Hole-in-the-Rock State Park?

Nick

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Please, no.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/4858083-155/lawmakers-hope-to-create-utah-state

But I can't help but enjoy the irony in these statements:

The perilous six-month journey over the winter of 1879-80 is a signature achievement of Mormon settlement in southeastern Utah. No lives were lost and two babies were born on the trip that was supposed to have taken only six weeks.
...
"I hope they would be receptive to improving and making the land more accessible, especially given the notion that it is a historical landmark," Stratton said. "There is frustration in the past because of a lack of resources."

Because driving a stock 4WD vehicle down a long, mostly graded dirt road is like hard and stuff. There isn't even a gas station or restaurant out there!
 

Dave

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Sounds like a preliminary step toward paving HITRR.
 

WasatchWill

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All the more reason to keep it dirt. Lets you see it a bit more how the pioneers saw it. If they ever pave that thing, it will ensure that places like Coyote Gulch and likely some other washes and gulches down there will receive trailhead permit caps, and likely at a cost. I'm quite surprised Coyote doesn't already have that.
 

Jackson

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I have yet to make the drive down that road, but I'd really like for it not to be paved when I do.

They should keep it as close to historic as currently possible and leave it how it is. No need for a state park with wide hiking paths and tons of signs explaining it all. Read a book about it and get out there!
 

slc_dan

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Please no.

Anyone been to Kodachrome state park? How about Snow Canyon? It's like Diet Wilderness. All the comforts of home, without any of that pesky hardship. Plenty of FULL HOOKUP RV camping! No need for looking at those maps, every 5 foot cut trail has nice BIG SIGNS in front of everything worth noting! At Snow, you can even take a WARM SHOWER! Don't forget overgrazing in front some of the most prominent features! The Cow shit adds to the ambience!

When choosing land managers, I'll take the Feds over State ANYTIME.
 

WasatchWill

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I have yet to make the drive down that road, but I'd really like for it not to be paved when I do.

They should keep it as close to historic as currently possible and leave it how it is. No need for a state park with wide hiking paths and tons of signs explaining it all. Read a book about it and get out there!

Seriously! As Nick said, if it's plenty accessible with an average 4WD/AWD vehicle, there is no need to develop it any more. They've already got a historical marker sign out there from pics I've seen. Beyond that, I think there's much more value in leaving it in much the same condition that the pioneers left it. If I was leading a youth trek out that way for pioneer heritage sake, I'd think it'd be a much more enriching experience to be able to connect with the area as the pioneers found it (minus the road they blasted and Lake Powell down below) and the circumstances the pioneers had to encounter. As Nick also said, it's ironic that they want to develop it into a state park with all the facilities and what not that go with it. I always thought pioneer treks were about exposing youth to a bit of the sacrifices and hardships that the pioneers dealt with, not make things as easy and convenient for them as possible. More youth would probably benefit from breaks away from such luxuries and conveniences.

And if it's largely about the group size limits, there are supposed to be some special permits that can be acquired for such occasions with stipulations that the leaders of such treks are well educated and committed to ensuring their group practices LNT. Let's not even touch on the irony or hypocrisy of how state parks are good for tourism and the economy but national monuments and the like are not good for the state.
 

Nick

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Please no.

Anyone been to Kodachrome state park? How about Snow Canyon? It's like Diet Wilderness. All the comforts of home, without any of that pesky hardship. Plenty of FULL HOOKUP RV camping! No need for looking at those maps, every 5 foot cut trail has nice BIG SIGNS in front of everything worth noting! At Snow, you can even take a WARM SHOWER! Don't forget overgrazing in front some of the most prominent features! The Cow shit adds to the ambience!

When choosing land managers, I'll take the Feds over State ANYTIME.

So true. We have some good land in state parks, but when you compare the user experience of state parks to federally run lands, it's such a joke. I predict a pay booth about a half mile from the end of the road that is rarely, if ever staffed. You pull up there after a long drive down Hole-in-the-Rock and there's a self-serve kiosk telling you to put exactly $12 in cash in the envelope. Exact change only and no credit cards. Sporadically monitored by law enforcement to bust all the people who didn't think to pack their $12. Welp, back to Escalante to hit the ATM and break a $20! Sounds about like Goblin Valley, Goosenecks, etc. to me. At least the NPS usually waives fees if they aren't willing to staff the fee stations. You can sure tell our state parks and liquor stores are run by the same folks...
 

