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In 1879, 230 settlers in southwestern Utah heeded the call from leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to pull up stakes and move to the distant San Juan country of southeastern Utah. Their year-long journey became one of the most extraordinary wagon trips ever undertaken in North America, their trail one of peril, difficulty, and spectacular vistas. Beginning in Cedar City, Utah, this trail crosses today’s Dixie National Forest, skirts Bryce Canyon National Park, bisects the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, crosses the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and comes close to Natural Bridges National Monument on its way to Bluff, Utah.  (Source:  Stewart Aitchison, Hole in the Rock Trail)

The portion of this incredible journey which dropped from the 50 Mile Mountain Plateau to the Colorado River below has become known as the Hole in the Rock Trail or Crossing and is an incredible testament to the determination of these Mormon settlers and the unshakable faith in their mission.  No road or trail existed when they arrived, and every foot of the path to the bottom had to be built in what seemed like an impossible canyon. While the descent to the bottom was only abut 650 feet, it was the terrain through which they built this trail that made the journey so spectacular.

Information plaque near the bottom of the trail

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View from the plateau to what is now Lake Powell

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Remnants of the trail

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View to top of trail

Click here for the full trip report .


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