"Batty Pass Caves"
September 2012, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah
The Batty Pass Caves offer a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Grand Staircase. The caves are located about 25 miles from Escalante and can be accessed by driving south 20 miles on Hole-in-the Rock Road. The road is dirt but can be driven in a passenger car with ease. Impending thunderstorms forced me to abandon my hikes in nearby slot canyons, so I went to plan B and headed for Batty Pass.
The "caves" were created in the 1950's by two brothers, Bill and Cliff Lichtenhahn. The brothers lived in Colorado but decided to move to southern Utah to get in on the area's uranium boom. Uranium was a hot commodity in the 50's since it was a key ingredient in the manufacture of atomic bombs. The area from Moab to Escalante had some of the richest deposits to be found anywhere in the United States. The brothers never hit it big in their prospecting, but they had fallen in love with the area and decided to stay.
Rather than settling in Escalante, the brothers chose to seek solitude and live in the desert southeast of town. They found a suitable sandstone hill and proceeded to blast out three separate chambers. The main chamber served as the living quarters, and the other 2 rooms were used for storage and a workshop. The remains of a boat which was intended for use on nearby Lake Powell still lie in the storage room. The boat never did see water. Shown here is the entrance to the living quarters.
Batty Pass CavesCaveDesertGrand Staircase Escalante National MonumentHole in the Rock RoadStorm CloudsStormy SkyUtah