Nanda

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I avoid state parks like plague. I just don't feel like the fee is worth it or the yearly pass. I already have NPS pass and have enough places to go throughout the year. Would love fish in scofield(nope, state park), check out goblin valley(was there in surroundings new year, didn't even bother), dead horse state park(again, drove the shafer/potash road but didn't pay to check out the park). One time I did fork out that $10 was for my parents to check out antelope island last year.
 

WasatchWill

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Please no.

Anyone been to Kodachrome state park? How about Snow Canyon? It's like Diet Wilderness. All the comforts of home, without any of that pesky hardship. Plenty of FULL HOOKUP RV camping! No need for looking at those maps, every 5 foot cut trail has nice BIG SIGNS in front of everything worth noting! At Snow, you can even take a WARM SHOWER! Don't forget overgrazing in front some of the most prominent features! The Cow shit adds to the ambience!

When choosing land managers, I'll take the Feds over State ANYTIME.

"Diet Wilderness" - :twothumbs:

That's a term I'm going to have to adopt. Great way of putting it! That said, I wasn't too appalled by the nice facilities, including the warm showers, at Goblin Valley SP when I took my family out there a few years ago, nor those at Dead Horse State Park and elsewhere at state parks already established. I think they can be enjoyable in their own right and a lot of people do enjoy them as they are. Those who are more elderly, handicapped or disabled in some way that makes them unable to venture much out into the backcountry probably benefit from such state parks, as well as national park facilities the most. Fortunately, with all those facilities, especially in state parks, they're usually all confined to a pretty small area.

Perhaps more importantly though, with most of the state parks we already have, they're usually not far off from main highways already running through frontcountry zones. Dead Horse Point might be the lone exception. My beef with an HIR SP wouldn't just be that a paved road that would lead to it would also fill the gulches and washes along the way with many more crowds because of the quicker and easier access, but it would be considerably far away from any main highway and would absolutely disrupt what's largely still primitive backcountry down there.

As for the cows, that's another mind-boggling matter. Such rugged deserts are no place for cattle. Keep them in the valley fields, prairies, and grasslands. We humans are expected to avoid stepping cryptobiotic soil, and rightly so, but cattle have free range on so much of it outside of the national parks.:facepalm:
 

WasatchWill

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So true. We have some good land in state parks, but when you compare the user experience of state parks to federally run lands, it's such a joke. I predict a pay booth about a half mile from the end of the road that is rarely, if ever staffed. You pull up there after a long drive down Hole-in-the-Rock and there's a self-serve kiosk telling you to put exactly $12 in cash in the envelope. Exact change only and no credit cards. Sporadically monitored by law enforcement to bust all the people who didn't think to pack their $12. Welp, back to Escalante to hit the ATM and break a $20! Sounds about like Goblin Valley, Goosenecks, etc. to me. At least the NPS usually waives fees if they aren't willing to staff the fee stations. You can sure tell our state parks and liquor stores are run by the same folks...

This is why I throw a checkbook into my stuff if heading out to such places. One of the only situations I still write checks for. For a time, and maybe the program is still active, you could check out a state park pass from your local library if you were a Utah resident.
 

Dan_85

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Jul 25, 2013
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I really hope I'm wrong but it seems the paving of HIRR is just a matter of time :( Always being in rentals I've never made it all the way to the end but I've enjoyed great hikes, nice solitude off that road and a couple of dicey trips down there in wet weather. Can you imagine an endless train of enormous RVs snaking their way down there? Why the need for wilderness to always be made "accessible"? Make people work for it dammit.

Also, lol @ that article citing "a current lack of camping facilities" :roflmao: Really?! That's some of the best camping in the country down there...
 

WasatchWill

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Why the need for wilderness to always be made "accessible"? Make people work for it dammit.

