One of the best tour operators in the Moab area is, admittedly, “originally a ski bum from New Jersey.”
While that may be true, Mike Coronella—who moved to Utah 33 years ago and has been an integral part of its natural landscape, culture, and adventure lifestyle ever since—is the quintessential Southeastern Utah outdoorsman. With his vast knowledge of the Canyonlands region, and his passion for preserving it and responsibly sharing it with others, he is truly a part of the fabric of the area and an advocate for its rich history, beautiful landscape, and endless natural wonders.
Creating the Hayduke Trail
Mike’s introduction to the Southwest desert is what he calls “full immersion” from the very beginning. Soon arriving in 1990, he and a friend decided to walk from Arches National Park to Zion National Park. They were the first people to do it and it took three months. They later hiked from Zion to Grand Canyon to Arches national parks—a first-ever trek that took 101 days.
Ever the explorers, Mike and his friend eventually created the Hayduke Trail, linking together six national parks, national monuments, recreation areas, state parks, wilderness areas, and wilderness study areas. This 850-mile desert backpacking route—named after a character from Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang—travels through deep desert canyons, over high mountain passes, and across wild rivers, providing unique access to some of the most scenic and remote terrain in the U.S.
An Insider's Perspective on Moab's Natural Wonders
A former wine expert and photography teacher, Mike is a true Renaissance Man with an insatiable appetite for reading, studying, and sharing his knowledge with others. Whether you’re interested in learning about dinosaurs who once roamed the area, the petroglyphs and pictographs that dot nearby caves, or the establishing of Bear Ears National Monument (yes, he even spoke to the Obama administration regarding the creation of this historic site), Mike’s knowledge and enthusiasm will leave you fascinated, entertained, and more educated that you were before.
Mike started guiding over 20 years ago, leading everything from photography tours and rafting adventures, to backpacking trips and four-wheel-drive excursions. An officer and long-time member of Grand County Search and Rescue, he always puts safety first and works with individuals to plan customized guided hikes that meet their unique needs, interests, and skill levels.
Discover Moab's Hidden Gems with a Guided Tour
From challenging full-day hikes in Canyonlands National Park, to popular half-day hikes to local arches and rock art panels, to backcountry driving tours featuring jaw-dropping vistas and scenic overlooks, Mike will create a custom adventure that you will remember for years to come.
Guests at ULUM Moab can learn more about Mike and his guided tours by contacting an Adventure Concierge, who can help arrange a full- or half-day adventure.
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