Hiking

The Ultimate Corona Arch Hiking Guide

While Arches and Canyonlands National Parks draw a majority of the tourists to the Moab, Utah area, the Corona Arch is one of the Moab regions hidden gems. Because of its proximity to the city of Moab, the Corona Arch Hike is quickly becoming one of the areas most popular hikes. It is easy to get to, fairly accessible to people without a lot of hiking experience, and the Corona Arch is every bit as big and as beautiful as the infamous Delicate Arch inside Arches National Park.

So if you aren’t interested in waiting in line to get into Arches National Park and don’t really feel like escaping to nature just to battle large crowds inside a park, then the Corona Arch Hike should be near the top of your list of things to do while visiting the Moab, Utah area. Not only will you get to see one of the areas most beautiful arches, but the trail will take you thru some of the most quintessential hiking terrain in Southern Utah.

In this guide, I am going to give you all of the information you need to plan a successful trip to .  I cover the best times to visit and the best ways to get there so that you can maximize what you are able to see and do on your trip.  In addition, I outline the top things to see and do while you are there and where the best places to stay and eat are.  With this information in hand, you can be confident that your trip to see the Corona Arch will be one that you remember for the rest of your life.

How to Get There

The Corona Arch Trail is located just outside of the city of Moab in Southern Utah. Widely considered to be the adventure capital of the American Southwest, one thing that the Moab area certainly is never in short supply of is adventure. In addition to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, which are two of the Southwest United State’s most popular parks, the Moab area also has thousands of miles of great mountain biking trails, a seemingly endless amount of backcountry to explore via ATV and 4WD vehicles, and some of the best and most beautiful hiking trails in the Southwest.

CityDistanceDrive Time
Salt Lake City, UT244 miles3hrs 47min
Denver, CO360 miles5hrs 31min
Albuquerque, NM379 miles6hrs 16min
Las Vegas, NV463 miles6hrs 28min
Phoenix, AZ481 miles7hrs 28min
Los Angeles, CA731 miles10hrs 3min
Sacramento, CA899 miles12hrs 56min
San Francisco, CA973 miles13hrs 56min

If you are looking to travel to Moab to do the Corona Arch Hike, the closest cities with major airports to fly into are Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada. It is only a short drive from these cities to Moab, which you can use as your base of operations as you explore the Corona Arch and the other treasures of the Moab area. In case you are curious as to how far Moab is from other cities in the American West, I have included a chart of driving distances above and a regional map below for you to review.

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Many people who visit Southern Utah will fly into Las Vegas and complete a loop trip thru Southern Utah and Northern Arizona to see all of the areas national parks, monuments, and wonderful points of interest. In addition to the five national parks in Southern Utah and the Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona, the trip will allow you to see such treasures as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, the beautiful Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, the iconic Monument Valley, and of course the Corona Arch hike. If you are interested in exploring an itinerary thru this area starting and ending in Las Vegas, I have included a few itineraries I created for you to review below.

READ MORE:
Zion National Park
Ultimate American Southwest Road Trip
READ MORE:
Bryce Canyon National Park
7-Day American Southwest Adventure Itinerary

The Corona Arch Hike

The fact that the trail is so easy to find, is so easy for novice hikers to complete, and that the payoff waiting for hikers at the end is so monumental and beautiful are some of the things that make the Corona Arch hike such a popular one in the Moab area. In this section of the guide, I will give you all of the information that you will need to find the hike and complete it successfully.

Finding the Trailhead

The Corona Arch trailhead is located roughly 20 minutes to the West of the city of Moab, near the entrance to Arches National Park. As you head North on Highway 191 out of Moab, you will turn left onto Highway 279 just before you get to the entrance of Arches National Park. Once on Highway 279, you will follow the Colorado River as you wind thru the canyon for about 10 miles until you see the trailhead for the Corona Arch hike on the right side of the road. I have included a map below that details exactly how to get to the trailhead from Moab. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive along Highway 279 as this stretch of road is a great place to spot climbers on the high rock cliffs that border the road.

