History of Hole in the Rock, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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For six weeks, the men labored on a wagon road down the sandstone cliffs to the Colorado River. Built by chiseling and blasting a path through a steep crevice named the Hole-in-the-Rock, their road stands today as a testament of pioneer ingenuity and determination. Construction consisted of cutting away a 40-foot drop-off at the top of the crevice, moving huge boulders, leveling high spots, filling depressions, and widening crevice walls. To avoid the steep grades near the bottom of the Hole-in-the-Rock, the pioneers tacked their road onto the face of the north wall of the crevice. The tacked-on road was supported by oak stakes secured into holes drilled into the crevice wall at two-foot intervals.

After driving the wagons through the Hole-in-the-Rock and ferrying across the 300-foot-wide river, the emigrants proceeded east out of the river gorge. On 6 April 1880, after another ten weeks of grueling labor in harsh winter conditions, the missionaries reached a sandy bottomland along the banks of the San Juan River where they established Bluff City.

The hundred miles of road built after descending the Hole-in-the-Rock crossed some of the most rugged terrain in North America. Deep ravines and washes were crossed, trails down thousand-foot drop-offs blasted, deserts traversed, paths through thick cedar forests cut, and steep cliffs ascended. Many grades required seven spans of horses to pull the heavily laden wagons, and the worst stretches could be identified by the blood and matted hair from the forelegs of the struggling teams.


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