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“Awesome Drive, Great Hikes”

Reviewed September 15, 2012

If you're looking for some of the best scenery and hikes in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Hole in the Rock Road is the place to go. It's a beautiful scenic drive, and also has trailheads for some of the best hiking (in terms of scenery) I've ever done in the Monument. However, realize that the road has significant washboard--just go slow and you should be ok. The last 10 miles of the road are recommended for 4x4 only; we made it to the end in a 2-wheel-drive van once several years ago, but last time we tried it, we had to walk the last couple miles due to deep sand and the rocky road. Check with the visitor center in Escalante, as they should be able to tell you what the road is like.

A few of my favorite sites along the road:

Mile 7.75: Unmarked parking area on the other side of the cattle guard for the Zebra Slots/Tunnel Slot. Beautiful slot canyons--the Zebra one has stripes! About 5-6 miles round trip.

Mile 12.0: Short, marked road for Devil's Garden. Awesome formations; this is a great place to wander since there are no marked trails (though one does seem to go around the garden area). It's also a great place to let the children run!

Mile 17.2: Here a 9-mile road goes left to the Egypt parking area. This road is not very well maintained, though it is usually passable with a high-clearance, 2-wheel-drive vehicle. Egypt itself has many hiking trails; my favorite is to Neon Canyon and the Golden Cathedral (8 miles (Beeline Route) or 12 miles (Fence Canyon Route) RT).

Mile 26.6: A 1.7 mile road on your left leads to the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch--and some great slot canyons. My favorites are Peek-a-boo (very pretty, with arches) and Spooky (which is quite narrow, but passable). A 2-3 mile round trip hike, this is where the park people send families.

The road gets worse after this junction; you'll likely need high clearance to go further.

Mile 42.7: A small, unmarked road on the left leads to a small parking area (be careful, there may be deep sand). This road is just after Sooner Wash and the Sooner Rocks. Here you can hike to Broken Bow Arch (6 miles RT), a magnificent arch in a desert canyon--complete with a stream flowing through the canyon!

Mile 45.7: Enter Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. From here, the road gets worse and worse. You may need to walk or have 4x4.

Mile 55.3: Hole in the Rock and the end of the road. The "Hole" is a canyon that was made for pioneers to descend to what is now Lake Powell. It can still be descended, though with some scrambling. It's a fun adventure.

Overall, the Hole in the Rock Road is a nice drive if you're vehicle is up to it. It's also a great place to start a hike, or even to camp...the park allows free-range camping as long as you stay on established roads/parking areas and you comply with all signs (for example, you can't stay at Devil's Garden...but maybe that's because it's the only place on the road with picnic tables and a primitive restroom?)

19  Thank Anne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 - 115 of 131 reviews

Reviewed September 14, 2012

Hole in the Rock Road leads to the a historic place (Hole in the Rock) where the Mormons crossed the Colorado River long, long time ago (now Lake Powell).
The road also give access to quite a number of trail heads to interesting gulches, slot canyons etc. of the Grand Staircase NM. We drove the HITRR to the Dry Fork of the Coyote Gulch to eventually visit the Coyote Gulch, Peek-a-Boo and Spooky (slot) Canyons. The HITRR is a dirt road but the condition is acceptable, even suitable for a normal car when dry (high clearance is preferable). Obviously, the road is dusty and partly quite wash-boarded but certainly do-able even for occasional dirt road driver (at least up to the junction to Dry Fork of the Coyote Gulch). The parts near Hole in the Rock seems to be much rougher and requires 4x4.

3  Thank WinR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

The things to see off of this road almost make up for the constant wash-board. Now, we were traveling in a large van and that may be part of the problem, but it was miserable. But we LOVED the slot-canyons and will go back to see some of the other rec areas that we missed.

1  Thank 3dj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

A great place to visit, hard to believe that people actually lived there. The zoo was good, lovely to be able to feed the animals

1  Thank annesleySuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

I am refering here to the "Hole in the rock" made - I think - by the Mormons in the south of Escalante. The road to get there is rather long (I would say you need about 4 hours) on a dirt road ; a "normal" car is sufficient for the first 10 miles (up to the "devil's garden") but do not use your car beyond this place. I rented a buggy (very noisy but practical). The long road offers a few nice places to look at (not so many) but you have a wonderful view on the Colorado when you reach the "hole in the rock" (this is the end of the trail) which must be probably 300 meters below. The history of the place is interesting.

2  Thank Pierre F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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