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Holt Canyon




Plate 1489X. Holt Canyon 1934 – 2007 Viewed north down Holt Canyon (a.k.a. Mountain Meadow Wash). The abandoned Hamblin townsite is just off the photo to the right. The Old Spanish Trail came up the valley to Mountain Meadows before proceeding on to California. In the early 1800’s, this valley was a series of wet meadows and dry grasslands. Sagebrush was absent and pinyon-juniper was confined to the highest peaks (Cottam 1929, Cottam and Stewart 1940). The area was settled by Europeans during the 1860’s after which cattle and sheep were permitted to overgraze the range. Prior to that time there were no arroyos in the valley. Floods during 1884 overwhelmed the devastated rangelands and cut most of the gullies seen in the valley today. As livestock destroyed the original grass cover, sagebrush and pinyon-juniper increased (Cottam and Stewart 1940). All this took place before the 1934 photograph was made. Today the main arroyo has started to heal, as willows and cottonwoods have increased. Sagebrush has declined between the camera and the main gully, but rubber rabbitbrush has increased. Pinyon and juniper have continued their increase. New high-voltage powerlines and pipeline right-of-ways have been added (photo left-center edge).

Photo Information:

Forest Service photograph (303945) taken by Reed W. Bailey in 1934; retake by Charles E. Kay on August 21, 2007 - - Photo No. 5830-21A. Original photograph held by the Utah Historical Society, Reed W. Bailey Collection (Box 3), Salt Lake City, UT.

Vegetative Community:

Pinyon, Juniper, Sagebrush


South West: Section 26, Range16 West, Township 37 South; UTM 269283 E, 4157899 N; elevation 5,824 ft.

January 2018