Sunday, May 22, 2016


Leaving Bryce, we moved about 60 miles to a popular boondocking spot at the beginning of Hole-in-the-rock Road.  Located 5 miles east of Escalante, Utah, Hole-in-the-Rock Road is part of Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument and a very historic piece of Mormon history.  We visited the Hole-in-the-Rock Heritage Center to get the story.

In short, the Mormon leaders wanted to find a 'short cut' between their established settlements in western Utah and new ones in south eastern Utah.  They already had northern and southern routes (in green), but were having trouble with those.  Thus they blazed the new trail (in red.)

In the visitors center were an excellent film about the trip and local volunteers who had ancestral ties to the event.  The trip began in fall of 1879 and was supposed to take six weeks.  Six months later they reached their destination!

Although the whole route was difficult, the worst section was at Hole-in-the-Rock where the pioneers  had to navigate a cleft in the cliffs down to the Colorado River.  It took six weeks to widen this mile-long notch enough to allow the wagons access.
Photo taken in 1950 by Harold Monson, Deseret News photographer.

It's truly unbelievable to me that no lives were lost.

The above two artist's renderings were taken off the information boards outside the visitors center.  The last one has a fascinating story to go with it.

Not only did they not lose anybody on the trip, but two babies were born along the way.

I can't stay serious for long.  Does anybody know the name of these lovely trees?


  1. Can't help you on the tree but I tried. Something I just learned recently is if you right click an image, one of the options is "Search Google for Image". That will bring up similar images and tell you what Google thinks it is. In this case it says: Best guess for this image: plant :-)

  2. There's a novel called Undaunted that tells the story of those pioneers. Fantastic read.

  3. There's a novel called Undaunted that tells the story of those pioneers. Fantastic read.

  4. Try Idaho Flowering Locust for the tree. It sure looks like one to me. We spent time in the Hole-in-The-Rock area 2 years ago. Beautiful but the road was so rough when we were there.

  5. The early pioneers and the routes they took in their wagons were amazing. How they did it with horses is incredible and almost beyond belief.

  6. Amazing ... and the story of the last wagon is pretty intense, too.