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Trail Details

There are a lot of things about the Corona Arch hike that make it one of the most popular hikes in the Moab, Utah area, but arguably the most important factor is how accessible the hike is to people of all levels of hiking experience. The trailhead is easy to access and the trail is relatively easy to hike. The short, 2.3-mile out-and-back trail only has 469-feet of elevation gain, so it isn’t very strenuous. In addition, even though the trail does have a ladder and some wire ropes in certain sections, the trail isn’t overly technical. That means even people with limited hiking experience and fitness levels will be able to complete the hike. To give you a better idea of what the trail is like, I have included a trail map with some pictures for you to review below.

Download PDF Park Map

What to Bring

Although the Corona Arch hike isn’t the most difficult hike that you will find in the Moab area, it is still a hike that you must respect and you will need to be prepared for the elements before setting out on the trail. With summer temperatures that can exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit and sandstone rock that can be as slippery as ice when wet, not being prepared for this hike can be dangerous for anyone. If you are wondering what gear you should bring with you for this hike, I have included a list of gear that I would recommend for you to review below.

Hiking Boots

One of the most important pieces of equipment that you will want to bring with you when you hike the Corona Arch Trail is a good pair of hiking boots. While the trail isn’t overly technical or difficult, there are sections of the trail where you will want to have good traction so that you don’t slip. If you are looking for a good pair of hiking boots to bring with you for the hike, I have included a link to some of my recommendations for you to review below.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Hiking Shorts

If you visit Moab during the spring, summer or autumn months, the chances are the weather will be quite warm. In the event that it is warm, you will want to make sure that you have a good pair of hiking shorts with you. For those of you who are looking for a good pair of hiking shorts for your trip, I have included a number of recommendations at the link below.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Breathable T-Shirt

In addition to having a good pair of hiking shorts, you will also want to have a good hiking T-Shirt with you for your hike of the Corona Arch Trail. My recommendation is to bring a breathable T-Shirt in order to wick moisture and keep you comfortable and cool. I have linked to a number of recommended breathable T-Shirts below in case you are looking to purchase one for your trip.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Water Bottle or Water Bladder

Arguably the most important piece of equipment that you will want to bring with you when you hike the Corona Arch Trail is a good water bottle or water bladder. In fact, having a reliable way to carry an adequate amount of water is probably the most essential piece of equipment that you will need to bring. For some recommendations on water bottles and bladders, please see the link below.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Hiking Poles

If you are a novice hiker, you might want to consider bringing a hiking pole or two with you when you hike the Corona Arch Trail. A good hiking pole or poles will help you keep your balance on the uneven rock surfaces. If you are looking for some good hiking poles, please see the link below for my recommendations.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Wide Brimmed Hat

Southern Utah can be quite hot during the summer. If you are planning on hiking the Corona Arch Trail during the warm months of the year, having a wide brimmed hat with you is always a good idea. For some recommendations on good wide brimmed hats to bring, please see the recommendations at the link below.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Sunglasses

The sun can be pretty intense in the Southwest United States, so having a good pair of sunglasses with you when you hike the Corona Arch Trail is important. If you are in the market for a good pair of sunglasses, I have linked to some of my top recommendations below.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Sunscreen

Speaking of strong sun, you are definitely going to want to have some good sun screen with you when you hike the Corona Arch Trail. If you are looking for some recommendations on good sun screens, I have included my recommendations at the link below.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

Camera

Finally, you are going to want to have a way to document the beauty that you see on this hike. Having a camera with you isn’t a necessity, but I definitely recommend it. I have a number of great cameras that I recommend if you are in the market for a new one, so take a moment to review the recommendations on my Amazon Store linked below.
View Recommended Options on Amazon.com

When to Visit

While its location in the American Southwest might lead you to believe that the weather in the Moab area is hot year round, the area’s high elevation leads to much larger swings in the temperature than you might expect. If you are in the process of planning a trip to the Moab area to see the Corona Arch, I would suggest reviewing the information I have included below on the average temperature and precipitation levels in Moab throughout the year before deciding when to book your trip.

Average Temperature (ยฐF)

Because of its higher elevation, the disparity in the average temperature from the winter months of December thru February to the summer months of June thru August is much higher than you will find in many other parts of North America. During the hot summer months, it isn’t unusual to see high temperatures that can exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit while temperatures in the winter months can be cold enough for snow storms and ice buildup on slick-rock trails. If you ask me, the best times of the year to visit Moab are during the late spring months of April and May or the early autumn months of September and October. During these months the temperatures are much more moderate and the crowds are much smaller than you will find during the busy summer months.

