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The entrance.

Hole N" The Rock

Field review by the editors.

Moab, Utah

Albert Christensen's home is in a neighborhood of its own -- the knobby, treeless void of southeastern Utah. Not content to be just another guy with a drill and a dream, he hand-carved his luxurious suite of rooms out of a natural cliff face in the 1940s. He called it Hole N" The Rock. It lies on US Highway 191, south of the natural thrills hub town of Moab -- seasonably overrun by hiker hordes, rock climbers, off-roaders, and rafters.

Stuffed Donkey.

Albert blasted and drilled for 12 years, then moved in with his wife Gladys in 1952. The couple operated a diner in the first room until 1955 (Albert's first heart attack). Albert died in 1957, but Gladys lived 17 more years, running a cafe and gift shop.

Today, the cliff is covered with huge painted white letters that scream out "Hole N" The Rock," letting passersby know there's something here that's wondrously unnatural. A Rushmore-like head of Franklin Roosevelt is carved into an alcove near the entrance.

Inside is a 5,000 square foot home with 14 rooms. Some are interesting simply because of the sheer rock-carving mania they required. A cavernous bathroom is referred to as "a toilet in a tomb."

FDR Head.

When not chipping out more closet space, Albert dabbled in taxidermy. Some of his projects, such as two stuffed horses and a donkey (beloved pet "Harry"), are displayed, along with his religious paintings. Not without her own pursuits, Gladys's doll collection is left untouched as a memorial.

When he died, Albert was starting work on a 100' staircase that would cut up to the top of the rock, where his wife would have arranged a rock garden. Mr. and Mrs. are both buried in an alcove a short walk from the entrance.

Elsewhere in Utah, Hole-in-the-something attractions thrive, no doubt inspired by Albert's work. There's that Gas Station-In-The-Rock in Hanksville. And let's not forget the Bed and Breakfast-in-the-Rock in the Canyonlands area, with rooms originally carved by a polygamist for each wife to live in, confided a scandalized cashier at Albert's place...

Erik and Wyndee Hansen purchased the "Rock" from Gladys' son, Hub Davis, in 2000. They've added a trading post, surrounded by an array of outdoor statuary for sale, a giant cactus made of bowling balls, and a 2-story outhouse. They intend to preserve the interior as is.


Also see: Dementia Concretia

Hole N" The Rock

11037 S. Hwy 191, Moab, UT
15 miles south of Moab on U.S. 191.
Daily 9-5. Gated after hours. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $7.
RA Rates:
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Families in Cave DwellingsFamilies in Cave Dwellings, La Sal Junction, UT - 11 mi.
Plumber GuyPlumber Guy, Moab, UT - 12 mi.
Lin Ottinger's Moab Rock ShopLin Ottinger's Moab Rock Shop, Moab, UT - 14 mi.
In the region:
Geyser Plugged By Rock-Throwers, Green River, UT - 53 mi.

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