Hole in the Rock day trip is a fascinating trip through time. It will include dinosaur tracks, a trip on the famous Hole in the Rock Rd and; of course, Devil's Garden!
The itinerary starts from the Stone Canyon Inn going east on RT. 12 to the town of Escalante, in the Grand Staircase.
You will be on some back-country dirt roads for this trip, but well worth the effort.
Head east on Highway 12 to the town of Escalante. Turn right at Center Street and continue 9.1 miles. At this point the road curves left and a small wash is adjacent to the road on the right. Park here.
Drop into the wash and walk a short distance upstream (no water) to the Covered Wagon Natural Bridge. The bridge is a 5 minute walk from the road. Return to your car and travel another 1.2 miles where a small, unmarked drive-through pullout is located on the right side of the road. Park here.
Using game trails or small washes, head in a southeasterly direction toward the large canyon ahead. Be sure to pay attention to landmarks so you can find your way back. Once you reach the rim of the canyon, head left and start looking for the arch off in the distance. It is located in the white sandstone on the same side of the canyon and below the level you will be walking on.
Retrace your steps back to your car. Continue on this road until you reach Hole in the Rock Road.
Turn right on Hole in the Rock Road and travel approximately 8 miles. There will be a small sign on the right for Devil’s Garden. We call Devil’s Garden an adult playground.
It has amazing formations and very vivid colors. You can walk all around and on top of the formations. There are picnic tables and restrooms at this spot.
Back on Hole in the Rock Road, continue another 2 miles.
Take the Collett Top Road to the right and travel about 2.4 miles. There will be a dirt road that takes off to the right toward a large rock hill. Follow that road and it will end at a sign where you can park to see the dinosaur tracks.
Scramble up this steep slick rock and walk to the right. You will see a place where you can scramble up another 6 foot ledge.
On top of this rock are over 250 dinosaur tracks. The best place to view them is to head straight back to the dirt and then turn right till you run into another ledge. There are very distinct 3 toed tracks in this area.
Back on Hole in the Rock Road, continue another 12 miles to the Dry Fork turnoff on the left. From the parking lot, follow the trail (cairns will mark the way) down slick rock into the Dry Fork Coyote Gulch. To the left there is a narrow opening in the canyon wall.
This is not a tight slot canyon and very easy to walk.
Back at the opening, go right and look for a slot canyon entering from the left. Peek-A-Boo is a hanging canyon with an oval-shaped opening topped by an arch. The opening is located about 12 feet up on the wall and is easy to walk past if you are not paying attention. Small hand and foot holds carved into the wall will help you climb up into the opening.
This is a beautiful, sculptured slot. It runs approximately .25 miles before ending in a wide, sandy wash. When you reach this point, turn around and retrace your steps through the slot to the main canyon.
Continue downstream in Dry Fork Coyote Gulch approximately .5 miles to the next drainage entering on your left.
Along the way, you will pass a large sand dune on your left. Spooky Gulch will enter soon after this landmark and will be a wide, sandy wash. Walk up the wash for about .25 miles. The wash will eventually funnel you right into the slot. Many will find themselves unable to negotiate the entire length of the .3 mile long slot due to its tight and constricted nature.
There is a difficult chock stone near the upper end of Spooky. Like Peek-A-Boo, Spooky ends in a wide sandy wash. Turn around at this point and return to the main canyon.
After Spooky, continue downstream in Dry Fork Coyote Gulch about .5 miles. You will pass through a section of narrows where a large chock stone is jammed between the canyon walls. It is difficult to negotiate this obstacle and once down it, many will find that they are unable to climb back up. (It is possible to exit the canyon just downstream and around the bend. Exit on the right side of the canyon along an old trail and then hike cross-country along the canyon rim to the parking area.)
Continue down canyon approximately .5 mile. The next big drainage coming in on the left is Brimstone Canyon. The canyon will be wide and sandy for about 1 mile before reaching the slot.
This slot is short and eventually impassable. Often deep pools are encountered. Caution! If you attempt to negotiate the upper portions of Brimstone Canyon, there are numerous pour offs that are very difficult to climb back up.
If you want an interesting but very long drive, continue another 34 miles down Hole in the Rock Road to where it ends at Lake Powell. This is where early pioneers took 83 wagons, 250 men, women and children and over 1000 head of livestock over a ledge and down a cliff to the Colorado River below.