Sunday Hikes: Corona Arch


It was 8 o’clock in the afternoon in beautiful Moab, Utah. We had spent the whole day hiking at Arches National Park but we hadn’t seen enough arches for one day! So we decided to go to Corona Arch, recommended to us by my sister’s friend. We had dinner and asked our waitress about the hike and she warned it is a difficult trail to follow but we figured it couldn’t be too hard to find a sixty foot arch in the middle of the desert. We pulled off the road that ran parallel to the Colorado River and into a gravel parking lot. The trail started off by going up a steepish hill and then across some rail road tracks with fences around it (presumably to keep bighorn sheep from getting hit by trains or to keep outlaws from tying people to the tracks for Roy Rogers to rescue). After the tracks the trail continues to walk along a small ridge overlooking the parking lot and the river but then takes a turn to the right and then hits a big step up and thats where the trail turns into looking for wear on the rock and keeping an eye out for cairns rather than just following the trail. At this point my sister and I were a good bit ahead of my dad and our two younger siblings, but instead of waiting around for the slow pokes we kept on trying to follow the trail. Pretty quickly you are at a large open area with no sights of the arch and we were somewhat confused about where to go until we heard people speaking french coming from the left of us so we went that-a ways. we turned a corner and ran into a nice french family that were on the way back. Just after we passed them we spotted approximately 12 billion cairns all together having some sort of party. We were so fascinated by the rocks that we didn’t even realize that we were in eyeshot of Corona Arch! When we spotted the arch we headed that way till we came to some chains and a ladder going up small inclines (a small taste of the ropes we would be holding onto with white knuckles a couple days later on Angel’s Landing). We followed the trail in a horseshoe pattern and then looked up to see Bowtie Arch just before Corona and were surprised that we didn’t know there were two arches on this hike. Corona is the much more impressive of the two however so we moved on. Pretty soon we were under the arch looking out across the way where we could see our small ant-sized family approaching the ropes and ladders. We went around the corner to stand on the edge of the cliff on the other side of the arch and to look out at the beautiful view of Corona arch with a storm going the other way in the distance. Standing on the edge of a cliff is a scary thing but it gets all the more terrifying when the storm you thought was going the other way violently hits you with sand and winds that blow you off your feet. Well thats what happened to my sister and I as we stood put taking in the view and waiting on our family. We began to crawl away from the edge and back towards the arches as the wind tried to blind us with sand and rip my glasses from my face. Eventually we got away from the edge and tried our best to run back to the car without tripping over cactus, rocks, and our own feet. Once we got back to where the trail is a real trail it had begun raining hard on our unprepared heads and we had seen no signs of our family yet. As we turned the corner we saw them hiding under a rock sticking out of the cliff waiting for us (Because I had the car keys). As we met up with our family my dad proceeded to whisper in my ear that the storm had literally scared the crap out of my younger brother. We ran back to the car and out of the rain (which stopped as soon as we got into the car). After that is was a nice drive back to the hotel to clean up and then go to Arches National Park to stare at the Milky Way for hours. Overall I’d say it was a great day and a great hike despite the sand in my eyes and I would do it all again in a heartbeat!



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