top of page

Corona Arch Hike and Dinosaur Tracks

Updated: 5 days ago

After having such a blast last year in Zion and Bryce national parks with our friends, Chad and Shannon, we planned another fun trip with them. This year, we'd be heading to Moab, UT, for a lot of hiking (40 miles' worth) and a little bit of off-roading.


Day 1: Route to Salt Lake City


Friday morning, we woke up to a minor April snowstorm in Tahoe.

April snowstorm on Ste Rte 28 approaching Spooner Summit in Tahoe
April snowstorm on Ste Rte 28 approaching Spooner Summit in Tahoe.

I wasn't sad to leave it behind.


My husband and I loaded up the Land Cruiser and departed for the roughly 8-hour drive to Salt Lake City, UT. Driving across the desolate, remote desert of rural Northern Nevada, the landscape has never looked so green. We drove through off-and-on rain, ranging from light sprinkles to steady downpours, almost like a Midwest summertime shower. When we reached the Bonneville Salt Flats outside of Salt Lake City, you could hardly discern the sky from the salt flats.


Gray skies over Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah
Gray skies over Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

After a few strategic stops, we arrived at our hotel near the SLC Airport, checked in and got settled for the evening.


Day 2: Route to Moab with Roadside Stops


The following morning, we woke up early, packed up, and had breakfast at the connected Perkins Cafe & Bakery, and then headed to the airport to retrieve our friends.


After a boisterous greeting, we hit the road for the roughly 4-hour trek to Moab, stopping in Helper, UT, to stretch our legs and grab lunch at Balance Rock. Once we reached I-70, we battled the light rain and visited a few of the beautiful roadside stops to take in the canyon views. My husband and I had done this same basic route on our road trip in 2022, but felt it was worth a repeat to show our friends.


Sand Bench viewpoint along I-70 in southern Utah
Sand Bench viewpoint along I-70 in southern Utah.

Standing on a rock jetty at Sand Bench overlook
Standing on a rock jetty at Sand Bench overlook.

The Spotted Wolf Canyon viewpoint is definitely one of the most standout of all these viewpoints.



View at Spotted Wolf Canyon viewpoint
View at Spotted Wolf Canyon viewpoint.

Spotted Wolf Canyon with I-70 down below
Spotted Wolf Canyon with I-70 down below.

Walking along the spine back to the parking lot of Spotted Wolf Canyon
Walking along the spine back to the parking lot of Spotted Wolf Canyon.

Back at the parking lot for the Spotted Wolf Canyon viewpoint, I struck up a chat with a man traveling solo in a vehicle with Wisconsin license plates. He had embarked on a vast Southwest road trip and was thoroughly enjoying it. We asked if his route brought him to Tahoe. He said yes. We told him we live there and he asked us where. He chuckled and said just a few days ago, unbelievably, he'd stopped in our little town and bought cigars from a shop. I asked him where in Wisconsin he is from. He said Delavin. I laughed and told him I'd known people who lived there and had actually been there, myself, years ago. I always say this, but what a small world.


When we arrived in Moab, one of the first sights we saw downtown was Rory driving Trail Mater!



My husband regularly watches Rory's recovery videos on YouTube, so it was fun to bump into his rig in person as soon as we arrived in Moab.


We located our vacation rental property and unloaded our belongings, then ventured out to the grocery store to stock up on provisions for the week. After a long day of travel, we decided to dine out at Trailhead Public House & Eatery in downtown Moab for dinner.


The downtown was lively and buzzing with people and vehicles. We learned that a car show event was taking place that weekend, so we enjoyed seeing the myriad of old and new cars and trucks cruising the strip all evening and were humored by some of the shenanigans that went along with it.


After dinner, we decided we would walk around downtown for a bit. Then it started raining, so we figured that was a good time to head back to the vacation rental and call it a night. Tomorrow would kick off our hiking, so we'd need to rest up.


Day 3: Corona Arch Hike


Corona Arch & Pinto Arch Hike


Sunday morning, we got an early start and headed out to Potash Road to get our first official hike on the books: Corona Arch, which is located outside of Arches National Park.


Corona Arch Trailhead
Corona Arch Trailhead.

This was a really neat hike for a few reasons. First, the terrain and landscape were generally interesting.


