In 1776, the Dominguez-Escalante crossed through the Escalante Desert with the intentions to make it to California. They never made it to California, nor to the location of modern-day Escalante. It wasn’t until 1866 during the Black Hawk Indian War that Escalante was first discovered by Captain James Andrus. Escalante was originally known as “Potato Valley” since wild potatoes were found growing when the Utah militias arrived. In 1875 settlers from nearby Panguitch surveyed the area and city lots were then marked out. The first home was built in 1876, and many of the original houses made from local bricks are still in existence today.
Hole in the Rock Heritage Center
Have the history of the Mormons brought to life by being face to face with the relics and handcrafts of their expansion westward. Don’t forget to visit the actual Hole in the Rock crevice near Escalante in which the Mormons engineered to continue their quest west from the Colorado River to Lake Powell.
1300 UT-12, Escalante, UT 84726