Average Precipitation (Inches)

The Moab area doesn’t see a whole lot of rain throughout the year, which is why the area is technically classified as a high desert. However, even the small amount of rain the area does get can result in dangerous flash floods in the slot canyons and wash outs of the backcountry roads in the area. This can make exploring the treasures of the Moab area, including the wonderful Corona hike more difficult. If possible, I would suggest visiting during the spring months of April and May as those months tend to be drier than the autumn months of September and October.

Other Things to See in the Area

It may sound like hyperbole, but it honestly feels like it is impossible to overstate how amazing the Moab, Utah area is. In addition to being in very close proximity to three amazing national parks, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and all its treasures are also at the doorstep of the city. If you are looking for some additional things to see in the Moab area after you have completed the Corona Arch hike, I have included links to some of the guides I have created for other area attractions for you to review below.

READ MORE:
Arches National Park
Arches National Park Visitor Guide
READ MORE:
Mesa Arch Canyonlands
Canyonlands National Park Visitor Guide
READ MORE:
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Guide

Where to Stay

Campgrounds

When visiting the national parks and monuments of the United States, it is a really neat experience to camp out during your visit.  Some of the best campgrounds in America can be found inside the country’s national parks and monuments and the surrounding areas.  If you are interested in camping out during your visit, I have included a map and list of some recommended campgrounds for you to review below.

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Grandstaff Campground
Goose Island Campground
Moab Valley RV Resort & Campground
Slickrock Campground
Gold Bar Group Campground
Jaycee Park Campground
Kings Bottom Campground
Canyonlands RV Resort & Campground
Up the Creek Campground
ACT Campground and Environmental Learning Center
Pack Creek Mobile Home Park
Echo Campground

Hotels

If camping is not your speed, you need not work as there are a variety of good hotels for you to choose from in the area as well.  If you are in the process of planning your trip to Moab and are looking for recommendations on hotels in the area, I have included a map and list of recommended hotels and different price points for you to review below.

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Lazy Lizard Hostel ($)
River Canyon Lodge ($$)
Super 8 by Wyndham Moab ($$$)
Days Inn by Wyndham Moab ($$$)
Quality Suites Moab Near Arches Nat Park ($$$)
Sleep Inn & Suites Moab Near Arches Nat Park ($$$)
La Quinta Inn & Suites Moab ($$$$)
Hampton Inn Moab ($$$$)
Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton ($$$$$)
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab ($$$$$)

Other Resources

When planning any trip, you can never have too many resources at your disposal.  In addition to the information I have provided you in this guide, I have linked to a number of other resources below that have great information that you can use to plan your trip to see the Corona Arch.

Activities in the Area

In addition to all of the wonderful national parks and monuments to see in the Moab area, the area is also known for its many amazing adventure activities. In fact, it is widely regarded as the adventure capital of the American Southwest. If you are looking for a fun activity to fill out your itinerary during your stay in the Moab area, I have included a list of recommendations for you to review below.

Hiking Trails
White Water Rafting
Nature and Parks
Mountain Bike Tours
4WD Tours
Climbing
Nature and Wildlife

Photo Gallery

I have been to the Moab area countless times during my many years of traveling and I have taken some absolutely fantastic photographs while visiting the area. Many of these great photographs I have taken while doing the Corona Arch hike. If you would like to see some of the photographs I have take on this hike, I have included a gallery for you to review below.

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15 replies »

    • Thank you!! I think the 116 degree heat scared all of the sane people away ๐Ÿ˜‚

      I went late afternoon during the week, but the heat was brutal. I saw one other person on the trail and they turned back halfway.

  1. Great photos! Weโ€™re going to Moab next week to hike. We will definitely go to Corona Arch. Would you recommend early morning or late afternoon for photographing?

    • Hi Beth! Excellent! You will LOVE Moab! This time of year, I would definitely recommend early morning. The sun will rise behind Corona Arch from where you can view it (just to the right). The sun will set behind you, so you wonโ€™t be able to get as good of pictures in the evening. Have fun!!

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