Hole in the Rock Road-trip report

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Raven Haven

Well-Known Member
Hello WWers!
My girlfriend Mary and I took a Spring Break trip from SoCal to southern Utah in late March/early April. After many years of wanting to explore Bryce, Escalante GS, and Capitol Reef, we finally made it happen. Scenic Byway 12 didn't disappoint, nor did hiking in Bryce on a beautifully sunny day after a snowstorm dropped a couple of inches the night before. But the highlight of the trip was definitely the Hole in the Rock road. Like most of you, I have been to that area many a time by boat and Google Earth, but the remoteness of the Escalante Canyons via road is still so amazing.
After somewhat reluctantly leaving Bryce and making a quick detour to Grosvenor Arch and Kodachrome, we rolled into Escalante. We still had daylight so we went to Devil's Garden and got some good sunset photos of the hoodoos and Metate Arch. Early the next morning, our plan was to take my FJ Cruiser all the way to the end of the 56-mile Road and then do some exploring and hiking of a couple of canyons on the way back up. Of course, I knew we would only see a tiny portion of all the places I hope to someday see. The Road itself was in very good shape, although the last 6 miles did require a little bit of high clearance. I would not recommend a standard passenger vehicle doing the last 6 miles. Nobody was at the end of the Road when we arrived, nor did I see any boaters. What views from the top of the Hole! I'd been there before by Lake but it was cool to get there in my FJ. Last year I took a group of Trash Tracker volunteers to the Hole so they could hike to the top. After a few pics, we walked up to the NE side of the ridge to get a great view of Cottonwood Canyon and the Lake below. Surprisingly (nighttime temps were in the low 30s), we saw a baby rattlesnake curled up taking in some sun. We (carefully) hiked around for another hour or so looking for Everett's 1934 journal (sorry Tiff, didn't find it).
So many choices as to where to stop on the way back to Escalante. I was particularly interested in Davis Gulch, but after some discussion we decided that Davis would have to wait until we had more time to fully explore the area. I'd like to search for the bronze plaque dedicated to Everett as well as the purported "NEMO 1934" inscription located somewhere above the south rim of Davis towards Clear Creek.
Mary's next choice to hike was Steven's Arch. Along the way, we stopped at some caves at the base of Kaiparowits Plateau, Dance Hall Rock (and a quick bocce match), and a scenic overlook heading up a side road towards the Plateau. The hike to Steven's Arch was spectacular. Standing at "the Crack" with an amazing panorama of the Escalante and Steven's is hard to describe while sitting here in my classroom (not to worry, my kids are taking the State Test)! Even the photos don't do the view justice. The sun was setting on our daylong journey so we dodged some cows and made it back to the FJ right at dusk. I highly recommend an adventure down the Hole in the Rock Road to all of you Wordlings who are up for a little adventure. We plan on going back for some Davis, Egypt, and Willow Gulch, not to mention all of the eastern canyons into the Escalante. A Final Four ticket awaited Mary and her Gonzaga alum daughter so off to Scottsdale we went. Being a SoCal Lake Poweller, that allowed for my first ever trip to Hite. Interesting. We also managed to do some hikes in Natural Bridges and Hovenweap, as well as a quick stop at Edge of the Cedars to see the Macaw Sash described to me by Trash Tracker Dr. Gulliford. Very cool. One of these days I'll try posting a couple of pics. See you on the Lake soon. Stop by the Trash Tracker if you see us!
Eric
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
nice descriptions of your trip. I also have viewed the "Hole" from boat many times but never drove in from the top. Maybe someday. The strength of the pioneers is incredible. What a beautiful part of the country.
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
Please post some pictures. I have been on the Hole in The Rock Road, but have only gone in 10 to 15 miles. It was an enjoyable trip.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
Hello WWers!
My girlfriend Mary and I took a Spring Break trip from SoCal to southern Utah in late March/early April. After many years of wanting to explore Bryce, Escalante GS, and Capitol Reef, we finally made it happen. Scenic Byway 12 didn't disappoint, nor did hiking in Bryce on a beautifully sunny day after a snowstorm dropped a couple of inches the night before. But the highlight of the trip was definitely the Hole in the Rock road. Like most of you, I have been to that area many a time by boat and Google Earth, but the remoteness of the Escalante Canyons via road is still so amazing.
After somewhat reluctantly leaving Bryce and making a quick detour to Grosvenor Arch and Kodachrome, we rolled into Escalante. We still had daylight so we went to Devil's Garden and got some good sunset photos of the hoodoos and Metate Arch. Early the next morning, our plan was to take my FJ Cruiser all the way to the end of the 56-mile Road and then do some exploring and hiking of a couple of canyons on the way back up. Of course, I knew we would only see a tiny portion of all the places I hope to someday see. The Road itself was in very good shape, although the last 6 miles did require a little bit of high clearance. I would not recommend a standard passenger vehicle doing the last 6 miles. Nobody was at the end of the Road when we arrived, nor did I see any boaters. What views from the top of the Hole! I'd been there before by Lake but it was cool to get there in my FJ. Last year I took a group of Trash Tracker volunteers to the Hole so they could hike to the top. After a few pics, we walked up to the NE side of the ridge to get a great view of Cottonwood Canyon and the Lake below. Surprisingly (nighttime temps were in the low 30s), we saw a baby rattlesnake curled up taking in some sun. We (carefully) hiked around for another hour or so looking for Everett's 1934 journal (sorry Tiff, didn't find it).
So many choices as to where to stop on the way back to Escalante. I was particularly interested in Davis Gulch, but after some discussion we decided that Davis would have to wait until we had more time to fully explore the area. I'd like to search for the bronze plaque dedicated to Everett as well as the purported "NEMO 1934" inscription located somewhere above the south rim of Davis towards Clear Creek.
Mary's next choice to hike was Steven's Arch. Along the way, we stopped at some caves at the base of Kaiparowits Plateau, Dance Hall Rock (and a quick bocce match), and a scenic overlook heading up a side road towards the Plateau. The hike to Steven's Arch was spectacular. Standing at "the Crack" with an amazing panorama of the Escalante and Steven's is hard to describe while sitting here in my classroom (not to worry, my kids are taking the State Test)! Even the photos don't do the view justice. The sun was setting on our daylong journey so we dodged some cows and made it back to the FJ right at dusk. I highly recommend an adventure down the Hole in the Rock Road to all of you Wordlings who are up for a little adventure. We plan on going back for some Davis, Egypt, and Willow Gulch, not to mention all of the eastern canyons into the Escalante. A Final Four ticket awaited Mary and her Gonzaga alum daughter so off to Scottsdale we went. Being a SoCal Lake Poweller, that allowed for my first ever trip to Hite. Interesting. We also managed to do some hikes in Natural Bridges and Hovenweap, as well as a quick stop at Edge of the Cedars to see the Macaw Sash described to me by Trash Tracker Dr. Gulliford. Very cool. One of these days I'll try posting a couple of pics. See you on the Lake soon. Stop by the Trash Tracker if you see us!
Eric
Did you have to air down? My Grand Cherokee has 20" wheels, so not much room there.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Seeing him on my computer screen is closer than I care to be to him.

