Scenic USA - Utah

Church Rock

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Church Rock - Monticello, Utah

Photos by Albert Yanowich Jr.
Albert Yanowich Photography
Church Ruins inset by Jason Dautel

     Without a doubt Utah has more grand landscapes and US Route 191 - Monticello, Utah scenic wonders than most states, and its southeastern corner is no exception. With majestic Colorado and Green river canyonlands nearby, this lone roadside oddity near Monticello, called Church Rock, seldom attracts no more than a spontaneous stop as visitors head toward Newspaper Rock and the Needles District.
     One of Utah's interesting pages of 1930s history tells about Church Rock, and how the gumdrop shaped rock earned its name. Seems Marie Ogden's Home of the Truth, a Utopian community, was responsible. With a small band of followers, Ogden's group moved onto a tract of barren land along Utah's Route 211 in 1933. Members, abiding by a strict code of conduct, were expected to work for the common goals of the settlement. Women tended to the domestic chores and men worked the arid farm acreage. Not far from their farm, the group set upon a grand plan to hollow out the entire center of a Church Ruins - Home of the Truth, Ogden, Utah sandstone dome (by hand) to build a church. Today, the only evidence of this ambitious plan is the beginnings of a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock. A few miles from Church Rock are the remnants of the Ogden ghost town. A few buildings and a small cemetery are all that remain of the Home of the Truth community, found on a ridge called Photograph Gap.

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