Most visitors to the Moab area are focused on the two big and justifiably popular national parks, Canyonlands and Arches. One of the most interesting geological features outside of the parks is Corona Arch, located on BLM land near the Colorado River. This moderately-challenging hike goes through gorgeous country and has some fun terrain along the way. Unlike most of the hikes in the national parks, dogs are allowed on this trail.
The drive along the Potash Road has great views of the Colorado River and passes a popular rock-climbing area where there are almost always climbers hanging practically over the road. From the trailhead parking area the trail climbs a short distance to a sign-in station and crosses a railroad track. The trail is fairly flat as it winds into the canyon and presents spectacular views of the huge alcoves on the other side. There are cables that hikers can use to assist themselves in a few places where the trail gets steep, but these spots are not difficult. At one point there is a steel ladder that helps hikers over a ledge (there is a way around this ladder that most dogs should be able to negotiate), and near this point the beautiful Corona Arch comes into view.
The rest of the the route is marked by cairns on the slickrock sides of the canyon. Hikers must pick a path to work around to the arch. Bowtie Pothole Arch is encountered just before Corona Arch, and this formation has active seeps that create a little oasis and offer water for four-legged hikers.
Corona Arch is sometimes called “Little Rainbow Bridge” because it’s shape is reminiscent of the famous feature in Lake Powell. The arch is surprisingly huge in scale, and it is easy to walk through to the other side where there are additional vistas up the canyon. Late afternoon is a great time to photograph the arch, when it is bathed in golden light.