Corona Arch: Tips for a Successful Hike

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View of Corona Arch

The hike to Corona Arch is nothing to take lightly. It’s far from a walk in the park, and seeing this natural wonder requires some planning. Proper planning can help you complete this hike and enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, winging it can result in an epic failure.

We want you to remember this hike for all of the right reasons. Today, we’re sharing tips to help you hike to Corona Arch. 

Are you up for the challenge? 

What Is Corona Arch?

Corona Arch is a large sandstone rock formation in Moab, Utah. This horseshoe-shaped structure measures 140 feet wide and 105 feet tall. It’s one of the most impressive arches in the area. With thousands of these rock formations documented, that’s saying something!

The structure formed over millions of years from erosion. Unfortunately, this process continues, and Corona Arch won’t last forever. Someday it will be nothing more than a pile of rocks on the Utah landscape.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) took over managing the land from the State of Utah in May 2014. It became a popular spot for rappelling, rope swings, and other dangerous activities. As a result, BLM officials instituted regulations prohibiting roped activities near Corona Arch.

Is Corona Arch in Arches National Park?

While Corona Arch is near Moab, Utah, it is not in Arches National Park. It’s approximately 14 miles from the entrance to the famous park. However, don’t underestimate this drive. It may be a relatively short trip, but it takes nearly an hour.

If you come from the park, head southeast on US 191. You’ll reach UT 279 (Potash Road). This road follows the Colorado River for quite some time.

You’ll also pass by opportunities to see dinosaur tracks and petroglyphs. After approximately 10 miles, you’ll see signs for the trailhead across from Gold Bar Campground.

View of Corona Arch

Is Corona Arch Free?

While many hikes in this area require permits or a timed-entry reservation, Corona Arch is different. You don’t need to worry about obtaining or paying a use fee to access this arch. 

Just know the weather and come with plenty of water. This is one budget-friendly activity to remember.

What Time of Day Is Best for Corona Arch?

The best time to visit Corona Arch will depend on your goals. Many hikers prefer to make the trek during sunrise or in the early morning hours. This is especially popular with photographers and those seeking a more peaceful experience without battling the heat.

However, sunsets here can be an unbelievable experience. You’ll see stunning colors and incredible shadows created by the rock formations. Unfortunately, sunset attracts large crowds, making it nosier and less peaceful.

Depending on the time of year, visiting during midday can be a great option, but consider the weather. Temperatures here can be dangerous, especially if you don’t take the proper precautions.

Only hike during midday if you’re prepared for the heat or you visit in the fall or winter.

Tips for a Successful Hike to Corona Arch

If you want to have a successful hiking trip, you need to know several things. Following these tips can help ensure a smooth and positive experience. Let’s take a look at some essential tips for this incredible adventure.

Start Early

The earlier you can start, the better. This will help you beat crowds and the heat.

Summer temperatures here can be miserable. The average temperature in July hovers in the upper 90s and flirts with triple digits. Doing any outdoor activities in this type of weather can be dangerous.

You can enjoy this hike and cooler temperatures by starting your hike early. It can make it easier to enjoy the experience and make the most of the adventure. So set your alarm clock and avoid hitting snooze.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

The terrain in and around Corona Arch is very rugged. As a result, you’ll need a solid pair of comfortable shoes. While sturdy athletic shoes can do the trick, investing in hiking boots is best. They can help protect your feet and help you not to lose footing.

While the hike is just under 2.5 miles, your feet will appreciate the extra protection and support. This is just one of many trails in the area worth exploring. So we recommend you invest in some comfortable shoes to make it easier on you and your feet.

A person hiking at Corona Arch

Bring Plenty of Water and Snacks

The key to a successful hike is staying fueled and hydrated. Unfortunately, many people underestimate this hike, especially during the summer.

With it being less than 2.5 miles round trip, hikers often fail to bring enough water. Additionally, granola, energy bars, and other snacks are easy to carry and boost energy.

Carrying water can be difficult, especially if you want to free your hands. We’ve found that having a hydration bladder in a backpack is one of the best options. They’re lightweight, great for storing snacks, and allow us to use our hands during the hike when needed.

Keep in Mind: Do you need hiking snack ideas? Then you’ll love these Delicious Hiking Snacks!

Be Mindful of the Weather

The weather conditions can seriously impact your ability to have a successful hike to Corona Arch. Check the forecast before heading out.

However, remember that this is a remote area with minimal cell service. Keep an eye on the sky and be as flexible as possible. You should always prioritize safety when considering the weather.

We’ve mentioned it multiple times, but this is the desert. It will be hot during the day and cool at night. You should plan accordingly, including the clothes you wear. If you’ll visit during the rainy season, bring plenty of rain gear and consider dressing in layers to handle the temperature changes.

View of Corona Arch

Watch Your Step

The hike to Corona Arch and many of the hikes in this region involve rough and rugged terrain. It can be easy to lose your footing and fall. You must watch your step when maneuvering along the trail.

Another risk of not watching your step is twisting an ankle. If you think hiking is challenging, try it with a sprained or broken ankle. Trust us; it’s not an easy task, and you want to avoid it at all costs.

Don’t Forget Your Camera

If you want to share the experience with friends and family, you’ll want to bring your camera. Free up storage space and charge your battery before hitting the trail. You don’t want to waste time or get distracted by deleting photos during your hike.

There’s also nothing worse than hitting the trail with a dead battery. Investing in a portable battery charger can help. You can find lightweight devices that clip to your backpack and have solar charging capabilities.

You have things to worry about while hiking, but a dead battery doesn’t have to be one of them.

Keep in Mind: After you’re done hiking at Corona Arch, sit back and relax in some of The Best Hot Springs in Utah!

A person taking a photo at Corona Arch

Know Your Limits

Corona Arch is a moderate-difficulty hike, and it’s not for everybody. You need to know what you can handle. Hiking is a physically demanding activity, and this trail is remote. If you experience an emergency, medical assistance will take some time to get to you.

Thankfully, this is an out-and-back hike. If you feel you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, you can turn around at any point. While you may not experience the arch, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Is Corona Arch Worth It?

Corona Arch is a hike that’s worth it. The trail offers incredible views of the surrounding landscape and is an unforgettable experience. However, we don’t recommend hitting the trail unprepared.

If you take the time to research and prepare, you increase your chances of a successful hike. So lace up those hiking boots and hit the trail!

Have you seen this amazing natural arch?

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