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Hole in the Rock in Southeastern Utah, a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail.
There are 5 videos of this adventure on my youtube channel.

This trail is listed on the National Register of Historic places. The trail follows the path the Mormon's carved out in the 1800’s,a silent monument to the faith and tenacity of those first Mormon pioneers. Don’t confused it with Hole in the Rock Road. The trail is rated a 4 to 6 out of 10. It is a long exhausting trail. There are times when you aren’t sure where you are to go as the trail is not marked very well or in some place not at all. You should defiantly have a GPS map. The beauty is unmatched anywhere in the US and you will want to be able to soak in the vast beauty. Give yourself plenty of time on the trail. I would say at at least 2 night on the trail and 3 days at a minimum.

I have heard some folks have pushed and done it in 12 hours, but that is during times where the days are longer. I am sure they knew the trail and didn't get out to enjoy the amazing views. The trail is a one-way in and one way out. It is a long intense trail where you need to be on you’re a game. There are points where you are traversing up and down the slick rocks and are unsure of where to go. There were several times we got out to scout the terrain to find the right path. It is very easy to get off the trail as the tracks and trail markers are not visible sometimes not even there

Unfortunately, we did not make it all the way to the end. We still had 1.7 miles left and decided to turn around. That 1.7 miles probably would have taken at least 2 hours there then 2 hours back. We were on a time crunch plus we didn’t want to change it with the gas. Bring extra gas!!! I am pretty sure we would have made it on the gas since we trailered our Jeeps into the trail but we didn’t want to chance it as the area is one of the most remote places in the country. We camped our first night at the trail head, one night on the trail and a second night at the trailhead again. We went in October so the day light was limited.

There is a really cool camp spot as it opened up into a cool cavern. We spent the night in this cavern with a coyote as we heard him drinking water from some pools of water. This is right after poopie pants hill. A very scary obstacle near Grey Mesa that if you are a millimeter off you go careening down a cavern.
Near the end of the trail where you are to turn around and head back are a lot of rock formations you need to traverse and vertical rock faces. There is also the Chute which looks kind of like Hells Gate. Getting down into the chute can be tough but the chute is not that bad. It just looks intimidating.


A Jeep Momma tip

Make sure all the roads are open heading to the trail before you head out. There was a washout on Utah 95 heading to the trail so we were detoured. We ended up on some sketchy unknown gravel road with steep climbs and turns with our Jeeps on trailers. Then on the way out the detour directed us to Mexican Hat Utah. Little did we know we were on Utah’s Scariest Road. HOLY MOLY. It is called Moki Dugway. “Dugway” is a term used to describe a roadway carved from a hillside. The Moki Dugway Scenic Backway is a stretch of Highway 261 in Utah where the blacktop turns into a dirt road Utah has several white-knuckle roads, but Moki Dugway probably qualifies as the scariest. The three-mile-long switchback road is carved right into the side of the mountain. The gravel road is steep at an 11% grade with hairpin turns…and no guardrail down the side of a cliff. However, if you dare to drive this road, you’ll see some absolutely gorgeous views.

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Mormon History

The Mormon expedition to colonize the San Juan area in Southeastern Utah is a feat unparalleled in American colonization. The uncompromising determination of these settlers cant truly be understood unless you have seen this terrain in person. The two days spent on this trail in a Jeep was exhausting I can’t even imagine the strength and fortitude it took for these pioneers to keep forging forward.

Hole in the Rock Trail all In all, the trek took six months. Food supplies depleted, and teams worn to the point of exhaustion. Three babies were born en route and, miraculously, no one had died. The pioneers toiled under the most trying of circumstances in a harsh land.

Finally the precarious road was completed, and on January 26, 1880, about forty wagons were taken through the Hole-in-the Rock. Elizabeth Morris Decker, in a letter to her parents, wrote a vivid account of the descent to the river: “If you ever come this way it will scare you to death to look down it. It is about a mile from the top down to the river and it is almost straight down, the cliffs on each side are five hundred ft. high and there is just room enough for a wagon to go down. It nearly scared me to death. The first wagon I saw go down they put the brake on and rough locked the hind wheels and had a big rope fastened to the wagon and about ten men holding back on it and then they went down like they would smash everything. I’ll never forget that day. When we was walking down Willie looked back and cried and asked me how we would get back home.”

Even with the Hole-in-the-Rock behind them the colonizers still faced many miles of rugged terrain–primarily solid slickrock and mountains cut by deep gulches—before reaching their destination. Decker described it as “…the roughest country you or anybody else ever seen; its nothing in the world but rocks and holes, hills and hollows. The mountains are just one solid rock as smooth as an apple.”
 
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