Touring U.S. Highway 191 on your way to or from Arches and Canyonlands National parks near Moab, Utah, is a treat to the senses. You drive down a corridor lined with implacable red rock walls painted with streaks of desert varnish. Ancient cottonwoods grow in the valley washes and the fragrance of pine and sagebrush float through the air.
In the mist of this wonder is another kind of miracle: A 5000 square foot home blasted and carved out of solid Entrada sandstone. Inside the home, built by Albert and Gladys Christensen are 14 rooms arranged around huge pillars. This is cave living at it’s finest! A fireplace with a 65 foot chimney drilled through solid sandstone, carpeted floors, and a deep bathtub built into the rock delight visitors to this unusual desert home. Period antiques, a doll collection, Albert’s art, Gladys lapidary and the couple’s pet donkey remain in the house as it was after Gladys’ death in 1974.
A labor of love, Albert and his brothers excavated 50,000 cubic feet of sandstone from the rock over a 12 year period. They originally opened as the Hole N’ The Rock Diner during the uranium boom, the home’s kitchen is a study of colors and form of the 1950’s. After Albert’s death in 1957, Gladys continued to develop the property into the unusual attraction it is today. Guided tours of the home are available year round, 7 days a week.
This fabulous monument to the Western spirit was sold by the family in June 2000. The new owners have revitalized the home and the grounds making it a fun-filled stop for people traveling through Southeastern Utah. A Trading Post offers authentic Native American arts and crafts as well as Western Americana gift items. Immaculate restrooms adjoin the store. Road weary travelers will enjoy the pools, fountains and cactus gardens.
In the last several years, there has been another new store added. The General Store is a unique gift shop to say the least! It is filled with memorabilia gift items including a wide selection of Elvis, John Wayne and Betty Boop, just to name a few! You may also get a hand dipped ice cream cone to enjoy as you stroll the grounds that are covered in old-time antiques such as old gas pumps in mint condition, ore cars and a two-story outhouse. Unruly visitors may find themselves locked up in an authentic 1800’s jail cell complete with a commode and a ball with chain.
The newest attraction that has been added, is the petting zoo. Parent and children alike will enjoy feeding the animals. We have wallabies, ostriches, emus, and numerous miniatures such as a donkey, horse and pot belly pigs and more.
Hole N’ The Rock was featured in AAA’s Via Magazine as one of the top 7 tourist attraction’s in the Western States along side of Fisherman’s Wharf and The Winchester House in California. ~BS television filmed a documentary this year about the Hole N’ The Rock which is slated to be aired in January 2007.
The Hole N' The Rock was also featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine in March 2005, along with the town of Moab in ZIP USA.
It’s not an exaggeration to say you will never see anything like this anywhere else on Earth! Hole N’ The Rock ranks high in America’s uncommon roadside attractions! Come visit one of Southeastern Utah’s oldest Landmarks!
Hole N' The Rock is located 12 miles south of Moab on Highway 191. OPEN ALL YEAR. They can be reached by phone at 435-686-2250. Tell them you read about it in Moab Happenings!