GPS. You can see I forgot to turn off my tracking where the line is straight. 

 Older maps will label the arch as "Little Rainbow Bridge" as it is very similar to the real Rainbow Bridge near Page, AZ (which is where I am headed at the end of March woot woot! I will have a full trail guide for backpacking to Rainbow Bridge).
Corona Arch Trail map
Trail map looking Northwest.

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Hiking to Corona Arch, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Hiking in Utah

3 comments:

  1. This is such an amazing arch. We love sharing it with our friends that can't hike very far. Our first visit was a week after the last death from swinging on the arch a few years ago. Make sure you watch for the Pinto Arch on the far left as you start the climb up. Is Charlie all right? You haven't mentioned him!!

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    1. Two weekends ago when we were backcountry skiing one of us somehow sliced open his elbow - he got 3 staples and wasn't allowed activity for 10 days. He had to miss out on the first camp trip of year, poor guy! He's all healed up now though and I took him on a 6 mile run last night. He's ready to camp now! I plan on taking him with us to Rainbow Bridge at the end of the month :)

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    2. Poor Charlie!! So glad to hear he is all healed up. I was so concerned when he wasn't along with all the other dogs. He is one tough puppy! I'm sorry we aren't heading to Page this year. We would have been there the same time as you and we could have taken you to White Pocket. Darn! This year we are doing a ruin hunt until we get to UT...Waputki NM, Homolovi SP, Chaco, Bandelier, and Canyon of the Ancients. It should be great fun. I've read several books about the various sites.

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