Hotel Rock

Scout Route
5/5 (1 reviews)

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Hotel Rock, the most technically difficult trail in the Arch Canyon area of Bears Ears National Monument, is one of the few Jeep Safari trails not near Moab. It climbs steeply from the bottom of Comb Wash to the top of Little Baullie Mesa, roughly following the northeastern rim of Arch Canyon. The main trail ends at the eponymous Hotel Rock, at the site of a small but interesting Ancestral Puebloan ruin. While it is typically run as an out-and-back during Easter Jeep Safari, the trail continues if you turn right shortly before reaching Hotel Rock, where the road climbs further up Little Baullie Mesa to Milk Ranch Point in the Manti-La Sal National Forest and ultimately connects to Elk Mountain Road.

From the very beginning, the Hotel Rock trail offers almost constant challenges in the form of steep, off-camber slickrock climbs and descents over large ledges and humps. Red Rock 4 Wheelers rates it a 5. A modified rig and careful line selection are necessary to complete the trail, and there are places where a careless move could result in a rollover. The scenery is spectacular, with stunning views of Comb Ridge and viewpoints on the rim of Arch Canyon. Near the end, the terrain smooths out, and the last couple miles follow a mild dirt track leading across the mesa top to Hotel Rock.

The Hotel Rock Ruin is a fascinating specimen of Ancestral Puebloan / Anasazi architecture, and one of the few ruins in the region accessible without a lengthy hike. Be careful to respect this cultural site by looking and not touching, and do not enter any of the rooms. Most of the trail is unsuitable for camping. However, there are numerous campsites near the beginning of the trail at the mouth of Arch Canyon, and it looks like people sometimes camp at the end of the trail by Hotel Rock.