Corona Arch is a 3 mile round trip hike to one of Moab's largest arches. Great family hike for those looking for a little challenge. In addition to Corona Arch there are 2 other major arches and at least one smaller arch right along the trail.
If you know anything about Moab, UT you know the are area is famous for its natural arches. Most people assume that all of the arches, or at least the best arches, are in Arches National Park. This is not the case, not even close. Corona Arch, sometimes referred to as Little Rainbow Arch, is a very large arch located outside of the national park along the Colorado River, just off of UT128, a little south of Moab. This arch is one of the largest in the Moab area including the ones at Arches National Park.
Use your own judgement, but I would consider the hike to Corona Arch moderately kid friendly. There just enough challenges to make it interesting but not overwhelming. My daughter is 10 in this photo, but I have seen children much younger on the trail. Our friend's five year old made the hike no problem. There are two spots that you may find tricky but one has a cable and the other has a ladder. It is little things like the ladder and cable that make this trail a great unforgettable experience for both kids and adults. My daughter and I visited while she was on spring break, what a great memory! Sharing a love for the outdoors with my family is a key reason we visit Moab.
I've made this hike several times at different times of the year. Though I've never had the trail completely to myself, there are very few people around as compared to the arches in Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. You will not see a tour bus unloading here either. During the winter months you will likely see a few other hikers in groups of 2 or 3. However, during spring break you are likely to see a few families with kids in tow. We completed this hike while stay our 6A8 Moab Vacation Rental.
If you want to get that show stopping Instagram photo you are in luck as the arch has good lighting in both the evening or morning. You will just have to walk under Corona Arch and get to the back side of it for the best light in the afternoon. I also think visiting the arch in the winter when there is a little snow on the ground adds contrasting colors to your photographs.
Corona Arch is not the only arch you will see on this trail. Just a few hundred yards away from Corona is Bowtie Arch. Bowtie Arch is a large pothole arch and would be worth a hike by itself. The best part of Bowtie is you walk right past it on the way to Corona Arch.
There are restrooms just past the trailhead parking area at the Gold Bar Campground on the river side of road.
Also, if you are bringing your dog with you to explore the area don't forget their poop bags. There is now a $1000 fine for leaving waste in the desert.
Remember to keep hikes fun for the kids, they are not trying to "bag" every arch in Moab. Slow down and take your time and you are likely to discover things you never would have before. Let them take photos with your phone, a kid's perspective of what makes a good picture is likely to be different from yours. Without my daughter I would never have known you can still spot dinosaurs in Moab.
If you have a close eye you can also spot a third arch along the same side of the canyon as Corona about a half mile back and towards the parking area. I'm not sure of the arch's official name but it is also quite large. This third arch may not be obvious from the main trail and requires a difficult scramble to get to, and is not recommend for children.
Arch hunting is something I enjoy and I think I'm fairly good at. However, I've walked past this small arch my daughter is sitting on many times and never noticed it. She is always looking for "hideouts" and found this little guy. From the trail it just looked like a pile of rocks but it does have an opening of at least three feet in one direction thus officially making it an arch.
If you are considering a Moab adventure we would recommend checking out the town homes at Moab Adventure Condo. We stayed with them and it was so nice to have room to relax and not be stuck in a cramped hotel room. Since the cost of the rental was split between two families it actually ended up being cheaper than a hotel room and much nicer. Not to mention the pool and hot tub were just sets from our condo.