Distance: 3.0 miles roundtrip (4.8 km)
Elevation: 3995 - 4390 feet (1218 - 1338 m)
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Time of Year: Anytime
|View of the Colorado River Gorge from the trailhead|
Corona Arch is an enormous arch spanning 140 feet across and 105 feet tall. It is located on beautiful slick rock high above Bootlegger Canyon. It can be accessed by a relatively short trail and best of all, being on BLM land, it is open for dogs, unlike Arches National Park. It can be accessed by taking U.S. Highway 191 north from Moab until you cross the Colorado River and shortly thereafter turn left onto UT-279, also known as the Potash Ash. Follow this road 10.1 miles through the Colorado River Gorge until you reach the trailhead parking lot on the right. Watch out for rock climbers and people standing on the road looking at the hundreds of petroglyphs on the rock faces along this route.
The trail starts out by climbing up the slope and shortly thereafter crosses the railroad tracks that takes potash from the evaporation ponds at the end of the road to processing plants where it is turned into fertilizer. The trail then skirts the edge of the cliffs and emerges onto an open rocky flat with cliffs all around.
As you go around a bend, suddenly the Corona Arch comes into view in the distance. Even from far away, its size is incredibly impressive. The route then skirts the edge of the steep slopes and you will come across the trickiest portion of this hike. There is a rope and some steps carved into a steep 20 feet ascent. Some older dogs may struggle to get up this section. Soon after there is a ladder to climb up a 10 feet ledge. But, dogs and people can by-pass the ladder by following the smooth slickrock slope up and around the ledge.
After that, you just follow the contours of the slope along the cliff walls and you will suddenly see a large hole in the rocks above. This is Bowtie Arch, which is actually the remains of a former sinkhole that collapsed into a cavern. Today, it sits high above a large seep where a young cottonwood has taken root.
Then you arrive at Corona Arch itself. Just sitting under this enormous arch is an amazing site. The shade it provides is nice as well on a hot day. You can head a hundred meters or so further on the otherside to admire the view out across the landscape. Once you are done enjoying this spectacular site, just head back the way you came.