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“This road will take you 3x longer to drive than you expect”

Reviewed 30 October 2017

Canyons of Escalante are almost all accessed via this road. It's completely washboarded, and not graded with any regularity (I think I read it gets graded twice a year?) But, if you plan accordingly, it's not a huge deal. Real by blogs at accidentaladventuress.com for more information. And DO NOT drive this road when it's wait, or rain is expected!!

Thank Csu R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"wheel drive"
in 14 reviews
"lake powell"
in 14 reviews
"dance hall"
in 8 reviews
"high clearance"
in 15 reviews
"devil's garden"
in 27 reviews
"rock road"
in 23 reviews
"peek a boo"
in 12 reviews
"great sights"
in 2 reviews
"visitor center"
in 8 reviews
"flat tire"
in 4 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful slot canyons"
in 2 reviews
"park ranger"
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"regular car"
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"coyote gulch"
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Reviewed 14 October 2017 via mobile

A great detour off this road for 8 miles will take you to almost to Harris Wash (in a 2wd) from where you can do a 2 mile hike to the start of Red Breaks Canyon. This is a slot canyon that runs for several miles and will have you chimneying over chockstones and wading though chest deep water in a phenomenal red sandstone wilderness adventure!

Check the weather and advice from the rangers in Escalante before you go. If there's been rain in the previous 3-4d the road maybe impassable, as will the canyon. Enjoy :)

Thank Kevin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2017

The Hole in the Rock Road (HITR) is a long, rough, dusty dirt road that is about 60 miles long. It starts off Hwy 12 east of Escalante, UT., and ends at an overlook of Lake Powell. There are numerous sites to see, exciting hikes into beautiful canyons, and some pioneer history along the way. The road is maintained regularly, but due to high traffic volume it becomes quite rough. It is riddled with long sections of wash boarding. The road crosses many drainage ravines that are subject to flash flooding and wash outs, especially in the summer monsoon season. It is not advisable to attempt to cross the flooded areas. The best vehicle for this road is definitely a high clearance 2WD, or better yet 4WD. The speed limit is set at 35 mph. Most vehicles will ride better over the wash boarding sections at the speed limit. Always drive safely. Please keep to the right side of the road especially when approaching a hill, or a blind curve. This road will definitely test your vehicle suspension and tires. Be sure to take plenty of water, and food, even on day trips. Note: There are no services on this road, and cell phone reception may be spotty or non-existent. Keep an eye on the weather.

Thank Gleason L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2017

We had planned on doing this road in 2016 but it was raining the day we came into Escalante. So it was on our list in 2017. We rented a 4x4 from High Adventures in downtown Escalante and they set us straight!

Their "advice"...
1. It would take a full 8 hours to drive to the hole and back with a bit of time for 3 short side trips.
2. The first 30 miles, the road will be "GOOD", the next 15 will be "just ok", the last 15 will require a 4 wheel drive.
3. Here is your GPS and your emergency beacon device. Don't change your own flat tire. If you push this button, helicopters will be come to rescue you! If you are running late, but ok, press the green button.
4. Drive fast enough to ride over the washboard but slow down if you start to skid around.
With that being said... here are the keys, have fun!

AND BOY, DID WE HAVE FUN!

The guys were right, the first part of the road was passible for a regular car. If you think you can drive to Dance Hall Rock, I would not take my car! It is in the middle of the "OK" section and will require you to drive in and out of some very deep washes.

The last 15 miles REALLY, REALLY require a 4x4. You will go in and out of some very steep washes and over some rock and it is very slow going. But my husband loved driving every minute of it!! I was getting a bit antsy, wondering where the end of the road was. It wasn't until we went up some slick rock (that did not look like a road) that we came to the end. And the road does just that... It ends in a loop with a sign and a podium with a visitors log. The day before, a guy named Joel lost his wallet on the climb down to Powell Lake and left his desperate plea for its return.

We spent about an hour there and made our return. It was much more relaxing because we knew what we had gone through to get there. A lot of people have said the scenery is boring. We found the scenery very interesting, fascinating and unexpected looking, other than the ever present ridge line that runs the entire length of the route. But is was the history of the hole that really intrigued us (Fort Bluff does a better job at telling the history of this amazing journey taken by the Mormons, aside from the museum in Escalante).

We did stop at the Boy Scout memorial, Dance Hall Rock (last bathroom), Batty Pass Caves and Devils Garden.

Batty Caves is not on all of the maps, but is at about the half way mark. The road is a true 4x4 road. It is only about 2-3 miles off Hole-in-the-Rock road. We finally got out and turned on the GPS to help us locate the caves, and we were only about 150 feet away from them. The caves were carved out by 2 brothers as a home. They are easy to miss. The road will start to head downhill and the caves are just above you on the drivers side. So as you are navigating the road, you miss them. The road also split leaving you wondering which direction to go in. Only one other split is along the route, but it does not look like a "main" road, so it is easy to know what road to stay on. There is an area to park in, but as you are driving, it doesn't look like much. Anyways, the caves are cool and there is an old rusted car that looks like it has been used for target practice.

Devils Garden was also an awesome stop and great way to end the day. Any car can make the trip to this location...just don't make a right out the parking lot!

We had so much fun, we rented the 4x4 for a second day and continued to explore Devil Backbone, Burr Trail, Mully Switch backs, Notom-Bullfrog Road, Capital Reef, and the road at the top of the ridge between Boulder and Escalante.

I would strongly recommend renting a 4x4 from High Adventures and taking a trip out to The Hole-In-The-Rock. Very few people do it and its kind of a bucket list item!
I wonder if Joel ever got his wallet back?

1  Thank Laura L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 July 2017

This road is not too be taken lightly. I would not take a car on it and was glad we had an SUV. There is one spot that is very thick sand, so approach with care! We were told that the last 5 miles of it were very rocky and difficult driving, so we opted to not go all the way to Hole in the Rock.

Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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