Little Rainbow Bridge: Hiking To Corona Arch

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Corona Arch is an awesome, easy hike near Moab, Utah.  It’s the perfect way to spend a few extra hours and get a little hiking in when you’re visiting Moab. 

The trailhead for Corona Arch is about ten miles down Potash Road, which is just after the entrance to Arches National Park.  Along Potash Road, you can also see petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, rock climbers (most likely,) and Jug Handle Arch.

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This is an easy hike on a pretty well-marked trail.  From the parking lot, you climb some stairs until you get to the railroad.  Make sure there aren’t any trains, then cross before continuing one. 

You get a pretty good view of the Colorado River from up here off to the left.  You’ll follow the trail around the cliff, and I use cliff very loosely here, before climbing up a small rocky area. 


We weren’t sure exactly where the trail went here, but if you keep closer to the left, you should be able to find it fairly easily.

From here the trail goes over open rock with cliffs and alcoves far off on both sides.  On the right is a canyon and that’s where the railroad track is.  The trail is pretty clear up here, and along the entire thing, well the rock area, if you’re not sure where to go, there are green paint marks and cairns marking the whole trail.


As you get closer to the canyon wall ahead of you and start rounding that corner, you’ll come to the first cable to help you get along.  It’s easier to walk with it on your left, but this section isn’t too bad and I only grabbed the cable a couple times.  Once you get around that corner you’ve got a good view of Corona and Bowtie Arches.

From here you just stick to the left walking along the base of the wall before coming to the second cable.  This one is a little tougher and I definitely needed to hold onto it.  The very bottom of it can be a little slippery with sand on the rock, so be careful. 


There are holes for your feet to go in that definitely help to get you up.  At the top of this, around to the right, you’ll see a ladder, it’s about four feet high.  I forgot to take a picture of this, but it’s super easy to get up.

Once you’re up the ladder, it’s a pretty straight shot to the arches.  This area is a little steep and kind of tough on the ankles to walk on a lot since it’s a weird angle, but it’s still pretty easy. 


You just walk along the base of the cliff until you get to the arches.  Bowtie Arch is a pothole arch in the cliff wall off to the left.  There are a few hanging gardens where water seeps from the rock.  I love seeing hanging gardens.

You used to be able to climb and rappel from Corona Arch, but that was banned a few years ago after someone died on a rope swing from the arch.  It’s still really cool to see, though.  Another fun fact, Corona Arch is also known as Little Rainbow Bridge because of it’s resemblance to Rainbow Bridge on Lake Powell.


We spent about twenty minutes just hanging out by the arch and we had it all to ourselves.  This was in February, so there is just less traffic there then.  In the summer, there will probably be more people around. 

On our way out we saw like, 15 people on their way in, so it was good timing.  Overall, I really enjoyed this hike.  It felt different than the other desert hiking I’m used to. 

I would definitely do it again and would definitely recommend it if you’re in the area or enjoying a weekend getaway in Moab.

**Updated August 2022: all above text and all photos are from the original post, text below has been added.**


Where is the Corona Arch Trailhead?

The Corona Arch Trailhead is on Potash Road along the Colorado River. It’s about 20 minutes from Moab and 10 miles down Potash Road on the right. There is a marked parking area here.


How long is the hike to Corona Arch in Moab?

The Corona Arch hike is 2.4 miles round-trip and should only take a couple of hours if you spend a lot of time at the arch. AllTrails says the average hike time is just over an hour.


Is the Corona Arch hike in Moab hard?

Nope! The hardest part would be the ladders and rope area but even that is still, I would say, barely moderate, if that. The Corona Arch trail has 482 feet of elevation gain, so not quite flat but not too tough either.


Can you swing from Corona Arch?

Nope! You used to be able to but can’t anymore for safety reasons. Swinging from Corona Arch was banned after someone died while doing it.


Is hiking to Corona Arch in Moab worth it?

Yes! I loved this hike and would definitely recommend it. It’s nice to see a different area of Moab, too. We only saw one or two other people since it was winter but I would imagine this trail could get fairly busy, so I would just go early in the morning or late afternoon/early evening.


What to bring on the Corona arch hike

Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side.  They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  Even if it’s not hot you need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch a lot AND it’s reef safe! If you’re sensitive to fragrance though, it’s not a good choice. I also like the same one but specifically for your face.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, or a visor.  A baseball hat should be fine but I like my giant sun hat, too.

Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are.

Light Jacket – Because you just never know.  Weather can change quickly depending on where you are, time of day, and season.  I usually use my rain jacket for this.

Headlamp – I tend to carry my headlamp around all the time when we’re hiking, just in case. 


What else is there to do on Potash Road?

There isn’t a ton of stuff to do on Potash Road but you can watch people climb on Wall Street, check out some petroglyphs nearby, relax along the beautiful Colorado River, hike up to dinosaur tracks, and see Jug Handle Arch.

Things to keep in mind when visiting dinosaur sites:

  • Don’t take the bones.  I shouldn’t have to say this, but I do because people have dug out some of them.  While there aren’t any marked here that I’m aware of, if you do find some, leave them where they are.
  • Just look at the tracks, don’t fill them with water.  While it makes them easier to see, it can damage the tracks.
  • If you find artifacts, do not take them.  Leave them where they are and just take pictures.
  • And finally, don’t carve in or write on the rocks!  I don’t want to have to say this, but I need do.

Things to keep in mind when visiting rock art & ruins:

  • Do not touch the rock art (pictographs or petroglyphs) because the oils on our fingers can degrade them.
  • If you find artifacts, do not take them.  Leave them where they are and just take pictures.
  • If there are structures (rooms, kivas, anything like that) don’t enter them unless it is stated that you can.  Most places you can’t but national and state parks will have restored structures you can enter.  Mesa VerdeEdge of the Cedars, and Anasazi Museum all have ruins you can enter.
  • And finally, don’t carve in or write or paint or draw on the rocks!  I don’t want to have to say this, but I need to for real.

Is the Corona Arch hike pet-friendly?

Yes! We saw a dog while we were there, you just need to keep them on a leash and clean up after them. You also need to be sure you can either lift them up the ladder parts or that they can get up that with your help.


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Have you been to Corona Arch?  What did you think of it?  What is your favorite arch near Moab?

2 thoughts on “Little Rainbow Bridge: Hiking To Corona Arch

    1. Thank you! It was an awesome area, I really loved it! If you want it to yourself, I’d suggest a winter visit!

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