Scenic USA - Utah
Dance Hall Rock
|Photo by Cecil Whitt
Wilderness Spirit Photography
Hole in the Rock inset by Ron McEwen
Few places in the world match Utah's striking landscapes and dramatic canyonlands. Sculpted by windblown sand and powerful water currents, many of these spectacular cathedral-like domes, soaring cliff walls and slickrock mountains are on display in the immense Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument.
A land thoroughly explored by mid 19th century Mormons, the Hole-in-the-Rock Road is one of the most popular back-country routes in the national monument today. Still a challenging drive, this 62 mile route lead Mormon pioneers from the town of Escalante through the Hole-in-the-Rock (a narrow crevice, the only breach in the sheer cliff-face, used to lower their wagons down to the river), then ferried their wagons across the Colorado River and up Cottonwood Canyon to the town of Bluff.
About 42 miles south of Escalante, back-country travelers will find Dance Hall Rock. This large sandstone amphitheater made a wonderful campsite for weary pioneers. Accompanied by the music of violins, Mormons entertained themselves and danced away their worries.
On a cautionary note, this road is not routinely patrolled by any agency. Hole-in-the-Rock Road travelers are warned that the road may become impassable during heavy storms, even when using a four wheel drive vehicle. The Hole-in-the-Rock Road ends at the drop-off into modern day Lake Powell.
Nearby Points of Interest
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