Corona Arch at sunset. [Photo courtesy of BLM Moab Field Office]

Corona Arch Trail became a federally recognized National Recreation Trail on May 31 as a part of the National Trails System.

The National Trails System celebrates the 50th anniversary this year of the National Trails System Act of 1968. To commemorate the occasion, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke added more than 370 miles of recreational trails to the National Trails System. Corona Arch Trail is one of 19 new trails in 17 states to be designated. Located within walking distance of the Colorado River, Corona Arch Trail is a 14-mile drive from downtown Moab on State Route 279.

The National Trails System now has over 1,000 different scenic trails open to the public. Trails are dedicated to the recreation system as part of an application process from the managing field agency.

“The BLM Moab Field Office is pleased to have the Corona Arch Trail recognized as a National Recreation Trail. We encourage people to visit, explore and help take care of our natural resources and trails,” said Lance Porter, manager for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Canyon Country District Office.

Corona Arch Trail has been an established trail for more than 30 years, and is an iconic symbol featured in commercials and viral videos across the globe. The 3-mile round-trip trail offers views of the Colorado River, Dead Horse Point State Park and a slickrock canyon.

“By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Zinke. “Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country.”

Corona Arch Trail is not for novice hikers, however — this trail is a moderately strenuous climb and requires hikers to climb a ladder, use hand holds and trail rope guides. The scenery along Corona Arch Trail includes views of a vast canyon full of cave recesses after a short hike across railroad tracks, past cairns and along a sandy footpath. This trail has minimal shade, so users are encouraged to visit in early morning and later afternoon times due to heat and sun exposure. Dogs are permitted on the trail, but the trail is not considered dog-friendly due to the hand holds and a ladder found along the way.

Once around the cliff and up the ladder, the views from the trail are not only of Corona Arch, but also of its counterpart, Bowtie Arch. Measuring at a staggering 115-foot tall opening, Corona Arch is located on BLM property and was acquired by the BLM in May of 2014 from the Utah State Trust Lands Administration, as part of a larger land exchange for a hiking-focused area.

As a result of a public planning effort on how to best utilize the acquired land, the trail is now designated as hiking only, according to the BLM. Federal regulations enacted in 2017 now prohibit the use of all roped activities, including swinging and rappelling from Corona Arch due to scarring of the rocks and user conflicts.  If visitors are interested in roped activities, the BLM Moab Field Office offers many other climbing and rappelling options such as Looking Glass Arch, Morning Glory Bridge, Wilson Arch, Cable Arch, Pool Arch and Updraft Arch.

The BLM asks trail users to recreate responsibly, “know before you go” and always realize there is risk involved when exploring areas.

For more information, check out the BLM website at, or call your local field office with any questions you may have at 435-259-2100. Visitors are encouraged to visit the area, enjoy nature, and as always, leave the trails nicer than the way they were found.

The National Trails System Act of 1968 directs the establishment of trails in both urban and rural settings. The act establishes four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails and side and connecting trails.

National Trails System celebrates 50th anniversary by adding 19 new trails

“The BLM Moab Field Office is pleased to have the Corona Arch Trail recognized as a National Recreation Trail. We encourage people to visit, explore and help take care of our natural resources and trails.”