Hole-in-the-Rock Road Drive

Escalante, Utah 84726

Hole-in-the-Rock Road Drive

Hole-in-the-Rock Road Drive Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Retrace the general route taken in 1879–1880 by the expedition of Mormon pioneers who settled at Bluff. As you skirt the edge of the famous Escalante River canyons, ponder the sandstone figures at Devil’s Garden, gaze at the lone sandstone tower dubbed Chimney Rock and imagine the pioneers playing music at Dance Hall Rock. At road’s end, you will peer down at Lake Powell through the crack, or “hole,” in the rock wall of Glen Canyon that the pioneers had to widen. This road is best in spring and fall.

Pioneer lore is replete with tales of false “shortcuts.” Thus it was for the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition—250 men, women and children with 83 wagons and 1,000 head of cattle that set out to settle at the mouth of Montezuma Creek, on the San Juan River. The road generally follows their route along the edge of the Escalante River canyons below the Straight Cliffs, at the eastern rim of Fiftymile Mountain/Kaiparowits Plateau."

More Hole-in-the-Rock Road Drive Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Backcountry Adventures: Utah (Adler Publishing )
Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson
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"This very long trail is mainly contained within the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, with the final few miles traveling through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The trail gently slopes down for most of its 53 miles, passing across several benches and flats. The graded dirt or gravel road can be very washboardy—it depends on how recently the last grader went down. There are a couple of sandy wash crossings and some slightly uneven road surfaces, particularly as you climb out of the wash crossings, but in dry weather all but the last 5.3 miles is suitable for a passenger vehicle. These last miles are for high-clearance 4WDs only—don’t even think about attempting it in anything else! Expect a rough road surface with rocks larger than 6 inches, but there will be a reasonable driving line available. Patches of mud are possible but can be readily negotiated; sand may be deep and require lower tire pressures. There may be stream crossings up to 12 inches deep, substantial sections of single-lane shelf road, moderate grades, and sections of moderately loose road surface."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Difficult
8 hours or more
Best spring and fall
Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Local Contacts
DeLorme Utah Atlas and Gazeteer; Trails Illustrated No. 710 (Canyons of the Escalante)
Local Maps

Trail Log