Trip Planner:   USA  /  Utah  /  Escalante  /  Hole In The Rock Road

Hole In The Rock Road, Escalante

2.9
#4 of 7 in Outdoors in Escalante
Hole in the Rock is a narrow and steep crevice in the western rim of Glen Canyon, in southern Utah in the western United States. Together with another canyon on the eastern side of the Colorado River, it provided a route through what would otherwise be a large area of impassable terrain.
In the fall of 1879, the Mormon San Juan Expedition was seeking a route from south-central Utah to their proposed colony in the far southeastern corner of the state. Rejecting two longer routes, they chose a more direct path that initially took them along the relatively benign terrain beneath the Straight Cliffs of the Kaiparowits Plateau. However, when this led them to the 1200-foot (400 m) sandstone cliffs that surround Glen Canyon, they needed a way to cross to the eastern rim. They found (and named) Hole in the Rock, a narrow, steep, and rocky crevice and sandy slope that led down to the river. Directly across the river was Cottonwood Canyon, a tempting route up to Wilson Mesa on the other side.
They worked for months to prepare the road, using blasting powder to widen the upper section and hand chisels to carve anchor points directly into the sandstone. On January 26, 1880 the expedition (250 people, 83 full-sized wagons, and over 1000 head of livestock) began their descent to the river. Wagons were heavily roped, and teams of men and oxen used to lower them through the upper crevice, which has slopes approaching 45°. Further down, a wooden track had been constructed along a slickrock sandstone slope. Posts in drilled holes supported horizontal beams to allow passage of the wagons.
After an even more difficult journey on the east side of the river, the expedition founded the community of Bluff in southeastern Utah. They used the Hole in the Rock route as a supply road for only a year before replacing it with an easier route to the north, at Hall's Crossing. Decades later, miners of the Hoskaninni Mining Company carved steps onto the same path used by the Mormon pioneers. The blasting holes, anchor points, and gouges from the hubs of the expedition's wagons are still visible in the walls of the crevice.
You can plan Escalante trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.
Source
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Create an itinerary including Hole In The Rock Road
Hole In The Rock Road Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
180 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Reall nice people, lots of hiking, views, streams all good stuff, a good place to hang out and be yourself.  more »
  • But this is jarring unpaved road that is probably hard to travel im wet weather We were lucky. It was dry. And we took this road 15 jarring miles to get to Devils Garden. Worth it!  more »

Plan your trip to Escalante

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Escalante

View all >
4.9
Duration: 2​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h
4.9
Duration: 2​h
5.0
Duration: 4​h

Side trips from Escalante

Hidden gems in Escalante

4.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 2​h
4.9
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 4​h

Nature in Escalante

4.7
Duration: 4​h
4.2
Duration: 2​h

Scenic Drive in Escalante

4.1
Duration: 2​h 30​min
3.8
Duration: 2​h

Museums in Escalante

4.7
Duration: 30​min