Scenic USA - Utah

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Canyonlands Cowboy

Dark Canyon - Canyonlands Cowboy

Photos by Rob Jones
Dark Canyon Trip Report

     Scenery on both sides of Utah's Route 95 from Hanksville to Blanding, the Bicentennial Highway, is not only a sample of the dramatic landscape surrounding White Canyon, but also reveals a stark and seemingly inhospitable land. Characterized by weather-sculpted rocks and hard bare earth called desert pavement, the land is sparsely scattered with juniper, pinyon pine, coarse desert shrubs, and a half dozen native grasses. This view of the adjacent Dark Canyon, a regular oasis, gives hope that the area is not all barren and desolate.
     This section of the southeastern Utah desert hasn't changed significantly over the last one hundred years, and without a doubt it was quite a spectacular sight to the 19 year old Al Scorup. During the spring of 1891, the young cowboy left a weeping mother, crossed 300 miles of the Colorado Plateau with a spare horse, sacks of flour and pinto Dark Canyon Scorup Cabinbeans, a slab of bacon and a patchwork of old quilts. Al took his first solo job looking after a herd of longhorns in White Canyon. The nearest town was a three days ride. Scorup's day was filled with an awful silence, and during the night the only company was the howl of the coyote.
     In the later years Al was joined by his brother Jim, and managed to eke out a living in this harsh land. They both married, dealt with all sorts of competition, endured extreme weather and survived long enough to name quite a few points of interest in these striking canyonlands.

   Additional Reading: Al Scorup - Cattleman of the Canyons



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