Thought I'd share this trail since not many people run it.
Hole in the Rock Trail, 30 miles one way, not a loop.
So my buddy Alan and I decided to try a new (to us) trail "near" Moab that I’d read briefly about called Hole in The Rock. We had quite the adventure and racked up a huge amount of time in the heeps over 4 days, some cliff notes:
1). Its way far south of Moab, like a 3 hours south near Lake Powell and really remote. Nearest town with a very small NAPPA is 80 miles away. Not a very good place to break anything, and its good we didn’t.
2). Print a trail map before you leave, even consider at least reading something about the trail first. It would be really hard to route find even with a GPS track, it’s so remote there were no tire tracks, we saw 2 ATVs the entire time on the trail.
3). It’s a long trail, 30 miles in and 30 miles out. I’ll explain later how we made the 30 miles in closer to 60 miles (see 2 above) Seriously it's a long trail, out of the 30 miles one way about 15 are 20 MPH dirt roads and the rest is 5 MPH and a lot of sections you crawl at < 1 MPH. On the return leg we did it non stop and it took over 6 hours. I mean non stop, we spotted once or twice and stopped to take a leak a couple times.
4). Total seat time, 6 hours to Moab, 9.5 hours road/trail day one, 14 hours trail/road the following day, 6 hours back home from Moab.
Not many pics, no wife unit with me this time out.
Camping at my buddy’s house in Moab Monday night was pleasant, as you can tell from the pic I took about 30 miles south of Moab near Monticello.
Traffic down there is a pain, plan ahead for rush hour
OK, so we head to a small town called Hall’s Crossing, really a resort place with a ferry on Lake Powell. It had a convenience store, that was closed but the gas pumps worked, well one gave a network error.
Alan’s said “I hoped they were open and had a map, I forgot to print one, but you have one, right?” Blank stares all round.. Duhhhh.... Well what can go wrong, we saw a sign for the trail on the way in so we took off
This old truck near the start of the trail became somewhat significant because Alan remembered seeing a pic of it on a web site. We at least new we were on the right trail, cool, we are all set, just follow the tracks and we are good, right?
Well long story short we follow a dirt road for miles, get to the end and find a trail. Figure this must be the Hole in The Rock trail and follow it, for miles and miles. Eventually it dead ended at an overlook… With a 1000 foot drop... oops.. We have decided to name it “Bring a map Idiots Point", it was pretty but probably not worth the 4 hours wasted.
So back to point 2 in the first post.
So at this point we are WTF, we know we were at one point on the right trail because of the truck and we had stopped and checked all the side trails on the way for HITR signs. At this point we realize we actually had cell service, probably because we were in the Lake Powell recreation area. We also had data, weird though, instead of Edge or 3G it showed a little circle on our iPhones, we are both sure we are going to end up with some humongous 3rd party data bill
Anyhow, we google and the first link brings up a semi decent description of the trail with pics and most importantly a topo PDF with the trail on it. Then we lost data before about half the pics came in, specifically the ones showing what was after the old truck. But the PDF had decimal lat/lng markings on the sides. Bingo, we sorta had an idea where we were in relation to the right trail, we were miles off.
Fast forwards about 2 hours we think we are finally on the trail line on the PDF at a side trail. After a mile and a few checks of the coordinates we were pretty sure we were on the right trail now.
After a couple miles or so of sand and slick rock sections (all 5 MPH type stuff because it was bumpy or ledgy) we hit something like Poison Spyder Mesa type slick rock, nothing too hard but you need to be careful given the remoteness.
The first of the many slick rock sections was a mile or so long, the trail markings were not bad, white paint but there is absolutely no tire tracks on the climbs so we had to get out and look for the trail a lot.
After the slickrock the trail kinda gets flat for a long ways and then starts winding through some big dome type rock formations, pretty cool but not may pics.
At this point it was 6:30 and we were ready to call it a night. Brats and a nice camp fire and lots of beer in the middle of nowhere.
After it was dark and we went looking for firewood we found this ledge very close to where we were camping (pic taken in the AM). Anyhow we must of been tired because we drove down it the night before and all I remember thinking is darn, that dropped off fast
First thing in the morning, before I’d even got 1/4cup of coffee in me the trail got (for me) nasty. Alan loves tippy ledge **** but it was probably the most dangerous section of the trail. The trail climbed up the side of a dome as a shelf road but at the same time the narrow trail had a ton of ledges. After dropping down we gained even more elevation climbing up the Grey Mesa on something as bad (for me). Honestly it scared the crap out of me both ways and I was not in picture mode, I got a couple of pics of the start and end.
There was a brief section of slick rock at the top and we got lost for the second time. Somehow we drove up the wrong fin and found this mellow dirt road. The directions we had said follow Gray Mesa an easy dirt road for several miles, our dirt road was only one mile long. Backtrack X2
Pano shot of the real Grey Mesa mesa
Nice view of a tributary of Lake Powell up there too. It really was several miles of a flat dirt road, 5 or so I think.
After dropping back down off the mesa you go over a couple of small ledges and there’s a side trail (for once we kept on the right bloody trail) and then another mile of dirt roads before you get to “the Chute”.
The chute is kinda like a slightly less steep version of Hell’s Gate on Hell’s Revenge but with a narrow section at the bottom and a nice ledge at the top.
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