I don't think we have ever seen a rattler at Powell. And I hope that stays the case. Me and snakes don't get along.

They are definitely there - never tie a boat up to a tree on the lake before first checking for them hiding there in the shade, they are know to come on swim steps when the lake is rising, and they wash off the tops of cliffs - like this - when the monsoon season strikes. They also keep the mouse population down and this guy is certainly fat enough it appears he is finding a lot of mice.
 

Leardriver

Well-Known Member
That looks like a Mojave Green, the only completely neurotoxic venom among rattlers. Not a recommended snuggling companion.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Trust me there are Rattlers at Powell, we had two come aboard our boat in Last Chance last year.
How did you discover the snakes. I know there are mojave greens at powell , we found one at the base of a tree by our tent site. It was smaller and very green. He was not a happy camper in fact I would call him downright grumpy. Of course one of the idiots in our group had to poke a stick at it.. Thoughts of rattlers the rest of the trip.
 
One of our guests were sitting on the front deck having coffee in the morning and spotted it under the BBQ, the second one was spotted the next morning just outside the front slider , both of the snakes were reluctantly dispatched. One thing we did notice was the unusually high number of small rodents and mice that were present on shore last year possibly leading to the increased snake population. We have stayed in the same location many times in the past and never had any problems with rattlers.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
At least they weren't inside the boat.
One of our guests were sitting on the front deck having coffee in the morning and spotted it under the BBQ, the second one was spotted the next morning just outside the front slider , both of the snakes were reluctantly dispatched. One thing we did notice was the unusually high number of small rodents and mice that were present on shore last year possibly leading to the increased snake population. We have stayed in the same location many times in the past and never had any problems with rattlers.
 
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