West Desert Sinkhole |

House Range

Roadside Attraction West Desert Sinkhole - House Range Roadside Attraction West Desert Sinkhole
House Range

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction
LENGTH: 1+ hours

Sat

75 | 59

Sun

63 | 48

Mon

58 | 39

Tue

63 | 40

Wed

73 | 44

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any, hot in summers.
WATER: None

Sat

75 | 59

Sun

63 | 48

Mon

58 | 39

Tue

63 | 40

Wed

73 | 44

View Full Weather Details
The immense sinkhole!

The immense sinkhole!

West of the House Range, in unassuming flats, is an enormous sinkhole! The sinkhole, about 25 m in diameter and likely over 25 m deep, is a sight to behold. Legend has it that a local, Joseph Nielson, first noted the sinkhole in 1927. Likely water underground eroded a solution pocket, which caused the sinkhole. The House Range, just to the west, is partially made up of limestone, which is very prone to eroding caves and solution pockets from ground water.

Today, a barbed wire fence surrounds the sinkhole. It is easy enough to climb over the fence for a better look at the sinkhole, but it has very unstable and loose edges. Be sure to stay back from the edge. A fall in would likely be fatal.

Oddly, there appears to be an old wooden ladder at the bottom. I wonder if at some point someone tried to build a ladder to the sinkhole floor? A true oddity of the west desert to visit!

Vehicle for scale, west desert sinkhole

Vehicle for scale, west desert sinkhole

Getting There

Note: Reaching the trailhead requires quite a bit of dirt road, with a few rougher section particularly near the sinkhole. High clearance recommended, 4wd likely never required.

From Delta, head west on US-50/US-6 for about 40 miles to just after mile post 48. The side road is on the north side of the road:

  • Reset your odometer as you leave the highway. There are many side roads along the way. Stay on the main road, major junctions are specified. ( 12S 305376mE 4325742mN / N39° 03' 33" W113° 14' 58" )
  • 4.35 miles - Miller Canyon on the left (Notch Peak Trailhead access road). Stay straight. ( 12S 308034mE 4331647mN / N39° 06' 46" W113° 13' 13" )
  • 8.25 miles - Go left, off the main road, onto a smaller side road. ( 12S 309160mE 4337738mN / N39° 10' 05" W113° 12' 32" )
  • 11.6 miles - Side road leaves on the left. Stay straight. The road begins heading north. ( 12S 304399mE 4340069mN / N39° 11' 16" W113° 15' 53" )
  • 12.7 miles - Junction. Take the small side road on the right. It gets a bit rougher as it heads north. A wash crossing, in particular, can be a bit rough. ( 12S 303395mE 4341291mN / N39° 11' 55" W113° 16' 36" )
  • 13.25 - Junction. Go right here, and right in a couple of hundred feet at the next junction. The road heads south east now. ( 12S 303486mE 4342140mN / N39° 12' 23" W113° 16' 33" )
  • 13.6 miles - Sinkhole ( 12S 303927mE 4341975mN / N39° 12' 18" W113° 16' 15" )
The House Range from the sinkhole.

The House Range from the sinkhole.

Route

The road ends at the sinkhole. This makes an excellent spot to have lunch and ponder the large hole in the ground.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Sinkhole

12S 303927mE 4341976mN

N39° 12' 18" W113° 16' 15"

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