Also, lol @ that article citing "a current lack of camping facilities" :roflmao: Really?! That's some of the best camping in the country down there...

Agreed. It's almost always more rewarding when you have to work a little for it. And some people just aren't willing to lug along a luggable loo, if they even know what one is, much less a wag bag.

I have to say that as a Mormon, I know that the terms of self-reliance and work are thrown around a lot in our culture and we are encouraged to work and strive to get to a point where we're not so reliant on others for basic necessities in life. Knowing that much of Utah's legislature is largely a product of that culture, I find it all the more ironic that a majority of said legislature are now wanting to make it easier for people to be lazier by providing so called resources and facilities in an area for people that don't really need them in that area, all in the name of convenience.

In my view, to be self-reliant down in such a landscape as GSENM is to bring your own "hook-ups" & "facilities" (e.g. luggable loo, wag bags, battery packs, solar chargers, etc), enjoy the natural and undeveloped beauty of the area, and then leave no trace. We are fortunate to live in an age where industry has provided the means to take along one's own "facilities" as it were and thus enable one to be much more self-reliant. It's situations like this, among others, where it's easy to understand why many are quick to judge Mormons as being hypocritical in the actions they take verses the philosophies espoused. Just know that there really are some of us who strive to be more consistent with our philosophies and teachings including verses in our scripture that encourage conservation and good stewardship of land, resources, and so on...and to be more hospitable to our neighbors (such as easing up on some of the more bizarre liquor laws). A few of us even frequent this forum because of our shared passion for the outdoors with everyone else here.

Sorry if I got off on a tangent there. It just irks me when fellow members of the faith that I hold dear (it has only deepened the reverence, appreciation, love, and passion I already had for the beauty of nature and the wild wilderness), go on and get into government and then go off and pursue courses of action that seem to run contrary to the values of the faith I've been taught and treasured. And unfortunately, there seems to be an awful lot of that going on in Utah government at the moment. This explains why I've been so much more vocal on this thread.

Edited to add one more paragraph...

If they want a state park so bad, I'd much rather see a patch of land on the edge of the town of Escalante opposite of Petrified Wood, near the turn off for HITR, developed into a state park complete with campground and all the desired facilities. Its visitor center could feature a scaled down replica of the HIR crossing and could tell the story of the trek and its impact in the state's history with a capper that emphasizes the abundant beauty, archeological artifacts, paleontological remains, and recreational opportunities that can now be enjoyed across that landscape those pioneers endeavored to cross through, as it already is! Then Escalante could boast of having two easy to access state parks. Would that not provide an equal or better boost to the local economy?

I think I'm done now. :)
 
Last edited:

Brendan S

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Mar 19, 2016
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In related news, plans for a push to reduce GSENM:
http://www.sltrib.com/home/4859353-155/utah-house-republicans-push-to-eliminate

"We want to downsize some of its boundaries — protect those areas that people visit, and downsize the rest," said Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who led a discussion of those plans Tuesday in the House Republican Caucus.

"There's a whole lot of just plain old sagebrush roped into these monuments," he said

 

Scott Chandler

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If they want a state park so bad, I'd much rather see a patch of land on the edge of the town of Escalante opposite of Petrified Wood, near the turn off for HITR, developed into a state park complete with campground and all the desired facilities. Its visitor center could feature a scaled down replica of the HIR crossing and could tell the story of the trek and its impact in the state's history with a capper that emphasizes the abundant beauty, archeological artifacts, paleontological remains, and recreational opportunities that can now be enjoyed across that landscape those pioneers endeavored to cross through, as it already is! Then Escalante could boast of having two easy to access state parks. Would that not provide an equal or better boost to the local economy?

Do not quote me on this, as it has been a while and this was super preliminary, but I have a memory in my head that this was the original idea. Could be remembering wrong.
 

Wyatt Carson

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Apr 15, 2015
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We've been down Hole in the Rock many times. I could not imagine t-shirt shops and fast food on that desolate stretch of wonderful dirt road. Even old Everett would be shocked at that idea! Keep it wild.
 
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