There’s Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota that pays tribute to one man’s vision of turning solid rock into the faces of U.S. presidents. And there’s Hole N” the Rock in Utah–one man’s vision to turn a rock into a home and a gift shop.
Not far south of Moab, Utah on U.S. 191, along gorgeous red rock cliffs that glow almost neon against the blue sky, you’ll see billboards that shout out statements like “Hole N” the Rock, Must See Attraction!!!” Curiosity builds. What is it? What is this “Hole N” the Rock? you might think. I know I did when the Hole N” the Rock came into view as my family and I tootled along the highway on our way to Montana from New Mexico on July 1. Because it was right off the highway, 12 miles south of Moab, it would have been an easy stop, however, we were there after closing.
I craned my neck to see what I could for future reference. Besides the obvious large white lettering on the side of the mountain that said “Hole N” The Rock,” inside the fence was a cacophony of statuary and hard to place items. It is difficult to see exactly what’s there when going 70 mph.
After reading up on this place, I’m thinking we missed out on a must see roadside attraction. Twice. TWICE. How could we have passed by it twice?
On our way back from Montana to New Mexico, with a side trip jaunt to Colorado in our plans, we sped past Hole N” The Rock after closing as well. Too bad. It seems like it might have more heart than Mount Rushmore–and I love Mount Rushmore.
Hole N” The Rock is not just a Hole N” The Rock. It’s a 14-room house and gift shop that was created as a roadside attraction from the 1940s through most of the 1950s by Albert Christensen. To make such an attraction, Albert carved out 50,000 feet of cubic sandstone.
Unfortunately, Albert died in 1957 before he totally finished his masterpiece that includes a carved face of Franklin D. Roosevelt above the home.
His wife Gladys kept Albert’s project going. Even though she died in 1974, the attraction continues to grow. A petting zoo was recently added.
Regardless of what you can buy in the gift shop, the tour of the home would be worth taking the time for, in my opinion. I’m always interested to see what passions people have to create such places. I can’t imagine one day Albert noticed that the sandstone was carvable and merely thought, “I have nothing else to do today. Maybe I’ll start making a house.”
If you are going to stop here for a look, timing is key. Hole N” The Rock closes at 5 p.m.–even in the summer. It is open all year. If you don’t have time to stop, still look for it. The place is in-your-face obvious.
Next time we are ever in the vicinity, we are stopping. I’m not letting the opportunity pass by one more time.
Guided tours of the house cost: Adults $5; Children, 5-10, $3.50; under 5, free.