Red Hole Draw

Round Trip Distance: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5627 - 5731 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Red Hole Draw
Fee: none
Attractions: scenic canyon, rock art

Red Hole Draw is located in Emery County, Utah about 15 miles east of Ferron. Among its assortment of rock art the scenic canyon has several interesting multi-colored pictographs including one that is found within Funk's Cave that is commonly known as the Rainbow Panel. While hiking within Red Hole Draw is both pleasant and easy getting there can be more of a challenge.

There are 3 directions from which to approach Red Hole Draw. All driving routes require a 4wd to get all the way to the wash. Two wheel drive vehicles can get within 3 miles via the Dutch Flat Road where a person could either start hiking or mountain biking the remaining 3 miles. For this post we came in from the south by turning off of the Moore Cutoff Road a few hundred feet east of mile marker 11.

None of our current maps show a name or number for this road. The road starts out a little powdery bet gets better for the next couple of miles until a high clearance 4wd becomes necessary. There are numerous shallow washes to slow down for where a person could get hung up depending on their off road driving skills. We suggest taking a shovel along in case you need to self rescue and dig yourself out. We were able to roll through all the dips with our Tundra in 4HI without every touching bottom. Be sure to leave all gates the way that you find them.

We pulled off to the side of the road at the 7.9 mile point from the highway and began hiking down a side wash toward Red Hole Draw. Doing so we were able to come across some nice pictographs for which we hadn't seen any photos. They are actually only a couple hundred yards from where we parked.

As you enter the shallow wash there is some ledgy slickrock right where the wash begins dropping into the canyon. On our hike in we stayed in the bottom of the wash, working our way around the brush, until we looked up and noticed the pictographs. On our return trip we climbed up to that level from the other direction to get a closer look. A good alternative would be to simply find your way over to the pictographs on the way into the canyon. After examining them you can continue on around the ledge and hike down a very sandy slope to get back into the canyon.

The panel is almost twice as long as the part shown in this photo but these  images are the center piece. Be careful not to touch them or do anything that would cause any more of the surface of the rock to peel away.

Once you get down into the main canyon you are very close to the rest of what it has to offer. Directly across the canyon is a wide fin of sandstone that juts out into the wash. The first site of interest is just out of the photo on the left. Everything else is on the opposite side of the sandstone cliff facing east.

As you climb up to the flat area next to the cliff you are met by a couple of featureless trapezoidal abstract images.

To the left of that is what we referred to as the yellow rainbow only because that made it easy to remember. Rainbows are a common image throughout the area with probably the best known being at the Rochester Rock Art site. That said, we aren't entirely sure what this image represents.

After leaving this site continue along the cliff to the east. As the trail rounds the bend there is a fence and a short distance past that there are some petroglyphs that are very easy to spot.

Down at the end of the same cliff, hiding behind some dirt and brush, you can just make out Funk's Cave.

Sheltered here away from the sun and elements are a number of images. To the left of the 2 prominent red ochre colored images is one that looks more orangish.

The most interesting image within Funk's Cave is probably the rainbow for which its artist drew upon his entire palette of colors. There are also a number of other faded pictographs that are mostly either red or white in color all along the back wall of the shallow cave.

Directly across from Funk's Cave is the area known as Red Hole. The multi-colored cliffs, much like the pictographs, are beautifully stunning. Just past the cliffs is an area of deep red colored rocks that are very reminiscent of Goblin Valley. A person can drive across Bellview Flats and approach Red Hole Draw from that direction and get within a mile or so before having to start walking. While you are out here in the boondocks wondering what it must have been like for those that called this primitive area home you can gaze in the direction of Interstate 70 some 20+ miles away where you will notice a cellphone tower.

Pretty much anywhere that you climb up to get an overview of Red Hole Draw from above is well rewarded for the effort.

We apparently walked right by the Quail Panel which we believe is somewhere between the petroglyphs and Funk's Cave. On our next trip we are going to approach from the Dutch Flat Road and probably on foot. The first part of that route doesn't look like anything that we want to take our truck up. If you do come in from the Moore Cutoff you might also want to include a stop at Broken Hearted Man, North Salt Wash and Sid and Charlie. You might end up with 'rock art overload' but that's a risk that most people don't mind taking. As far as Red Hole Draw goes, if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.