Hole N'' the Rock
Because road trips occasionally call for a roadside attraction filled with bizarre curios, incongruous collections of artifacts, and strange human creations, there are places like Hole N” The Rock. This destination, which is located 12 miles south of Moab on Highway 191, is many things in one: exotic petting zoo, museum of desert paraphernalia, souvenir shop, trading post, general store, and conglomeration of all manner of statues, signs, doo-dads, and rock carvings. You can’t miss it when you are driving by, with the words Hole N” the Rock painted in large white letters on the rock the shop lives in.
The heart of Hole N” The Rock is a historic 5,000-square foot home that is carved into an enormous red rock fin on the side of the road. The home comes with a rich history—it began as a small alcove for the sons of Albert and Gladys Christensen, and over the years morphed into a marvel of human ingenuity and engineering as Albert excavated an astounding 50,000 cubic feet of standstone from the formation. The rock home comes complete with a fireplace, 14 rooms built around large pillars, and even a bathtub cut into the rock. It is also has antique furniture, a doll collection, and light fixtures. You can take tours and check this architectural feat out for yourself.
Albert didn’t just stop with the house; he painted a tableau called “Sermon on the Mount” and carved a bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the rock wall above the home. After he died in 1957, Gladys continued to keep his dreams alive by developing the property into much more than the simple homestead it started out as —s he turned it into a fantastical roadside attraction that has been visited by millions of people.
And that’s just the beginning of this fascinating destination. You can also visit Hole N” The Rock’s exotic zoo that shelters animals like Cramer, the two-humped camel, Zandra the zebra, Wyndell the Vietnamese pot belly pig, and an assortment of emus, pigmy goats, mini horses and donkeys, wallabies, alpacas, peacocks, sheep, and even a pair of albino raccoons named Bucky and Noel.
What else could you possibly find here? Well, Southwestern curios, a penny stretcher, antique signs, ice cream, and a giant cactus made of bowling balls to name a few. There’s an old cage for jailing criminals, and an aerial tram strung up over the grounds. Antique vehicles, and statues of jeeps and bulls made out of tools are also scattered about.
The animals, ice cream, and curiosities make Hole N” The Rock an obvious stop for families with children, but you don’t have to be under 10 to appreciate it. The union of history, nostalgia, human ingenuity, and sheer bizarreness make it worth the visit for people of all ages. After all, when was the last time you fed a camel?
Hole N” the Rock is open year-round from 8am-6pm, except for Christmas. It costs $6 for adult tours, $3.50 for children 5-10, and it’s free for children under five. Group rates are available.