|Hole in the Rock to Lake Powell
Length: 2+ miles round trip
Description: The Hole in the Rock is a crack through which pioneers lowered wagons as they make a tedious expedition across Glen Canyon to reach the Bluff area on the San Juan River.
The pioneers traveled what we now call Hole in the Rock Road, which runs for 62 miles from Hwy 12 near Escalante down to Lake Powell. The road is sandy and rutty; a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed to get to the rim above Lake Powell. It is a challenging drive in a modern vehicle. It is a marvel that pioneers in covered wagons made it down the road.
But that was the easy part. Getting teams and wagons down the cliff face into Glen Canyon was an almost overwhelming task. The blasted rock and rigged a block and tackle system to lower wagons. Ruts from wagon wheels can still be seen in the rock.
Families and youth groups enjoy climbing down the cliff, trying to envision what those determined settlers encountered as they followed Brigham Young's direction to colonize that part of the territory.
Upon reaching the bottom they built a make-shift ferry to transport wagons and stock across the Colorado River. They then proceeded up Cottonwood Canyon and then crossed a virtually impassable area between the river and what is now Hwy 276.
They expected the journey to take six weeks. Instead, it took six months. No lives were lost and two children were born enroute. Hole in the Rock stands as a monument to their faith and tenacity.
End of Hole in the Rock Road
To see Hole in the Rock, drive to the end of the road and then scramble down the crack. The trail is not maintained and is moderately strenuous. Carry water - this area gets very hot during summer.
When you reach Lake Powell's water, jump in and cool off. But remember, the pioneers didn't have that luxury.
Dance Hall Rock
A beautiful camping spot is located at Dance Hall Rock, about 37 miles down Hole in the Rock Road. The pioneers camped at that spot, and used the natural amphitheater for gatherings.