Standing on a boulder along the Corona Arch trail with the Colorado River and surrounding canyon in the background
Standing on a boulder along the Corona Arch trail with the Colorado River and surrounding canyon in the background.

View from the Corona Arch trail
View from the Corona Arch trail.

View from the Corona Arch trail
View from the Corona Arch trail.

View from the Corona Arch trail
View from the Corona Arch trail.


Second, on the trail, we crossed over railroad tracks that were cut through the massive rock.


Railroad track on the Corona Arch trail
Railroad track on the Corona Arch trail.

Third, we had to climb a ladder and use a chain "railing" to ascend a short, steep section of trail, which brought back fond memories of our Angels Landing hike with Chad and Shannon last year. (This wouldn't be our only encounter with a ladder on a hike during this trip.)


Climbing the chain section of Corona Arch trail
Climbing the chain section of Corona Arch trail.

The chain section of the Corona Arch hike
The chain section of the Corona Arch hike.

This angle captures the steepness of the chain section
This angle captures the steepness of the chain section.

Climbing the ladder on Corona Arch trail
Climbing the ladder on Corona Arch trail.

The beautiful Navajo sandstone landscape leading to the Corona Arch
The beautiful Navajo sandstone landscape leading to the Corona Arch

Fourth, the arch was quite impressive with its 140-foot across by 105-foot high opening comprised of Navajo sandstone.


Corona Arch in the background
Corona Arch in the background.

Corona Arch from a distance
Corona Arch from a distance.

Taking in the Corona Arch views
Taking in the Corona Arch views.

Corona Arch
The Corona Arch.

Corona Arch
The Corona Arch.

Looking through the Corona Arch
Looking through the Corona Arch.

Posing under the Corona Arch
Posing under the Corona Arch.

Bowtie Arch adjacent to Corona Arch
Bowtie Arch adjacent to Corona Arch.

Descending the chain section of the Corona Arch trail
Descending the chain section of the Corona Arch trail.






Fifth, we saw two low-flying airplanes swoop through the canyon, which reminded me of the fighter jets that banked through the canyon near us while hiking in Ouray, CO.



After seeing the Corona Arch, we ventured over to Pinto Arch before heading back to the trailhead.


Trail sign for Corona Arch and Pinto Arch
Trail sign

Overlooking the Colorado River canyon on the trail to the Pinto Arch
Overlooking the Colorado River canyon on the trail to the Pinto Arch.

Prickly pear cactus in bloom
Prickly pear cactus in bloom.

Massive rock formations on the trail to Pinto Arch
Massive rock formations on the trail to Pinto Arch.

Pinto Arch
Pinto Arch.


Looking up and through the Pinto Arch
Looking up and through the Pinto Arch.

Dinosaur Tracks & Petroglyphs


After returning to the trailhead, we drove a short distance and stopped to view some petroglyphs and, believe it or not, dinosaur tracks.


Theropod dinosaur tracks in Moab's Navajo Sandstone from the Early Jurassic period
Theropod dinosaur tracks in Moab's Navajo Sandstone from the Early Jurassic period.

A theropod dinosaur track preserved in the sandstone
A theropod dinosaur track preserved in the sandstone.

Petroglyphs and a gravity-defying lizard
Petroglyphs (and a gravity-defying lizard).

A lizard "stuck" to the steep slanted boulder
A lizard "stuck" to the steep slanted boulder.

More petroglyphs
More petroglyphs.

Bolder rock wall with petroglyphs and a view of the Colorado River canyon
Bolder rock wall with petroglyphs and a view of the Colorado River canyon.

The drive on Potash Rd. is beautiful with the massively tall rock walls on one side and the Colorado River on the other.




We stopped for a quick and simple PB&J lunch along Potash Rd. and started discussing our next move. Shannon found a waterfall hike that was only about 40 minutes away by car, so we headed to Ken's Lake next.




Corona Arch & Pinto Arch


Total Distance

3.73 mi

Toal Time

2:25:59

Total Ascent

712 ft

Max Elevation

4,471 ft


20 views

Related Posts

See All

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
madge56
madge56
May 13

Very cool things on this hike. Dinosaurs prints included!

Like
20200731_110206_edited.jpg

Hi, thanks for dropping by!

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures and checking out the photos I take along the way!

If you like what you see, please click the heart at the end of the post or leave me a comment!

-Brianna

bottom of page