Lake Powell Adventure 2006 – Day 3

Synopsis: Motor to Camp IV in Cottonwood Canyon, then motor across the lake and hike Hole-In-The-Rock. (Wednesday, November 22.)

We spent the morning motoring downstream to Cottonwood Canyon, where we would spend the next two nights. Erin and I, along with some other folks, packed up some lunch and headed to Hole-In-The-Rock to explore.


Map of our Hole-In-The-Rock hike. Note the really cool-looking slot off of Llewelyn Gulch; I would have liked to explore this, but it wasn’t obvious on the 100k map and we didn’t have time once we were heading towards it.

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Approaching Hole-In-The-Rock, the large crack in the center of the photo. In the winter of 1879-80, Mormon pioneers blasted a wagon road down this crack. It was so rough that it was only used once before being abandoned (more info).

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Fine place for a wagon road!

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Erin, Ginger, Karl, and Kathleen at the foot of Hole-In-The-Rock.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
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Looking down from partway up.

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Onward and upward.

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Kathleen, Martin, Karl, and Ginger climbing one of the tricky parts.

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One option was to crawl underneath giant boulders.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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Nearing the top.

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The final few steps. This photo was taken from a ledge near the top; the actual route emerges from below about where Ginger (in the blue shirt) is standing.

The rock wall above this ledge is overwhelmed with graffiti pecked into the rock, essentially all of it modern. The few instances of historic graffiti we found were damaged by nearby modern work.

Photo by Kathleen Gruetzmacher.
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Now, doesn’t this make you want to take a wagon right on down?

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Looking roughly southwest from a hill near the top of Hole-In-The-Rock. The Kaiparowitz Plateau is in the background. Note that my father (in the gathering at the end of the road) is taking a photo.

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Me taking the previous photo while Erin stands watch.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
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My dad and Karl at our lunch spot.

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The lake and Cottonwood Canyon opposite.

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Slickrock and sand dunes as we head toward Llewelyn Gulch.

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Ginger is having a problem.

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Our first goal.

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Another gorgeous panorama, this one looking back towards the lower Escalante region and Hole-In-The-Rock.

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Karl and Martin have conquered the high point.

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Hanging out below Karl’s high point; lowest to highest: Karl, Martin, Erin, my dad, Ginger.

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The top of these slickrock hills were covered with these curious basins, which were up to 20 or 30 feet deep.

Photo by Kathleen Gruetzmacher.
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Taking a rest stop. Karl is visible checking out a post on the skyline; it turned out to say, in worn letters: “Witness Post. Please do not disturb nearby Survey Marker.”

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Over the top and headed home. The Henry Mountains are visible on the horizon.

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Please continue reading on Day 5.

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