In past visits to Moab, I always focused my attention on Arches National Park. Having a few more days on this trip to explore and wanting to avoid the large crowds, we found some nearby gems: a treacherous cliffside trail from The Portal offering fantastic views of the town over the Colorado River and a path further down the river that some local folk recommended to us with arches worthy of Arches!
Portal Overlook Trail
The Portal is the name of the opening in the rock face carved by the Colorado River over millions of years. Our first hike was up from and back down to the river, wrapping around the cliff face to the right of the gap that you can see here from the town.
Once the climbing is done, walking along the narrow trail is easy enough if you have “a head for heights.” However, the posted warnings to mountain bikers on this Double Black Diamond MTB route were ominous.
We met two mountain bikers going down this route, and I later found the following YouTube video to give you an idea of the terrain in a way my photos don’t show. I suggest you ignore this if you don’t like heights.
Yes, there IS a trail along this cliff!
Our hike earned us a fun reward!
Corona, Bowtie, and Pinto Arches Trail
While Arches National Park gets most of the attention in these parts, numerous geologic formations around Moab still yield the quiet and remoteness that we prefer. A local resident directed us to a beautiful trail where we could see three arches that complement those found at the park: Corona, Bowtie, and Pinto Arches.
The sun’s corona at Corona Arch.
Terry Tempest Williams. It’s hard to disagree with her sentiments.