The trail head is the same as the Arch Canyon Trail. The parking area is 2.5 miles north of Utah Highway 95 just west of the sandstone wedge Comb Ridge, west of Blanding. About 100 yards down the Arch Canyon Trail there is a road splitting off to the right that starts to climb out of the canyon bottom area.
There isn’t a sign that identifies this as the route to Hotel Rock. About 2.5 miles along the Arch Canyon Trail there is a large side canyon on the north side that leads toward the Hotel Rock area, but the ruin isn’t visible from below.
At about 1.5 miles there is a circular turnaround point that is also at a view spot overlooking a short side canyon. It is not immediately clear where the trail continues without looking around. This view point has a small arch on the rim.
The return hike took 1:25 hours without any stops for a total hike of 4:30 hours. I carried 2 liters of water on a 65 F degree early October blue sky day. I didn’t see any other hikers or vehicles on the Hotel Rock Trail but there were some groups on the Arch Canyon Trail.