Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Salvation Knoll is located right off Highway 95 within Bears Ears National Monument. A short (1/3 mile) but steep (200’ gain) hike takes visitors to the top of the knoll, offering superb views and a chance to follow in some historical footsteps.

On Christmas morning 1879, a party of four scouts climbed this small knoll and, from the top, were able to spot the Blue (Abajo) Mountains. These scouts were part of a larger group that received assignments from the Mormon Church to establish a settlement in the Four Corners region. These settlers blazed a wagon route from Escalante to what is now the Bluff area.

It took them six months on a route that became known as the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail. The winter that year was especially brutal. The scouts that climbed Salvation Knoll were sent ahead to search for a path between the Colorado River and Montezuma Fort. Their anticipated 8 day journey ended up taking 23 days. On Christmas Eve they cooked the last of their food and were running out of hope. Luckily the view from the top of the knoll the next morning provided them the chance to orient themselves and find their way to Fort Montezuma, thus saving their lives and the continuation of the settlement mission.

Today the knoll is a short hike just off the highway. Enjoy the fantastic views from the summit and be sure to read the informative plaques scattered along the trail that tell more of the story of these early settler’s six month journey.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass



Short hike. Stunning views. Historical significance.


Close to highway.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


Historically significant
Family friendly
Big vistas
Bird watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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