ElevationAscent: 188' 57 m
Descent: -1,768' -539 m
High: 5,922' 1,805 m
Low: 4,250' 1,295 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 76% (37°)
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“Canyonlands may be known more for its sweeping vistas, but the trails to the river come with the most reward.”— Caroline Cordsen
From here, a remarkable series of switchbacks unfold to navigate an ancient rockslide. Where headway seemed impossible at every turn, the route somehow threaded through the terrain with seamless ease. Leveling briefly on an exposed ledge perched alongside the mesa, the Buttes of the Cross slip into view. When seen from the northeast, the moniker manifests when together these two landmarks form a cross. One final descent brings you the final three-hundred feet to a wash on the canyon floor.
The trail then winds with the wash to its convergence with Holeman Spring Creek in the heart of Holeman Spring Basin. Following the dry bed of Holeman Spring Creek, the route ends at White Rim Road after a total of 5.2 miles.
Holeman Slot at the end of Holeman Spring Creek is an anomaly in Canyonlands National Park. The softer Navajo Sandstone most conducive to forming slot canyons can only be seen in higher altitudes of the park, but here, seasonal streams eat away at the White Rim Sandstone, causing the slot to form. Be careful—Holeman Slot may be easy to slip into, but it grows deeper with each step. Climbing out can be a challenge, especially when the rock is wet. A forty foot pour-off shortly before the water bars entry to the Green River.
As always, snakes and lizards call Canyonlands home, as well as rabbits. Though very rare, you may spot a mountain lion, or in the fall near waterways, a black bear snacking on prickly pear cacti or hackberry trees.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Canyonlands