Hole in the Rock Trail
The Hole in the Rock "Trail" is not to be confused with the Hole in the Rock "Road" which are both sections of the arduous journey made by Mormon settlers during the winter of 1879-1880 to settle Bluff, Utah in the 4 corners area of UT-AZ-NM-CO. The section from Escalante, Utah to the actual "Hole in the Rock," which is a narrow slit in the rock descending over a 1000 feet down to the Colorado River, can be driven in a 2WD car and is officially the Hole in the Rock "Road." It is maintained graded gravel/dirt. I did that portion years ago in a Grand Cherokee.
The section we did this past Monday-Thursday is the referred to as the Hole in the Rock "Trail", and is much more arduous and challenging. It is unmaintained. This portion is in the Jeep Badge of Honor program. This section goes from the actual Hole in the Rock crevice at the Colorado River (now Lake Powell, Utah) and travels eastwardly in very remote sandstone backcountry to Bluff, Utah.
The Hole in the Rock Trail is an in and out route, 35 miles one way, beginning near Halls Crossing Marina on Lake Powell. Coming from northern Utah, we took a ferry across Lake Powell before beginning.
Near the start if the trail where it crosses through Lake Canyon, was washed out in 2009 and a reroute around the 100 deep foot gorge that was leftover is now required.
We took 4 days to complete the "Trail" section, and followed the route from Lake Powell on into Bluff, Utah. Backcountry camping is needed for at least two nights. I've heard in being completed in one long day, but do not see how that is possible. Lots of slow speed chugging over rough terrain. Traction can be amazing over sandstone. A few sections are smooth dirt, and it seems like you are rocketing along at 25-35mph in comparison, but for the most part its slow 4 wheel low. In a few spots, we found actual wagon ruts carved into the sandstone as the original settlers' wagon wheels had to be chained down to brake their descend along steep grades.
We had wet weather, drizzles often, harder rain at times and occasional clearing only to return to more drizzles. Here are a few pics.
2015 Cherokee Trailhawk:
Granite Crystal, 3.2L V6, 8.4 Nav, black leather, sunroof, tow, tech, comfort/conv, no hood decal, 9 speakers, CD player, Maximum Care lifetime warranty, Mopar first aid kit, rear rubber cargo mat, Thule Aeroblade cross bars (black), Thule Rapid Aero feet, Kuat Vagabond X cargo basket, RRO rock rails with smooth covers, Mopar door sills, Raingler ceiling net, Raingler seat headrest handles, MFC aluminum lift kit, RRO winch bar and Warn M8000S winch, BFG T/A KO2s
Last edited by taatmk; 08-18-2016 at 03:11 PM.